DVD Cover for Camp Belvidere
DVD Cover for Camp Belvidere

Camp Belvidere makes for a great addition to any LGBT film collection.

If you happen to find that you have a spare forty minutes free during your day, I highly recommend that you spend it watching the latest short production from Recluse Films.

Camp Belvidere written, produced and co-directed by Astrid Ovallesis a little gem of a film set at a Girls’ Camp in the 1950s.

The story follows Rose (Molly Way), a young and vibrant leader at Camp Belvidere who strikes up an unlikely friendship with an older woman. Gin, the camp nurse is a composed and closeted woman who finds herself full of internal conflict when the youthful and beautiful Rose turns her attention upon her. In battling her attraction to Rose and struggling with the implications of being a lesbian in an era in which homosexuality is in large part shunned, Gin finds it increasingly difficult to not only be true to herself but to do what she feels is right by Rose. Each actor seems to have invested a real emotional depth and conviction in their character, but it is the stunning Astrid Ovalles that deserves special mention.

Ovalles turns in a remarkable performance as the restrained and sexually stifled Gin. Her ability to convey the character’s conflicting emotional state through subtle facial gestures and natural ease in the delivery of Gin’s dialogue (think Jennifer Beals as the stoic Bette Porter in The L Word) is nothing short of wonderful.

As with most shorts, the story is a little compacted, such that the characters feel slightly underdeveloped and the first sex scene comes in rather abruptly – within the first 5 minutes – before any real character development has occurred. That said, however, there is still wonderful poetry to the film and combined with Ovalles talent for acting (and umm did I mention her intense physical beauty?) ‘Camp Belvidere’is definitely worth a watch.

In addition, there is some really lovely cinematography happening and the creators appear to have committed to an honest representation of the 1950s, utilising props and costumes that appear true of the era. Overall, Recluse Films have created a wonderfully sensual short film and ‘Camp Belvidere’ makes for a great addition to any LGBT film collection. I’ll certainly be adding it to mine and hope to see many more films come from this talented team of filmmakers.