The animated short featuring a crush between two teenage boys instantly went viral
You never forget your first love. No matter how many times you fall in love after that first time, or where life takes you romantically, you simply never feel the same heart-pounding way you did when you fell for the first time. A new animated short film does a perfect job of conveying those feelings. In it, we see a teenage boy who’s afraid to approach his crush — another teenage boy, so his heart literally does all the work for him.
According to the film’s Tumblr page, In A Heartbeat is the story of Sherwin, a redhead who has a crush on Jonathan, a “popular” guy at school. Sherwin is every nervous, clammy-palmed teenager who’s self-conscious and scared to share his feelings. But, as the old saying goes, “the heart wants what it wants.” The film shows how both boys follow their hearts to each other. It’s sweet, and it’s a story that’s clearly resonated with millions of people (it currently has over 21 million views on YouTube).
There isn’t a single spoken word of dialogue throughout the entire four minutes of the film, but the emotion and meaning is so perfectly conveyed it doesn’t need it.
In A Heartbeat is the brainchild of student filmmakers Beth David and Esteban Bravo, who made the short film for their senior thesis. Throughout the course of 18 months, the film — initially funded by a Kickstarter campaign that exceeded its goal by $11,000 — even features a live-recorded soundtrack. The filmmakers say they were surprised by it’s huge viral response.
“It’s mind-blowing to me,” David recently told The Independent. She added that it means people want to see gay-themed stories “in a positive light.” And why shouldn’t they? Who can’t relate to a sweet story about teenagers falling for each other? Bravo is gay, and David told The Independent she considers herself “a member of the gay community.”
Both David and Bravo have signed with multiple talent agencies, and the film has been accepted to multiple festivals. In A Heartbeat is even a semifinalist for a student Academy Award, which should come as no surprise to anyone who’s watched it.
Considering the current political climate and the overall dumpster fire that is the Year of Our Lord 2017, it’s nice to see something so sweet and pure go viral for a change.
“If anything we’re just glad that we’re getting to release it right now because I feel, and we both said, it’ll help change some people’s perspectives around the amount of controversy and hatred that’s been going around lately,” Bravo told The Independent. “We just hope that this helps to change, or begin changing, what people think about people in this community and try to understand them better.”