Queensland queer short ‘Lumber’ to make local premiere at BIFF

Lumber actor on set of film being filmed by cameraman

Lumber is an LGBTQIA+ short drama, written, directed and produced by Harry Sabulis and produced by Jaden Bowen, following a lonely lumberjack in rural Queensland who goes to a gay bar for the first time to find love.

Filmed in late 2021, the independent short had its World Premiere in Atlanta, Georgia as a part of the Oscar-qualifying Out On Film festival.

The short will soon make its Australian Premiere at the Byron Bay International Film Festival and will premiere for Brisbane audiences at the prestigious Brisbane International Film Festival (BIFF) at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

Lumber wants to challenge masculinity

Written in 2019, Lumber is the passion project of Harry, a queer filmmaker based in Meanjin/Brisbane.

The short film aims to unpack and challenge gay, masculine stereotypes through a figure iconic to both masculinity and gay sexuality – The Lumberjack.

Speaking about the film, Harry says, “Lumber is a story that is very dear to me, because it tells a universal story that myself and many other gay men can relate to.

“It’s a story about belonging and finding our place in the world.”

“Growing up I often struggled finding where I fit into the identity of what a gay man ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ be, and even more broadly into what it means to be a ‘man’.

“I’ve been both accused of seeming ‘not gay enough’ and ‘not straight enough’.

“I believe this warped idea of how gay men should fit the societal expectation of masculinity is something many more people than just myself can relate to.”

Bringing big ideas to the big screen

Speaking further on the project, Jaden adds, “This project was written, directed, and co-produced by Harry, who has been committed to telling this story for a few years.

“Through all of the development and since finishing filming back in December 2021, Harry has been a driving force behind the film.

“We had really high hopes for where the film would go.

“Now that we’re screening as a part of BIFF in late October, I know this will be a great opportunity to showcase our project and demonstrate the importance of spotlighting queer-centric films.”

Regarding the Brisbane screening at BIFF, Harry adds, “We’re really excited that festivals both locally and abroad are accepting this passion-project is being so warmly.

“To be able to show the project to our friends and families on the big screen at a festival like BIFF, that Jaden and I have both attended many times, it’s a bit of a ‘pinch-myself’ moment honestly.”

Lumber is part of the Brisbane International Film Festival’s Shorts: Brisbane Showcase at Brisbane Powerhouse on October 30 at 4pm. Tickets at biff.com.au

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