Fall’99

1999. Danny, a sexually promiscuous punk, tires of his serial weekend hookups and frequent anonymous sex. Going against the advice of his best friend, Danny begins to see Michael, a quiet boy from Connecticut. As the relationship becomes more serious, Danny receives a worrying phone call from a former lover: he needs to be tested for HIV

Director’s Statement

Fall ‘99 was born from experiences that my friends and I had with STDs, testing, and the sexual lifestyles of a college campus. While preparing for this film, my grandmother told me the story of her brother, a closeted gay man who escaped small town Pennsylvania, and how his H.I.V. diagnosis was never revealed to their parents and family. I thought of the pain and the weight of keeping such a secret, and how the relationships with the people in your life would be forever altered.

I was also researching in the Sarah Lawrence archives at the time, and decided to set a story that explored these experiences and themes amidst the lifeworld of students who came before me. A lifeworld without PrEP, without a support system, and without a lot of hope. It could take weeks to get test results back. I thought of this time as a sort of purgatory. Haunted by the past, always thinking of the future, and fighting to live in the present. The day-to-day moments of those weeks could never feel small, only overwhelming. In turn, I found inspiration in the grand melodramas of 50s American cinema and the work of French-Canadian filmmakers like Xavier Dolan.