Valiente (Brave)

Director: Miguel Melo

2019 | USA | 9m | Spanish

Victor finds the courage to disclose his HIV status to his partner.

Starring: Camilo Yepes

Playing in shorts program: Stand Up, Be Heard

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Miguel Melo

Miguel Melo is a writer and actor based in Los Angeles originally from Chihuahua, Mexico. His work is heavily influenced by the Queer/immigrant experience, identity and flawed family dynamics. He studied TV writing in UCLA Writers Program. He’s a Berlinale Talent and also received the NALIP Emerging Content Creators Scholarship in 2019. His debut short film “Valiente” (Brave) premiered and won honorable mention at the Guadalajara International Film Festival 35 and it’s currently in the film festival circuit.

Director's Statement

It’s extremely relevant for me as a queer artist to identify the roots of some issues within the LGBTQ+ community and transform them into opportunities to mold and empower a narrative of the modern gay man. I wanna build community through my art, specially for BIPOC/Queer folks, communities I belong to. I can’t see community without accountability, therefore it’s neccesary to point out our privileges if we want social justice. In the US, Black/Latino men are disproportionally affected by HIV but that’s only the surface, some don’t or can’t access to treatment due to lack of resources or lack of medical insurance, stigma, etc. I barely see storylines on TV/film in which I can get overly excited to see myself reflected. As a Queer Mexican immigrant, I decided to create those opportunities for myself and for others, and I feel immensely proud to be doing it with “Valiente (Brave)”.

I hope HIV positive people get to see it and they feel seen, I also hope to create awareness of mental health within the LGBTQ+ and fight stigma, to normalize men kissing on screen, and normalize men loving each other. Also, who is talking to the young people?

“Valiente” won Honorable Mention within a competence in Premio Mezcal (FICG 35 – Guadalajara, Mexico).

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