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MUTT Trailer: The Trans Character Study That Captured Hearts at Sundance

Sundance breakout Mutt, a queer coming-of-age drama, is finally getting its release stateside this summer. It got an ecstatic audience reception at its world premiere, and showed that a star is born in Lio Mehiel who won the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Lead Performance. It is written and directed by Vuk Lungulov-Klotz in his feature debut based on his experiences of growing up in NYC as a child of immigrants and his own transition. The film explores a hectic day in the life of Feña (Mehiel) where he encounters three people from his past before his transition from female to male: his ex (Cole Doman), his younger sister (MiMi Ryder), and his Chilean father (Alejandro Goic). Over the course of one day, he navigates the new dynamics of old relationships while tackling other challenges of day-to-day life.

The film also won the Generation 14plus – Best Film Award at the Berlin International Film Festival and was selected for New Directors/New Films’ Closing Night. Strand Releasing has just released a trailer ahead of its release next month, beginning at NYC’s Film Forum.

In her review from Sundance, Bears Rebecca Fonte wrote “Anchoring Mutt is a career-announcing performance from Puerto Rican actor Mehiel, who suffers the indignities with fierce determination, but is at his best in the softer moments… The actor, who identifies as transmasculine and non-binary, is just the kind of future star that could change this industry or reveal its limitations completely. Lungulov-Klotz, for his part, has given Mehiel the perfect framework to be brilliant in. Mutt, his debut feature, focuses on intimate moments against the vibrant background of New York City. Masterfully structured to wind Feña up until he breaks, the conflicts never feel forced and inform each other. Despite the increasing number of LGBTQ+ projects that are finally reaching the screens, there has been a scarcity of films focused on the transmasculine experience. Hopefully the artistic success of Mutt can lead to more stories finding their way to the lens.”

Watch the trailer below. In select theaters August 18.

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M.J. O'Toole began writing for HtN in early 2021 during the Sundance Film Festival. An NYC native and lifelong cinephile, his favorite films include Chungking Express, The Three Colors Trilogy, Hiroshima Mon Amour, Lovers on the Bridge, and Midnight Cowboy. He is the Digital Marketing Manager for the agency 3rd Impression - working alongside Editor-at-large Matt Delman - that specializes in digital marketing for independent film. He holds a BA from Adelphi University and a Masters in Digital Photography from the School of Visual Arts. You can check out his portrait and street photography on Instagram.

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