Based on an original screenplay written by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS staffer Brian O’Donnell, Akron
was shot on location in Akron and Wooster, Ohio. It was directed by O’Donnell and Sasha King, and stars Matthew Frias, Edmund Donovan, Amy da Luz, Joseph Melendez, Isabel Machado, Cailan Rose and Andréa Burns.
Akron is a family drama about two college freshmen in the Midwest, Benny and Christopher, who meet playing football and begin a sweet romance. As their love for each other grows, a past tragic event involving their mothers comes to light. This revelation tests their own love and their close-knit families. Throughout this reflective love story, with the beauty of rural Ohio as its backdrop, Benny travels an emotional journey that examines both his own feelings and his family’s ability to come to terms with the past.
“Our intention in telling a story that includes gay characters but is not primarily concerned with their sexuality is to make clear that gay men and lesbians are a natural and essential part of the fabric of society, part of the family,” O’Donnell said.
King added: “We are excited for more audiences around the world to connect with these characters and engage with this sensitive and unique story of love, forgiveness and the power of family.”
Since the fall of 2015, Akron has screened in more than 20 film festivals around the world and has won several awards, including Best LGBT Feature Film and Audience Favorite.