1985: Yen Tan’s Feature Debut, Family Melodrama about Closeted HIV+ Gay Man (LGBTQ, Gay, AIDS)

With 1985, director Yen Tan expanded his earlier short film of the same title into a feature, which world premiered at the 2018 SXSW Film Fest.

1985 poster.jpg

Film poster

Set in Texas in 1985, the film stars Cory Michael Smith as Adrian Lester, a closeted gay man, who returns home after years in New York City to tell his family that he is dying of AIDS.


If you want to know more about gay cinema, please read my book:

Gay Directors, Gay Films? By Emanuel Levy (Columbia University Press)

The cast also includes Michael Chiklis and Virginia Madsen as Adrian’s parents, Aidan Langford as his younger brother Andrew, and Jamie Chung as his childhood friend Carly.

The film screened at several LGBT film festivals, serving as opening gala at the 2018 Vancouver Queer Film Fest.

Gay Directors, Gay Films? By Emanuel Levy (Columbia University Press, August 2015).


Grand Jury Prize at the SXSW, the Festival Best Feature at Fire!! Barcelona LGBT Film, the Audience Award and the Student Jury Prize at the Champs-Élysées Film Fest in Paris, the Grand Jury Award and the Best Screenwriting award at the Outfest Los Angeles.


Directed by Yen Tan
Screenplay by Yen Tan
Story by Yen Tan, Hutch
Produced by Ash Christian, Hutch
Cinematography Hutch
Edited by Yen Tan, Hutch
Music by Curtis Heath

Production companies

Floren Shieh Productions
MuseLessMime Productions
RainMaker Films
Cranium Entertainment

Distributed by Wolfe Releasing Peccadillo Pictures

Release date: March 9, 2018 (SXSW)

Running time: 85 minutes

DVD and digital release, December 2018.

If you want to know more about Gay Cinema, please read my book: