A short film about a gay teenager’s first date is one of the 2011 recipients of Metro Screen’s First Break Film Funding program.

First Date writer/director John Tsioulos said the film portrayed a teenager on the cusp of affirming his identity as a young gay man without the support of family, and was based on the real experiences of dozens of young gay people.

“Speaking to dozens of young gay men through my job as a youth worker, I was constantly surprised at the similarities between each young man’s story and needed to create something that showed these people were not alone,” Tsioulos said.

“They all had similar concerns about finding their place as teens within the LGBTI community, yet displayed inner strength beyond their years. I want this film to honour those stories and to affirm just how difficult and courageous it still is

for young people to come out, even now when gay characters seem to populate our TV screens.”

Filming of First Date is scheduled to start in late September. There are plans to distribute the film to teachers, counsellors and other professionals who deal with young people, as a means of educating students about the isolation faced by young gay and lesbian people.

Lesson plans based around the short film will also be developed along with a website for teachers.

A fundraiser is being held on Saturday, September 10 at the Burdekin Hotel, Level 1 minibar, to finance the completion of the film.

Entry is $10, with live performances between 10pm and midnight.

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