Let’s Revry and Chill
Hey, you. Yes, you. Wanna Revry and chill?
While it may not have the same ring to it as “Netflix and chill,” Co-Founder, CEO and professional Queerator, Damian Pelliccione is hoping that this will change as his LGBTQ+ streaming service, Revry, gains more traction with viewers. In the next six months, 200 million people in over 100 countries will have access to this platform.
From a press announcement: “As the first-ever global queer streaming service, Revry offers a uniquely curated selection of domestic and international entertainment that includes iconic, award-winning narrative and documentary films, cutting-edge series and originals along with the world’s largest queer libraries of groundbreaking podcasts, music albums, and videos.”
Pelliccione comes to Revry with a lot of related experience under his belt. He worked with Chevrolet and Cadillac to develop new media opportunities for product promotion and marketing. He was also head of Business Development for Make.TV, a German-based live streaming technology, representing it all over the world. He has also taught at Columbia College Chicago, and the YouTube Space in both LA and NYC.
During a busy TIFF week, I had a chance to e-mail Pelliccione some questions, which he was happy to answer.
Q: Why is it important to provide a streaming service for LGBT content? Doesn’t Netflix already have, say, Brokeback Mountain?
A: That’s a good question and one that answers itself, namely Brokeback Mountain wasn’t made for queer audiences–the inaccuracies of its depiction of gay sex and romance are well documented. LGBTQ+ people have always been innovators and early adopters of everything from music, to fashion, to overall entertainment. We’re always ahead of the curve and while it’s great that LGBTQ+ representation in the media is increasing, such depictions are still restricted by the mainstreams overarching parameters and pre-conceived notions. In addition, the focus by mainstream services is not to create or depict the underlying culture of the demographic. Just as the increase of representation of African American people in the media doesn’t negate a need for black-focused entertainment options (e.g. BET), neither does the increase in queer depictions make unnecessary the existence of media safe spaces where LGBTQ+ people can see themselves as they are rather than how the mainstream would like to see them.
Q: What kinds of features will you implement for people with disabilities? Can we have as a goal 100% subtitling, like Netflix does?
A: Absolutely, this is a goal of the service and one that we take very seriously. While we are a startup and limited by resources, as the service grows, increasing the availability to people with disabilities around the world is a central objective.
Q: What content are you most proud of having on your platform, or will have on your platform?
A: The Other Love Story, one of our original series, is a particular point of pride given its singularity in a world that lacks meaningful multi-cultural lesbian representation. The story is set in Bangalore in the 90s and is all in the Hindi language which provides for some really beautiful, authentic storytelling. In addition, Room To Grow is our newest original series and film following a group of LGBTQ+ kids in Portland. It’s premiered this year at Outfest and has been receiving widespread acclaim and will be screening at multiple festivals in the coming months. Both of these pieces are truly representative of our mission to tell stories that change the world.
Q: Did you acquire any films/shorts from TIFF this year?
A: We are currently in talks with a number of filmmakers and hope to give you an update soon!
Q: How can artists submit content to be considered?
A: Artists and content creators can submit to Revry via our website here.
Q: Can you possibly help me with the name of a movie about a young gay boy who befriends a middle-aged woman comic who makes jokes about domestic abuse? I loved that film and I can’t find the name.
A: Not sure on this one.
Footnote: My friend was able to find it for me. It is Nate and Margaret, and the actor, Tyler Ross, has done other queer roles too.
ROOM TO GROW chronicles the lives and stories of seven LGBTQ+ teens and families in cities across the country, offering an up-close and intimate glimpse into their daily lives as they endeavor to find an identity that fits and a place in their communities. The premiere episode introduces Savannah (star of the HBO doc BELIEVER about Imagine Dragon’s Dan Reynold’s charity) and her viral moment of being shut out of the Mormon church.
ROOM TO GROW shows just how important it is for LGBTQ+ teenagers to receive the support they need at home, at school, at church, and in the world to reach their full potential. Kids grow up fast, and it’s amazing how much these teenagers changed within 12 months. The Bridging Voices Queer Youth Chorus is a Portland singing group
that provides a safe and supportive space for LGBTQ+ youth.
Also worth watching is BROTHERS, a narrative short-form digital series that follows a group of transgender male friends, exploring what it means to go up against traditional societal gender roles. The series was the first narrative series about a group of trans male friends to not only feature the stories of transgender men, but also to cast trans actors in the main roles. With a predominantly queer, POC and trans cast & crew, we’re expanding the boundaries of traditional media and what stories are reflected on screen. The show touches on a few of the many issues that face transgender individuals – healthcare, dating, dysphoria, homophobia, identity and more.
In the latest installment of BROTHERS, we see just another day in the life of a transman. Trevor and Len are getting into their groove, but with Trevor on hormones for egg harvesting, things are not as easy as they seem. A visit to the gynecologist makes Trevor question what he wants and who he wants it with. Jack is “going through some shit,” while trying to figure out his own sexuality. Max tries to make amends with Elsa.
About the Author
Michael McNeely is a 2nd year law student; entertainment and accessibility critic; filmmaker; and aspiring actor. He enjoys meaningful representations of LGBT folks and those with disabilities in the popular media, and is waiting for the day where nuance, instead of stereotype and prejudice, is the norm. Michael is deaf-blind, meaning that he enjoys the presence of subtitles and other accessibility features.