Seek, starring newcomer Adrian Shepard-Gawinski, follows a shy, hardworking and determined young writer as he writes his first feature story for the Toronto Gazette about a professional party host.
Evan (Shepard-Gawinski) writes for XUS, a magazine that publishes features and articles about all aspects of LGBT life. It is through the magazine that Evan explores the complexities of the LGBT community, interviewing a couple brought together by their gear fetish, and a cross dresser and his wife. Evan’s obsession with his work begins to peak through when he meets Hunter (Ryan Fisher), a professional party host.
During their first meeting, Evan grills Hunter for information rather than holding a conversation with him, but Hunter seems to find this funny rather than annoying. After their chance meeting at a club, Evan is sure Hunter will make for a perfect feature for The Gazette.
It is clear from the beginning that Evan is not very interested in the ‘night life’ of the community, which his work friend Aidan (Jonathan Nathaniel) desperately tries to get him involved in. Aidan’s job is to attend all the coolest parties and write reviews of his nights out at events and clubs while name-dropping the most important people there. Knowing Aidan’s position within the community, Evan asks for his help to locate Hunter.
Even though the two have more of a work relationship while Evan follows Hunter around at night to find the story, it is clear there is a spark, a glimmer in the eye, and stolen glances. But all these moments are clouded by Evans imagination.
A mystery man, who we later learn to be Jordan (Matthew Ludwinski), appears many times during the moments where Evan feels most alone. Even when he is surrounded by people, when he seems to be enjoying himself, Evan is almost haunted by the fleeting memory of a chance meeting with perfection. At almost every moment Evan feels uncomfortable, he uses Jordan as a way to get comfortable. Jordan seems like more of a coping mechanism than an actual person who exists.
Many of the scenes between Hunter and Evan seem to draw parallels to Evan’s imaginary comforter, Jordan. You can feel some sort of connection between Hunter and Jordan coming before they answer the question of who he really is.
Seek explores many elements of life within the LGBT community, not just though Evan’s interviews for XUS, but through his life and the way he interacts with the world. He has a very awkward encounter with an older man in a bar that is looking for ‘friends’ while waiting for a hook up from dating app. They find seamless ways of incorporating important issues into the script without forcing anything. For his feature on Hunter, Evan interviews a drag queen who has been transitioning into a woman for the past four years. Or the interview with Jim/Holly (Helder Ramos), a cross dressing man who hid who he was for many years out of fear for expressing himself.
Shepard-Gawinski himself is very engaging on screen, bringing the awkwardly shy character of Evan to life and making him feel like a real person. He manages to show Evan stepping into his element as he works, becoming more confident as he asks the hard-hitting questions of an interviewer.
In fact, nothing in Seek really feels forced. It all flows quite naturally, and there are no moments where I felt something didn’t fit or work well. And it manages to make you feel like you have all the answers… until you don’t.
And then it flips everything on its head and makes you question everyone and everything…