What if? What if we had more than one destiny? What if we had more than one path? Would it be worth it? One day out of the life of runaway gay teen. After receiving a silver dollar from a ... See full summary »

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Sergeant
Brandon DeLaurentiis ...
Drunken Thug in Alley
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Thug Leader
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Tyler
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Tyler's Mom
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David
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Thug
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What if? What if we had more than one destiny? What if we had more than one path? Would it be worth it? One day out of the life of runaway gay teen. After receiving a silver dollar from a mysterious man in black, he is thrown on a journey of two roads, one leads him back onto the streets, and the other road leads him home. Written by Tepnapa Films, LLC

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gay | homosexual | teenager | See All (3) »

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Short | Drama

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24 May 2006 (USA)  »

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$6,000 (estimated)
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Director J.T. Tepnapa stretches out.
23 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

J.T. Tepnapa is best known for his works of comedy. His now classic film "Masturbation: Putting the Fun Into Self-Loving" was an instant hit and brought home numerous "Best Comedy", "Audience Choice" and "Best Short" titles from around the U.S. It was quickly followed by Tepnapa's hilarious action comedy "Drag Queen Heist".

So this year when our festival received J.T.'s "Begging for Change", described as a "dramatic short about redemption and desperation" I thought, "Oh no." Why is it people feel like they have to do everything? Why did musical genius Sting try acting in "Dune"? Or what made a great actor like Marlon Brando think he should sing in "Guy and Dolls"? And why does a director like J.T. who has done so well with his comedies' think he has to do something dramatic? But I underestimated JT. He's not a Sting or Brando who should stick to what he knows. He is more like a Meryl Streep that can go from "The Hours" to "The Devil Wears Prada" without a hiccup.

"Begging for Change" is a dramatic film about a deadly serious subject. And J.T. refuses to let us shut our eyes when the going gets rough. Nor does he allow us our comfortable queer ending. Because sometimes the good guy is gay and sometimes the bad guy is. Life is like that. And J.T. insists we look at the life of this runaway through the stark clear lens of reality. Even the technique of the film with simultaneous stories going on between split screens gives us the visual as well as dramatic feel of the chaos of a young runaway's life on the streets. And he makes us consider the question of which of our choices will determine our fate. Is it the big decisions that we fret about and lose sleep over or are they the little ones? The ones we hardly notice. Are they the ones as random as a flip of a coin?

With "Begging for Change", J.T. has proved he is more then just the director of comedy films. He has become an artist of film; able to reflect to us reality whether it is absurd and laughable or serious and important.


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