Sundance’s queer coming-of-age film ‘Mutt’ is finally unleashed in the US. Writer-director Vuk Lungulov-Klotz’s debut film stars Lío Mehiel as a young trans man named Feña, and the film won Mehiel a Special Jury Award for acting at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Strand will release the film stateside this summer, starting at Film Forum in New York, and IndieWire shares the exclusive trailer preview below.
“Mutt” follows Feña through his romances, friendships and family over the course of a hectic day in New York City, where three people from Feña’s past are thrust back into his life. Having lost touch since he transitioned from woman to man, she navigates the new dynamics of old relationships while dealing with the daily challenges of living life in between. Also starring Cole Doman, MiMi Ryder and Alejandro Goic.
“Mutt” details Lungulov-Klotz’s personal experience growing up in New York City as the son of Chilean and Serbian parents and his transition. Director Lungulov-Klotz has previously attended Sundance Institute Labs, the Tribeca Film Institute and the Ryan Murphy HALF Initiative Program.
The film premiered at the 2023 Sundance, screened at the Berlinale and New Director/New Films, and will be part of the Hudson Film Festival’s inaugural lineup.
Actor Mehiel made history at Sundance for being the first trans actor to win the US Drama Special Jury Award for acting. IndieWire’s review, written by Jude Dry, called the film an “exciting evolution for contemporary trans cinema” with a “confident” lead character played brilliantly by Mehiel in an all-star “charismatic” turn.
“’Mutt’ maintains a strong focus on its dynamic protagonist, who revels in the fists of being broken and heartbroken in the city that never sleeps,” Dry wrote. “The title ‘Mutt’ suggests something in between, caught between worlds and languages, genders and sexualities. But Feña doesn’t seem at all taken; she seems quite sure of herself. It is the conditions of his life that cause him stress. This is as enlightening a message as any.”
“Mutt” is produced by Alexander Stegmaier, Stephen Scott Scarpulla, writer-director Lungulov-Klotz, Jennifer Kuczaj and Joel Michaely.
“Mutt” will premiere August 18 at Film Forum in New York City with more dates to follow. Check out the trailer below.