This Hypnotic Short Film Depicts an Escort’s Complicated Coming Out

· Updated on March 23, 2023



From writer and directorPaulo Berberan:

“Bodies is an experimental narrative film that delves into family dynamics, identity, and sexual empowerment. The film also explores magic realism within its genre.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to write an unconventional and oneiric love story, and consequently, I arrived at the tribulations that Akin finds himself inhiding his secret from his family, while trying to help them financially, as he searches for love.

I started developing the film by interviewing real life male escorts, and it was clear from all the interviews I collected that there was a real desire for sexual satisfaction. Yet, the usage of this sexual drive served as a vehicle to hide deeper issues, such as their own loneliness in these particular cases.

Following this concept, I decided to create a film that separates the body as a sexual and primitive force, and the matters of the soulwhich are presented in this film as something far more complexare represented metaphorically through images of the ocean.

Allying this information to my own personal experience that I was going through when I started writing this film, Bodies ended up being a combination of these two aspects of my research.

Akin looks for love through his profession, along with the idea that one day someone, a client even, might be that person that provides him a sense of comfort and trust. It’s the motif behind this character. His relationship with his younger brother mirrors Akin’s hope for a new beginning, but also a sense of protection that he doesn’t get from his mother, whose firm religious beliefs and cultural background create a barrier between her and her son.

As Akin’s vulnerability bleeds on screen, the viewer is welcomed into this Nigerian household to witness his emotional journey first-hand.”

Written and Directed by Paulo Berberan
Starring: Oseloka Obi, Karlina Grace-Paseda, Mamad Heidari, Kent Ibe, and Ryan Rai;
Principal Photography: Paulo Berberan
Second Camera & Lighting: Yann Krajewski
Assistant Camera: Nicolee Tsin
Art Direction: Jade Rache
Production Assistant: Annabelle Spence
Sound Recordist: Peter Polak
Edited by Paulo Berberan
Produced by Paulo Berberan & Jade Rache
Poster Design by David Pinho
Illustration by Víctor Sierra
Photography by Kevin Bake

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