Jackpot – A Shirt Film by Adam Baran


Before the internet put everything at everyone’s fingertips, porn was hard to find. Adolescent boys had it rough by trying to stay up late and catch a glimpse of some female form or hide stolen magazines in places where the mother won’t find them. Jack Hoffman, who is the protagonist of Adam Baran’s amazing coming of age short film Jackpot, has it tougher than most. It’s the year 1994, and Jack is at the age where hormones are flying at their highest, 13, but he has a deeper secret, he is gay. His window to relieve himself is so small that he must look for even the tiniest of opportunities.

The story of jackpot


This coming of age story is a popular one however the one told in this context is rarely seen. The comedic tale of a young homosexual who needs to learn to accept his sexuality and how it defined him as a person. Being a young adolescence is hard but with being teased and bullied on your sexual preference is even worse. It’s extremely unbearable. Baran’s story does not focus on a teen chasing after the prettiest girl in school, but rather it is about a boy who needs to learn and accept himself for who he is.

The Directors input

Jackpot is personal in nature for Baran. He filmed he movie in his hometown, in his bedroom and in the parking where he himself was bullied as a kid. He wants the message of his film and what the character learns that he wishes he could go back in time to teach his younger self, that is sometimes better to fight although you may not win. Running away is not always the answer, and it does not solve any problems. It also touches on issues that men need and use erotic material to help understand their sexuality and who they are otherwise it may create the wrong impression about what to expect regarding it.

Summary of Jackpot

The visuals of the film look great, and the performances by the actors are excellent. The lead is played by Ethan Navarro who does a sterling job without overdoing his role. The film has great pacing, and with the 9-minute time frame, it manages to tell a great story filled with humor, heart and bravery not forgetting the outlandish costumes. This is great perfectly timed film that feels right from beginning to end. Baran does have future plans to develop another Jackpot in the future.