Short queer horror film ‘Innocent Boy’ breaks barriers, wins big at film festivals

LGBTQ+ cinema just got a little edgier thanks to The Contested Edge, a Dallas based production house committed to producing horror, fantasy, and science fiction content featuring queer characters and storylines. 

Unique Jenkins in Innocent Boy

A collaboration between former Q-Televison producers Brock Cravy and executive producer, Deiadra Armstrong, The Contested Edge has followed in the footsteps of recent industry disruptors such as Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions. Cravy will focus on storylines in experimental genres where gay, trans, and nonbinary characters have been notably and historically absent. 

Innocent Boy, the first project to be produced by The Contested Edge, and Cravys’ first narrative, won ‘Audience Choice’ and Best Direction’ at the Las Vegas Queer Arts Film Festival on Sunday, November 10th. This is the second best director win for the veteran producer and first time director, having previously won the coveted award at the Independent Short Awards in Los Angeles. 

In Innocent Boy, a group of rag-tag hustlers, led by a loathsome Madam, preys on the desperados who have come down an unforgiving, dust-swept highway looking for sex, drugs and Momma’s special milk. A young, black trans boy in the throws of withdraw, desperate for love and affection, is relentlessly bullied by his brother in trade, but things change when a ruthless Cowboy rides into town. As the boys begin to fall one-by-one, Penny is caught between Cowboy’s murderous rage and the greed and corruption that Momma represents.

Innocent Boy has excelled in its genre having won Best LGBTQ+ Short, Best Cinematography, Best Acting Ensemble, Best Sound Design, Audience Choice and Best Direction. The controversial queer horror premiered at the historic Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, and has additionally been welcomed into international mainstream and underground festivals in Mexico, Russia, Germany, Portugal and the UK.

“The short film has broken barriers by better diversifying its cast than most major Hollywood productions.” –  Dallas Observer

Innocent Boy touches on rather dark themes, including addiction, strong sexual content that includes gore and violence. Although the film is rather terrifying, Cravy is proud to showcase the talents of diverse actors and bring real, raw stories to the screen.

Writer/director/producer of Innocent Boy, Brock Cravy

Upon its first screening at Indie Short Fest in Los Angeles, the neon-western horror became a crowd favorite. The film’s boldness and originality are among the factors that led them to win. 

“At first, we couldn’t believe it,” Cravy says of the recognition, “because the film is quite bold! It’s dark and disturbing, but it’s so beautiful. And we are so honored that festival audiences recognize this, and that we aren’t being dismissed as some crazy genre piece.”

To find out more about Innocent Boy and The Contested Edge, please visit contestededge.com.

Watch the trailer for Innocent Boy below!

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