Gabriel Blake is a middle-aged instructor at a youth conversion therapy program for young gay men in small-town Florida. On the cusp of coming to terms with his own sexuality, he is forced to confront the hypocrisy of his own beliefs and the harm that he has caused others just like himself. In weighing the current understanding against his heart, Gabriel must decide whether to continue living a lie, or to embrace his true self so that others around him can finally do the same.

  • Justin Lombardi
  • Justin Lombardi
  • John Baxter
  • Daniel Webster
  • Justin Lombardi
  • Burke Brown
  • Greg Lloyd
  • Charles Green
  • Richard Jewell
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, LGBTQ
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 38 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 2, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Alexa
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Ringling College of Art and Design
Director Biography - Justin Lombardi

Justin Lombardi is a screenwriter and film director known for his unique ability to shift perspectives by way of uncomfortable yet compelling stories. Growing up in a small town just north of Boston, Massachusetts, Justin discovered his love for storytelling and filmmaking at a young age. Alongside his childhood friends, he began crafting short films as early as elementary school, continuing to hone in through his middle and high school years.

During his time at Ringling College, Justin focused on developing his screenwriting and directing abilities while also gaining valuable experience across various roles on film sets, only furthering his ability to be a team-driven and understanding director. His passion for storytelling is fueled by his desire to shed light on the uncomfortable truths that are often overlooked in our society. As someone who has struggled with his own sense of identity and belonging, Justin uses cinema as his means of both exploring and accentuating the often overlooked ways that discomfort touches the livliehoods and experiences of so many individuals.

Throughout his career, Justin has been supported by his parents, sister, and their extended family, as well as his partner Matthew. This level of encouragement and support has allowed Justin to pursue his dreams of creating meaningful, thought-provoking films that challenge audiences to confront our moral standing(s) as a people, head-on. With his drive to oversee narrative projects from first draft to final export, and a unique commitment to pushing new perspectives into the mainstream, Justin’s unvwavering mission is visible in everything that he has worked on, no matter the role or capacity.

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