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The Anniversary

A haunting exploration of forbidden love and hidden secrets.


In Marius Gabriel Stancu’s evocative gay short film, secrets unravel with desire and deception. Set against the sun-drenched backdrop of Italy, the narrative explores the secret lives of Angelo (Joseph Altamura) and Roberto (Tobia De Angelis), whose clandestine romance is shadowed by the tragic death of their lover, portrayed by Andrea Pittorino. This heart-wrenching event coincides with Roberto’s engagement anniversary to his unsuspecting fiancée, Rosa (Stella Mastrantonio), adding a layer of complexity to the unfolding drama.

Stancu masterfully employs flashbacks to peel away the layers of mystery surrounding the young boy’s demise, drawing viewers into a web of hidden desires and unspoken truths. The film deftly explores the lengths to which individuals will go to keep their true selves hidden, particularly within the confines of societal expectations and homosexual relationships.

The beauty of this short film lies not only in its narrative but also in the stunning cinematography by Xiao Duan. Each frame by the pool and within the sunlit Italian surroundings is a visual feast, enhancing the emotional gravity of the story. The contrast between the serene settings and the turbulent emotions of the characters creates an unsettling yet captivating atmosphere.

Solid performances by the cast anchor the film’s emotional core. Altamura and De Angelis deliver nuanced portrayals of lovers ensnared in a web of secrecy, while Mastrantonio’s Rosa embodies the blissful ignorance that intensifies the film’s dramatic tension.

‘The Anniversary’ is a hauntingly beautiful exploration of forbidden love and the devastating consequences of living a lie. Stancu’s storytelling, combined with exquisite visuals and compelling performances, crafts a memorable and thought-provoking cinematic experience.

The Anniversary Gay Short Film


Runtime: 17 min
Genre: ,

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