A local film titled "Dry Nights" will premiere with two shows at Tango Theaters Dec. 11.
The University of Guam Press worked with acclaimed film director Brian Muña to bring to the screen the poet Pep Borja's recently published poetry collection of the same name.
The film stars Borja and a cast of local talent, including high school and youth actors.
The book explores themes of love, intimacy, sexuality, addiction and regret in an honest and raw tone that captured Muña's attention when UOG Press first approached him about making the film.
"I read it and thought, 'Finally, a piece that shows the ups and downs of relationships and it's not toned down,'" Muña said. "There is so much truth in the material, and I was immediately drawn to it."
Muña and UOG Press Managing Editor Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero co-directed the film in close consultation with Borja.
"The Press decided to embark on this film project to allow readers to engage with the book – and local literature in general – in a new way," Leon Guerrero said. "The layered stories of love, lush metaphors and beautiful Guam imagery found on the pages of 'Dry Nights' truly came to life through Brian's incredible lens and artistry and the emotion and passion each actor poured into their role. I was especially blown away by our high school cast members."
The longest scene in the film was the interpretation of Borja's poem "Billie" about a teenage girl who died of suicide. UOG Press worked with George Washington High School's drama class and other youth actors to capture Billie's story.
A question-and-answer discussion with Muña, Borja and members of the cast will follow both the 3 and 4 p.m. showings on Dec. 11. Tickets will be sold on those days for $7 or may be acquired in advance at https://uogpress.com. Free tickets will also be given to customers who purchase a copy of "Dry Nights" on the UOG Press website or at the showing.
Seating is limited to 90 people per showing.
Recognizing the need for more creative outlets for youth ages 15 to 24, UOG Press is also launching a contest for youth-generated writing, artwork and films that make a statement about youth suicide in Guam. The Press will put $2 from every ticket and book sale toward funding this contest and creative workshops for youth. Donations for the contest can also be made at the film premiere.
For more information, call (671) 735-2153.