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Synopsis: Summer, 1991. Before he leaves for his last year at summer camp, closeted teenager Daniel is nudged by his mother Rachel to share a moment and a glass of lemonade with his Uncle Ira, who is dying of complications from HIV/AIDS. Ira wants to talk about their shared identity together before time runs out, but Daniel may not be ready to take that step. Starring Emmy-nominee Wayne Wilcox (“Gilmore Girls,” “Only Children”), Igby Rigney (“Blue Bloods”) and Tony Award-winner Stephanie J. Block (“Rise,” “Madam Secretary.”)



Run Time

13 minutes

Directed by

Gary Jaffe
Katie Ennis

Director's Statement

From Co-Director and Screenwriter Gary Jaffe

When I was three, my Uncle Barry died of complications from HIV/AIDS. For the rest of my childhood and adolescence, the specter of my dead gay uncle haunted me, particularly as I struggled to come to terms with my own sexuality. I didn’t know him but I hated him. I was afraid of becoming him.

More recently, I find myself mourning the opportunity that could have been. Imagining the possibility of a queer family member – someone to look up to as a mentor and as a friend, someone to guide me into the community – feels so powerful.

“Last Summer with Uncle Ira” is, therefore, a fantasy. Daniel Rosen is me, were I born thirteen years earlier. Daniel has the opportunity to know his gay uncle, to adore him as a child and to have complicated feelings toward him as an adolescent. Then, faced with the reality of Ira’s imminent death, Daniel knows he must make peace with both his uncle and his own identity before it is too late. In bringing Daniel and Ira to the screen, I’m giving my uncle and me the relationship and the true mutual acceptance we never had.

Katie Ennis and I have been collaborators since 2013. Both strong storytellers, our partnership enhances our work because of our complementary backgrounds and sensibilities. My work in theater has helped to hone my skills directing actors and crafting compelling characters. Katie formally studied cinema and comes from a post-production background. She easily visualizes the imagery of a film and how the pieces weave together to create a seamless whole. Our collaborative skills were on full display in the other films we’ve made together: the poignant period drama “Sunset” and the rambunctious romantic comedy “Next Level Shit,” both of which screened in film festivals all over the world.

Together, in “Last Summer with Uncle Ira,” we are looking to create a moment that never was, to give new life to the past and create new possibilities for the future.

Production Year


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