About this submission

This film was in me until it forced its way out. While scanning dozens of undeveloped negatives from my childhood as part of a phenomenology-based project, I was struck by the sensoria and ephemeral elements of male adolescence that emanated from the images. Bikes, baseball, roughhousing. All laced with a homoerotic undertone. Filmmaking for me is often cathartic and necessary to understand my own emotions and perspectives.

In Our Secret Penthouse is a film rooted in discovering my own queerness. But it’s not about first love. It’s about discovering desire, and the limitations that come with it.

Max Tullio
Max is a California State Arts Scholar for Film/Video and received his B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in anthropology and filmmaking. He is currently an MFA Candidate at Columbia University. His work often explores social malady and lived experiences and features non-actors and independent music. His films have screened at the Palm Springs International ShortFest, Nashville Film Festival, and Frameline International Film Festival and have premiered on NoBudge and PBS. He is a 2021 Reykjavík Talent Lab alum.

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