Experiencing Interruptions?

Tom in America

For 50 years, Michael and Betty have been united by one guiding principle: no secrets. But when a provocative Tom of Finland doll triggers Michael's long-buried desires, Betty discovers that secrets have been part of their life all along. With long-held mysteries thrust into the open, the foundation of their marriage and the path of their golden years is suddenly rocked. Now, they must redefine their future, and decide if it is one their love can survive.

  • Flavio Alves
    The Secret Friend, Even in My Dreams
  • Jeffrey Solomon
  • Scott Alexander Hess
  • Roy Gokay Wol
    Art Machine
  • Greg Starr
    The Secret Friend
  • Marcelo Remizov
    The Secret Friend
  • Burt Young
    Key Cast
    Rocky, Rocky II, Rocky III, Rocky IV, Rocky V, Rocky Balboa, Once Upon a Time in America, Chinatown, Win Win, etc.
  • Sally Kirkland
    Key Cast
    Anna,JFK, Best of the Best, Off the Black, Bruce Almighty, Big Stan,
  • Jacques Mitchell
    Key Cast
  • Alex Kruz
    Key Cast
  • Dawn Young
    Key Cast
  • Denise Hungerford
    Key Cast
  • Michael J. Cannon
    Key Cast
  • Steve Brustien
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 4, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Palm Springs ShortFest
    Palm Springs, CA
    June 20, 2014
    World Premiere
  • LA Short Fest
    Los Angeles
    July 27, 2014
  • Rhode Island International Film Festival
    August 9, 2014
  • Montreal World Film Festival
    August 23, 2014
    International Premiere
  • St. Louis International Film Festival
    St. Louis
    November 19, 2014
  • Cleveland International Film Festival
    March 21, 2015
    Honorable Mention for Best LGBT Short Film
  • Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Seattle Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
  • Fargo Film Festival
    Fargo, ND
  • Anchorage International Film Festival
    Anchorage, AK
    December 11, 2014
  • Kansas City Film Festival
    Kansas City, MO
    April 16, 2015
  • Boston Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
    Boston. MA
    April 11, 2015
  • Boston International Film Festival
    Boston, MA
    April 19, 2015
  • Richmond International Film Festival
    Richmond, VA
    February 27, 2015
  • Palm Beach International Film Festival
    Palm Beach, FL
    March 29, 2015
Director Biography - Flavio Alves

Flavio Alves is a Brazilian writer, film director, and producer. He was granted political asylum in the United States in 1998 with the help of the Immigrants and Refugee Rights Clinic at New York University's School of Law. Shortly thereafter, he attended Columbia University, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science. After graduating, Alves worked as an assistant to then-New York Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Former Congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY).

In 2007, Flavio returned to school to study film production at New York University, where he received the Technisphere Award for Outstanding Achievement. Since then, he has directed and produced more than 20 films. His most recent completed project, The Secret Friend, premiered at the 2010 Palm Springs International Film Festival and has entered more than 90 film festivals around the world. The Secret Friend received 24 awards, including Best Short Film at Cleveland International Film Festival, Amsterdam Film Festival, Palm Springs International Film Festival, and Savannah Film Festival.

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Director Statement

Soon after I arrived in the United States, almost 20 years ago, I realized that loneliness and depression are common themes in the elderly universe. Without the support of close relatives, some have no one to call for help or solace and furthermore have no meaningful structures of community or support. Aging often brings illness, reduced income and loss of family and friends. Rather than ignore the problems facing the aging communities, I decided to build upon them by creating films that push these issues into the spotlight.

Tom in America is a story based on dozens of testimonies I heard from gay seniors, particularly gay men, who have found themselves in a heterosexual relationship and, interesting enough, some of them have been able to manage their marital obligations with their inner desires. Although progressive laws and understanding are little by little dragging the LGBT community out of the shadow, the reality is, whether societal pressures, shame, or fear of physical harm, there are still generations of gays and lesbians that never experienced the full range of emotional and sexual love. So, Tom in America is just one of those many stories I heard.

The film is the result of a remarkable collaborative effort from an outstanding crew, without those tireless behind-the-scenes efforts the movie would not have been possible.

Now that the film is ready and traveling around the world, I hope that it will not only be entertaining but will also become a window into the lives of an often invisible segment of society.

– DIRECTOR Flavio Alves, New York