Blue Boy
Film, 2019, 19min
Germany, Argentina

Seven young men alone in a deserted bar with a film crew and the sound of their own voices as their only compa­nions. This device allows the spectator to scrutinise the micro-movements that cross their faces, and it is all too tempting: what is one of the boys thinking when he hears the playback of how he touts his clients? What does another feel listening to his own account of meeting an older man when he was only sixteen? The scenes recounted by these escort boys plunge us into their secret reality, but once again, nothing is more intimate than the faces themselves. Each seems to more or less agree with what they hear, expressed in German or Romanian: at times, they seem proud, at times amused, at times troubled. But as we discover from the outset, whatever they think, the images now belong to the film pro­duction. By separating sound from image, the filmmaker not only places his subjects in an awkward position – it is often uncomfortable to hear one’s own voice – but also protects them. A heightened metaphor of the triangu­lar relationship between the filmer, the filmed and the spectator, Blue Boy is as ambiguous as the men that it shows us, oscillating between a contractual relationship and a well-meaning interest for others. But, while Manuel Abramovich ultimately glorifies those he films, this is because he knows how to render them in all their complexity – which becomes even deeper when we read the end cre­dits. Olivia Cooper-Hadjian -Cinéma du Réel

director Manuel Abramovich
with Florin, Michel, Razvan, Stefan, Mihail, Marius, Rafael, Roberto.
cinematographer Manuel Abramovich
creative producer Bogdan Georgescu
editor Cătălin Cristuțiu
sound Francisco Pedemonte
color grading Luisa Cavanagh
producer Manuel Abramovich
associate producer Werkleitz Center
research collaboration Santiago Di Lella
translations and subtitles Marius Bogdan, Laura-Maria Ilie, Lorenzo Anzoátegui, Flavius Augustin, Michel Steinberg, Julien Sialelli, Catalin Jugravu, Florian Hubertus.

with the support of:
Taller 3 Puertos (Mexico & Chile)
Supported by the European Media Artists in Residence Exchange (EMARE) at Werkleitz Center for Media Arts, Halle (Saale) and the Ministry of Culture of Saxony-Anhalt.

Director's Note
I wanted to make a series of portraits of sex workers applying the same rules of the sex trade.
To place emphasis on the performativity of such dynamics and to create an experiment in which the roles of everyone involved (protagonists, audience, myself) were interchangeable.
What would it be like for these young men to take distance from the character they play? How would they react to their own stories?

WP: Berlinale Shorts Competition / Silver Bear Prize
IP: Cinéma du Réel - International Competition (Paris, France)
BAFICI, Buenos Aires. Best Short Film
Festival de Uruguay
Festival de Cosquín, Argentina. Mención Especial del Jurado
EDOC. Quito, Ecuador.
Festival de Finos Filmes. Sao Paulo, Brasil.
The Norwegian Short Film Festival. Norway.
Doc Edge, New Zealand.
XPOSED Film Festival. Berlin, Germany.
Seattle Film Festival. Seattle, USA.
TIFF Transilvania Film Festival, Romania.
Die Berliner Kurzfilmrolle. Berlin, Germany.
Espacio Queer. La Plata, Argentina.
Guanajuato Film Festival, Mexico.
Festival de Monterrey. Mexico.
Lviv International Short Film Festival Wiz-Art. Ukraine.
Odense Film Festival. Denmark.
FAM Florianopolis. Brazil.
Festival de Cine Latinoamericano Rosario. Argentina. Best Documentary Short
Curtas Belo Horizonte. Brazil.
FestiFreak. Argentina.
Festival de San Sebastián, Spain.
Reykjavik International Film Festival. Island.
Orvietto Cinema Fest, Italy.
PerSo Film Festival, Italy.
Astra Film Festival. Romania.
Kaohsiung Film Festival, Taiwan.
OFF Cinema, Poland. Bronze Castle - Best Short Film
dokumentART. Neubrandenburg, Germany.
Festival Cuorum Morelia. Mexico.
Invasión - Festival de Cine Argentino. Berlin.
Curtacinema Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. Special Jury Prize
Internationalen Kurzfilmtage Winterthur. Switzerland.
Festival de Cine Independiente de Cipolletti. Argentina
VIENNALE. Austria.
VII Festival de Cortometrajes Diputación de Jaén. Spain
Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival BIEFF. Romania.
Nahia Film Festival. Spain.
AntofaCine. Chile.
KFFK/Kurzfilmfestival Köln. Germany.
Andalesgai. Seville, Spain.
L'Alternativa. Spain.
Leeds International Film Festival, UK.
FESAALP, La Plata. Argentina.
Merlinka. Serbia.
Bogotá Short Film Festival, Colombia.
Verín International Short Film Festival, Spain.