Friday, June 22, 2018


By José Alberto Hermosillo

“Hooked” is a compelling, eye-opening work of fiction that awakens the consciousness of the homeless problem of our unprotected youth in America.

This gay drama mirrors our modern-day society and chronicles the untried days of Jack (Conor Donnally).

Besides performing semi-naked with his guitar on the streets of New York, the free-spirited young hustler also gains a few extra bucks doing tricks with men and women.

He also enjoys playing pranks on the streets with his supportive, naïve boyfriend Tom (Sean Ormond), a penniless aspiring photographer.

In search of their own identity, they plan to move out of the shelter to a place of their own and live happily ever after. They discover that life is not a fairy tale as the days pass.

Jack has promised not to get “Hooked” on drugs until his 18th birthday, but it’s tough for kids at this age to keep those promises alive, mainly when his birthday is around the corner.

Meanwhile, Ken, a mature, religious, but confused film producer – played by Terrence Murphy – wants to go out and have fun with guys while his wife has to take care of their baby at home.

Conor Donnally. Copyrights @ headshots, 2017

Resembling the gay version of “Pretty Woman,” Jack and Ken meet for dinner in an expensive restaurant. Quickly, Ken invites “the boy” on a trip to his penthouse in Miami, something Jack had never dreamed of.

Jack is ambitious and territorial with the people who care about him. Triggered by jealousy, he decides to go to the treacherous streets of Florida to continue his life of drugs and prostitution. Life can be harsh for people at a young age.

This film reveals Jack’s enormous need for belonging as he cries out loud to be accepted, loved, and respected. Redemption may be on its way.  

Conor Donnally. Copyrights @ headshots, 2017

Actor Conor Donnally is a revelation – the camera loves him. He articulates Jack’s emotions with perfect body language – At the same time, he can show happiness and internal pain.

Max Emerson, writer/director/celebrity
Copyrights @ Festival in LA 2016

Applauding this unique, character-driven first project as writer/director Max Emerson (“Eastsiders,” “Hit the Floor,” and the “Glee” TV Series) took his celebrity status to crowd-funding a film that focuses on LGBTQ youth matters.

With some clichés and unrealistic situations, this film could be frustrating for some viewers, making them wonder if people act this way in real life. But the actors do a compelling job pulling off a complicated subject matter. 

In America, LGBT young people are eight times more likely to be homeless. Those kids are twice as likely to be sexually abused, develop a severe drug addiction, or even commit suicide.

The producers will donate 50% of the proceeds to not-for-profit organizations helping troubled young people.

For more information on how you can help, give, volunteer, or become a foster parent, please visit:

Partner organizations include the Ali Forney Center, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, The Albert Kennedy Trust (UK), Lost and Found, and GLAAD.

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Festival in LA ©2018

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