Cicada – a film of love, loss, and great pain, but also immense joy
In Cicada, young bisexual Ben comes out to the world and develops an intense relationship with Sam, a man of colour struggling with deep wounds of his own. As the summer progresses and their intimacy grows, Ben’s past crawls to the surface.
New York City, 2013. Some things are worth waiting seventeen years for, others should have come out sooner. After a string of unsuccessful and awkward encounters with women, Ben goes “back on the dick.”
With all star supporting roles from Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother, The Avengers), Scott Adsit (30 Rock), and Bowen Yang (SNL).
Available October 29, 2021 from Strand Releasing.
Matt Fifer is a Brooklyn based filmmaker. He studied under Sherrybaby director, Laurie Collyer, and had an education in theory and philosophy. He’s worked on shorts, commercials, and big budget features like The Avengers and A Late Quartet. In 2016 and 2017, he made IndieWire’s “Top 10” list for best web series of the year. Cicada is his feature directorial debut.
Cicada was the secret I never wanted to tell. I was tired of seeing the same abuse story told over and over again— trauma for the sake of drama, pain without levity, filmmakers representing experiences they had no actual experience with themselves. The facts are one in three girls and one in five boys will be sexually abused before the age of eighteen, male victims are far less likely to come forward, and abusers are often a part of the family not strangers lurking in the shadows.
None of the narratives I’ve seen negotiate that truth. Three months before production, my friend and co-lead Sheldon Brown was shot in Chicago. We didn’t know if he’d be okay or if we should even continue. He was always an integral part of this story and he had been in my heart from the very first page. The project fell apart overnight.
Over that time, I kept coming back to the same feeling. My experience felt inconsequential in the wake of his. His wounds were life and death, loved ones dealing with the very real possibility they’d lose their best friend. My pain felt distant and numb. It was now nothing but a bad dream.
It was spring. Sheldon came out of surgery. I didn’t know Sheldon’s pain— I didn’t even know if Sheldon knew his own pain, but at the heart this story was processing the truth. And I knew if he was healthy enough, we could do it together.
Cicada is that wish come true. It is a film of love and loss, great pain but also immense joy, with two actors reliving parts of their own experiences. It is a secret told, a wound exposed, and a promise that even in the dark, it’s never too late to cry out.
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.