EXCLUSIVE: Deadline has the first look at director Luke Gilford’s buzzy National Anthem, which premiered earlier this year at SXSW and will have its international premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival as the TIFF Next Wave Selects Centrepiece film.

Here’s the logline: Dylan lives an isolated life of routine in rural New Mexico, working odd construction jobs to help support his little brother and alcoholic mother. He accepts a gig working at the House of Splendor, a homestead built by a community of queer rodeo performers and ranchers, and soon the indefinable magic of an untamed America unfolds before him. Finding space to explore and discover himself, he becomes entwined in the life of Sky, a talented barrel racer and free spirit. While working together in the breathtaking expanse of the Southwest, they contend with the undeniable forces of nature, family and love.

In the clip, Dylan comes home to questions from his little brother about the eye shadow and lipstick he’s wearing. In a poignant moment, he enlists the boy’s help in removing the makeup before asking him to keep it secret from their alcoholic mother.

“In this time that’s so scary for so many people, I think it’s important to have stories like this out there, to give us hope and show that there’s another way and that it is possible,” Gilford told Deadline of the film at SXSW. “We’ve all seen these queer tragedies. Every rural queer story we’ve seen has been a tragedy, so it was a real mission of all of ours to peel away those cliches to show something that was true, but also something that we haven’t seen before.”

 Post Views: 1,222