It Gets Better Promotional Image
A promotional image for writer-director-producer Stephen Riscica’s GLBTQ short film, ‘It Gets Better?’
It Gets Better Still
A still from writer-director-producer Stephen Riscica’s GLBTQ short film, ‘It Gets Better?’
It Gets Better Still
A still from writer-director-producer Stephen Riscica’s GLBTQ short film, ‘It Gets Better?

Society at times can unfortunately contribute to the development of depression and bullying amongst people people who don’t truly fit into cultural norms. But social media posts, movies and other media can also provide support as they remind their audiences that their lives will get better. The new GLBTQ short film, ‘It Gets Better?,’ powerfully examines how people can overcome their feelings of loneliness, and begin to feel embraced by their community.

That inspirational message will help bring more people together as the movie gears up to screen at the upcoming inaugural Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema in New York City. The festival is set to run between August 4-13 at the Kew Gardens Cinema in Queens, New York. The short will debut at the festival on Friday, August 11 at 2:15pm.

‘It Gets Better?’s screening at the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema comes after it also played at the Cannes Film Festival. The GLBTQ drama has also won, and was nominated for, numerous awards on the festival circuit. The movie’s main star, Gys De Villiers, was honored with the the award for Best Actor in a Short Film at the Nice International Film Festival. The drama was nominated at the Madrid International Film Festival for Best Short Film; Most Original Short Film at Q Fest in Ocean Grove, New Jersey and Best Experimental at the Hang Onto Your Shorts Festival in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

The movie was written, directed and produced by New York filmmaker, Stephen Riscica. In addition to De Villiers, ‘It Gets Better?’ also features Luka Fric, Adam Davenport and Sam Ashkanazy. The drama follows an older gay man is inspired to record a testimonial after watching a bisexual teenager’s video, which assures him that life gets better.

Riscica first started writing the script for ‘It Gets Better?’ five years ago, when Dan Savage’s It Gets Better YouTube campaign was at its height of popularity. The It Gets Better campaign is a series of Youtube testimonials that offer words of hope and inspiration for GLBTQ youth who are dealing with issues of depression and bullying.

There was one particular testimonial that inspired the filmmaker’s initial creation of ‘It Gets Better?’ Jamey Rodemeyer, a fifteen year-old teenager from Buffalo, New York, made a video for the campaign. But he sadly didn’t feel as though he received the acceptance that he desired, and eventually took his own life months later.

Also drawing inspiration from Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s one-act play, ‘Last Tape,’ Riscica focused the short film on an older gay man who decides to tell his own story, after watching an It Gets Better video. The film glimpses into one night in the man’s life, and it is both an examination of loneliness and a desperate plea for everyone to hang on.

For more information on ‘It Gets Better,’ visit the short film’s Facebook page.

It Gets Better? Screening at Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema
Kew Gardens Cinemas, 8105 Lefferts Blvd,Kew Gardens,New York-11415
Starting on
August 4, 2017
Ending on
August 13, 2017
Writer-director-producer Stephen Riscica's GLBTQ short film, It Gets Better?, will screen at the 2017 Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema in New York City.

By Karen Benardello

As a graduate of LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic, Karen Benardello serves as ShockYa's Senior Movies & Television Editor. Her duties include interviewing filmmakers and musicians, and scribing movie, television and music reviews and news articles. As a New York City-area based journalist, she's a member of the guilds, New York Film Critics Online and the Women Film Critics Circle.

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