LOS ANGELES, Calif. – “Something Like Summer,” David Berry‘s feature directorial debut, is a musical romance based on Lambda Literary Award-winning author Jay Bell’s novel of the same title. “Something Like Summer” will screen at Outfest LA 35 in Los Angeles July 15, at 11:00 a.m. at the Directors Guild of America on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, jointly announced producers Carlos Pedraza and J.T. Tepnapa.
“Audiences around the world have already laughed, cried and found hope in this story,” Pedraza said. “The novel means so much to so many people, young and old, that it’s a privilege to screen at a film festival as important as Outfest,” said Pedraza.
In “Something Like Summer,” Ben is the only out gay guy at his conservative Texas high school. Bullies and whispered condemnations keep him from pursuing his dream to be a singer alongside his best friend, Allison. Then he meets Tim, an athlete hiding his own secrets. This is the story of true love told over a dozen years, from awkward adolescence through heartbreaking adulthood.
“The inspiration offered by this story attracted such a talented set of actors to our small, independent feature,” Pedraza added. “Our diverse cast features accomplished up-and-comers in the industry.”
“Something Like Summer” stars Davi Santos (Power Rangers, Polaroid), Ben Baur (Hunting Season, #Adulting, and one of the OUT100), singer-actress Ajiona Alexus (Fox’s Empire, Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why), and introduces Grant Davis, who performs six of the seven songs in the film; Alexus performs the seventh as a solo.
The musical romance, though not a classic musical, features original and classic songs, performed by the cast, and has been described by some as the “gay ‘La La Land.'” In addition to its musical numbers, specially commissioned paintings help propel the story of young people for whom art becomes an important refuge.
“‘Something Like Summer‘ is at its core an exploration of our all-too-common faults. The characters are imperfect, their timing doesn’t ever seem to work out, and they all have to step up and come to terms with who they really are,” said Berry, the director.
Audiences, critics, festival programmers, and most importantly to the filmmakers, fans of the book, have enthusiastically and positively responded to the film at screenings around the world and in comments on social media. The trailer has reached an audience of more than 2.6 million and has gone viral thanks to the novel’s fervent fan base.
“Books are a fantastic medium for boundless adventures, although movies have certain advantages over text. For the first time, readers can hear the sound of Ben’s singing and see Tim’s blue shoes jogging by,” said Jay Bell, author of the novel.
“The “Something Like Summer” movie pays tribute to the source material while carving out its own identity, promising an emotional experience for fans and newcomers alike. I couldn’t be more pleased with how it turned out,” added Bell.
“Something Like Summer” has won several awards at film festivals, including: Best New Director (Feature), David Berry, at Philadelphia’s qFLIX Festival; Audience Award: Best Supporting Actor (Ben Baur); Audience Award: Best First Feature (David Berry), Festival Award: Best Soundtrack (Cian McCarthy) – all three won at FilmOut San Diego.