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Directed by Benjamin Howard2023USA93 mins

Centered on the clashing emotions and pent-up passions of a beloved high school football star, Riley is a compelling tale of a young man’s journey to discover who he is, what he wants, and where he’s going. Written and directed by Benjamin Howard, the film tells the story of a popular and talented young athlete who struggles with the all-encompassing anxiety of coming out. His overbearing dad and hyped-up teammates have a clear plan for Riley, but secret dreams and desires gnaw at his insides.

Filmmaker Howard infuses this honest high school story with intense moments of sexual desire and the awkward realities of adolescent relationships. Jake Holley delivers an intricate, powerful performance as Riley, a character who strives to be loved by everyone, but struggles to love himself. Also starring Colin McCalla (The Dick Appointment, Frameline44), Riley is a deep dive into the complex emotions of budding masculinity and the challenge of connecting with teenage peers. Its unique take on identity, love, and sexual desire resonates long after the closing credits.

Preceded by:


9 mins

In a world of masculinity, Rafael and friends reign supreme. When he meets Alex, an intimate moment forces Rafael to confront desires and fears, torn between two worlds.

Expected Guests

Benjamin Howard
Director, Screenwriter
Felix Greisinger
Director (MASC4MASC)


Quick links
Benjamin Howard
Running Time
93 mins
Narrative Features
Program Note Writer
Brendan Peterson
Community Partners
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