/In All The Fires, A Queer Teen Blazes A Path Toward Self-Acceptance

In All The Fires, A Queer Teen Blazes A Path Toward Self-Acceptance

A coming-of-age drama about a queer teen with a troubling passion for starting fires ― yes, literally ― will make its hotly anticipated North American premiere this weekend.

Written and directed by Mauricio Calderón Rico, “All the Fires” (or “Todos los Incendios”) will be screened Sunday as part of NewFest, New York’s premier LGBTQ+ film festival. The Spanish-language film, which is subtitled, will also be available to stream online through Oct. 24, the conclusion of the festival.

“All the Fires” follows Bruno (played by Sebastian Rojano), a Mexican teen who has developed an obsession with uploading internet videos of himself setting objects on fire after his father dies.

As his widowed mother is developing feelings for a new man, Bruno runs away from home in search of a girl, Dani (Natalia Quiroz), with whom he’s connected online.

Catch a trailer for “All the Fires” below.

Though Bruno imagines himself in a romantic relationship with Dani at first, his out-of-town journey prompts him to make a startling discovery about his own sexuality.

While it may be unusual to put a young character with pyromaniacal tendencies at the center of an otherwise heartfelt drama, Calderón Rico believes audiences will have no issue finding empathy for Bruno over the course of the movie.

“I think we have all felt vulnerable in some way, especially during adolescence, and we have to use an outlet to let out all our repressed desires,” the filmmaker told HuffPost in an interview. “In some cultures, fire represents carnality, desire, libido. They are those instincts that Bruno represses and lets out.”

The prevailing message of “All the Fires,” he added, can be summed up with just one word: acceptance.

Andrew Scott (left) and Paul Mescal in "All of Us Strangers," which screens Oct. 24 at NewFest.
Andrew Scott (left) and Paul Mescal in “All of Us Strangers,” which screens Oct. 24 at NewFest.

“The character not only accepts his sexuality, but also accepts mourning and accepts adulthood in general,” he said.

“All the Fires” is one of many standout films that will be screened at NewFest, now in its 35th year. The festival opened Thursday with a starry screening of Netflix’s “Rustin,” which features Colman Domingo as civil rights pioneer Bayard Rustin.

Other NewFest highlights include “Queen of New York,” a documentary about a drag artist turned New York political figure named Marti G. Cummings, and Todd Haynes’ “May December,” starring Julianne Moore and Natalie Portman.

The festival is set to close Oct. 24 with a screening of the romantic drama “All of Us Strangers,” starring Paul Mescal and Andrew Scott.

For more information on “All the Fires” and NewFest, head here.

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