Publisher: Ryko Liberation
Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
Actors: Brad Rowe, Tina Holmes, Mat Bushell, Trevor Wright, Ross Thomas
Forced to give up his dreams of art school, Zach spends his days working a dead end job and helping his needy sister care for her son. In his free time he surfs, draws and hangs out with his best friend, Gabe, who lives on the wealthy side of town. When Gabe's older brother, Shaun, returns home, he is drawn to Zach's selflessness and talent. Zach falls in love with Shaun while struggling to reconcile his own desires with the needs of his family.
The feature-film debut from art director Jonah Markowitz (Quinceañera) pivots on the tension between responsibility to family and responsibility to self. Recent high-school graduate Zach (Trevor Wright) has one summer to reconcile the competing halves of his life. The aspiring Picasso lives in blue-collar San Pedro with his irresponsible sister, Jeanne (Tina Holmes, Half Nelson), her five-year-old son, Cody (Jackson Wurth), and their rarely-seen father. Zach gave up his art school dreams to toil in a diner and help look after his much-loved nephew. With his best friend, Gabe (Ross Thomas), away at college, Zach draws, surfs, and skateboards by his lonesome. When Gabe's novelist brother, Shaun (Brad Rowe, Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss), returns to his Orange County home to recover from a broken heart, he and Zach alternate between riding the waves and encouraging each other to pursue their aspirations. Shaun is gay, while Zach appears to be straight, but a casual kiss between the two soon leads to a secret relationship. Before the former returns to Los Angeles, the latter has to decide who he is--gay, straight, artist, cook, uncle, or father--and what he's going to do about it. Except for the location shooting, this low-budget indie plays like an extended episode of The O.C. what with all the "bro"s and "dude"s and love scenes tame enough for network TV. Nonetheless, Markowitz’s heart is in the right place, and Shelter may provide some real-life Zachs with the courage they need to follow their passions. --Kathleen C. Fennessy