White Rock actor plays a tough child dealing with massive issues in Soft

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“It was hard, performing all powerful and stuff.” — Matteus Lunot

The new movie Soft follows three queer adolescents as they roam the summer-warmed streets of Toronto on the lookout for enjoyable and a spot to belong. The movie stars (l-r) Harlow Joy as Otis, Matteus Lunot as Julien and Zion Matheson as Tony. jpg

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VIFF: Soft

When and where: Oct. 2, 3:15 p.m., International Village #8, Vancouver.  Streaming on VIFF Connect until Oct. 9

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Tickets and information: Viff.org

Prior to the feature movie Soft, White Rock actor Matteus Lunot’s only two onscreen acting credit came from gigs for Disney and Hallmark.

As it seems, Soft couldn’t be farther from the happiest place on earth or a greeting card because it follows three queer adolescent youngsters working the summer time streets of Toronto in a swirl of teenage turbulence, punctuated by harsh realities.

Fresh off a well-reviewed flip at TIFF, Soft is likely considered one of the 237 films from 75 countries that make up this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF).

In the movie, Lunot is entrance and centre as Julien, a tricky as nails, troubled homosexual kid who pushes away the pain of abandonment with the bravado of a bullfighter.

Julien is joined in heavy-handed hijinks — they store lift, swill beer on the practice and lip off club bouncers — by one other homosexual boy Otis (Harlow Joy) and trans woman Tony (Zion Matheson).

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“Joseph Amenta has helmed a first characteristic punctuated by situations of untamed abandon and aching emotion,” stated VIFF programming director Curtis Woloschuk. “The younger actors’ performances are outstanding, as the trio nimbly navigate their characters’ relationships with their families (both biological and found), communities, and one another. And Matteus Lunot is an absolute revelation: a ferocious, magnetic presence from his first scene.”

The new film Soft follows three queer adolescents as they run amok in Toronto. A love letter to friendship, the film from director/writer Joseph Amenta stars (l-r) Harlow Joy as Otis, Matteus Lunot as Julien and Zion Matheson as Tony. The new film Soft follows three queer adolescents as they run amok in Toronto. A love letter to friendship, the film from director/writer Joseph Amenta stars (l-r) Harlow Joy as Otis, Matteus Lunot as Julien and Zion Matheson as Tony. jpg

When we first meet Julien, he is like a firecracker going off, however as his journey gets deeper and darker he turns into smaller, more reserved, and reflective. Lunot handles the complexity of Julien with care and a deftness properly past his minimal expertise.

“It was exhausting, appearing all robust and stuff,” stated Lunot, whose castmates had even less expertise on movie.

“We knew once we had been casting the film that we needed to seek out three unicorns, but we additionally wanted to search out our lead, who was able to the duality of being free, bombastic and highly effective and generally a bit of shit, but in addition might showcase vulnerability and reflection,” said Amenta.

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Julien is a homosexual boy who likes female clothes and has bright pink hair he holds again off his face with vibrant clips. Lunot is straight.

“This was disclosed to us when he was auditioning for the movie so that is something we as parents had a dialogue with Matteus, whether or not or not he could be comfy playing a task like that. His answer was he is an actor,” mentioned Lunot’s mom Lola Opacic Lunot. “We wanted to support him. We wanted him to be comfortable. You worry if the movie does well is he going to be teased at school?

“But he’s fairly confidant and he didn’t care, so he had our full help.”

Opacic Lunot is proud that her son determined to go ahead with the position. As a social employee who works in psychological well being, she saw the significance of the film’s normalizing approach.

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“We want kids to have the power to look as much as other folks to watch films to see themselves to determine as regular citizens,” Opacic Lunot. “We have to stop separating and hating.”

“In the film we’re not completely different. It’s not mainly on us being LGBTQ. I think it’s about being a kid and being who we are,” added Lunot, who attends Earl Marriott Secondary School.

That sentiment is what makes this fantastically shot movie so relatable. It’s initially a narrative about kids who love each other, who happen to be sharing a formative time.

“It’s not a coming out story. It’s not a transitioning story. It’s not a bully in highschool story. They are sort of faraway from these tropes.” said Amenta.

“I wished the children to feel celebratory and I needed them to expertise the frivolities of youth, which plenty of times we don’t get to see a queer kid’s experience on digital camera. They’re usually fairly timid and quiet. I needed these kids to really feel like colourful bandits tearing up town streets. I wished them to feel agency and energy, as a end result of they are not actually fairly capable of understanding the nuances and tribulations the world has in store for them.”

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Toronto director/writer Joseph Amenta’s first feature film Soft is one of the 35 Canadian feature films at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival. The festival is on until Oct. 9. Toronto director/writer Joseph Amenta’s first feature film Soft is considered one of the 35 Canadian function films at this year’s Vancouver International Film Festival. The pageant is on till Oct. 9. jpg

The cast got to see the film for the first time at TIFF.

“I was dazed, type of relieved,” said Lunot. “It was cool. But I don’t assume I processed it that well. I’ll go to the Vancouver Film Festival, and I assume I might be in a position course of what is occurring.”

Lunot’s mother was equally impressed.

“It’s very interesting to see your individual child on a giant display screen. We watched Matteus in a Christmas film. We had a family night time with the Christmas film (Hallmark’s 2021 film The Christmas Contest) that was enjoyable. This was fully different,” said Opacic Lunot. “I am looking forward to seeing the movie once more as a end result of it was nearly overwhelming. I was making an attempt to carry back tears the whole time.”

While discuss of film competition triumphs and new-found fame is thrilling and “pretty cool,” Lunot’s parents aren’t going to let the brilliant lights and purple carpets of massive screen success shift focus away from regular family life and being a child.

“We try to maintain him grounded,” Opacic Lunot. “As soon as we came again from Toronto, he had math tutoring to sort of help to bring it down slightly bit. He’s received to do homework. He’s obtained to do chores. He performs hockey. It’s just again to regular life.”

For now.

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