"[An] oddly endearing mix of graphic sex, young love and home-movie noir... BLACKMAIL BOYS rewards target auds with a high quotient of sexual explicitness combined with thesping of genuinely unaffected sweetness."
- Ronnie Scheib, VARIETY (Jan. 27, 2011)"BLACKMAIL BOYS is about more than extortion. It's also about double lives, the violence that can lurk inside those who cannot face themselves and the laudable quest for gay marriage in the United States... The directors and their talented cinematographer show remarkable technical facility with the barest of means."
- Andy Webster, THE NEW YORK TIMES (Jan. 27, 2011)"Captivating images of intimacy... When the film takes a step back from its characters, letting them be, it achieves some kind of cinematic novelty."
- Diego Costa, SLANT MAGAZINE (Jan. 26, 2011)"If you've ever wondered how Gregg Araki's cinematic sensibilities might fuse with mumblecore mopery, BLACKMAIL BOYS is your answer... enlivened by the Shumanskis' jarring, customarily graphic sex scenes and understated humor."
- Mark Holcomb, THE VILLAGE VOICE (Jan. 26, 2011)
"One of the top 10 films of 2010" -Lawrence Michael Levine
"captivating images of intimacy" -Diego Costa, SLANT Magazine
2010 68 minutes USA
Written/Directed by Bernard & Richard Shumanski
Director of Photography: Adam Wingard
JURY AWARD – Best Feature Film, SHOUT Birmingham
AUDIENCE AWARD – Best Feature Film, SHOUT Birmingham
SPECIAL JURY AWARD – Indie Memphis Film Fest
SHOUT BIRMINGHAM/SEATTLE GL FF/INDIE MEMPHIS
Blackmail Boys Teaser Trailer from Bernard Shumanski on Vimeo.
A teaser trailer for the Shumanski Brother's flick, Blackmail Boys. A 2010 film starring Joe Swanberg
After moving from the South up to Chicago to start art school, Sam has begun tricking to help pay the bills. His long time boyfriend, Aaron, who can’t stand to be apart from him any longer, finally makes the trip to Chicago and is determined to work and save money so that the two young boys can get married and so that Sam can stop having sex to pay for school. As the two hang out, catch up, and have fun in the Windy City, their talk of marriage gets serious, and they consider moving to a state where gay marriage is legal. The only problem in this scenario is a legitimate lack of finances, and they are both at a loss. But one night when Nathan has a client that he cannot postpone while Aaron is around, everything changes.
Blackmail Boys is sweet and sexually explicit love story, mixed with a with a touch of dark humor, and an exhilarating tale of blackmail and extortion, dealing with the issues of hypocrisy from religious leaders and their extra curricular activities they’d rather the world never discover.
This co-directed and co-written production is the second “Shumanski Brothers” feature film from Bernard Shumanski, and the first from Richard Shumanski. Bernard teamed up with Harry Shumanski, the third brother in dynamic family arsenal, on the 2009 TLA Releasings arty-trash-flick, Wrecked, currently available on DVD, and on-demand streaming around the world.