The Pass unfolds as a triptych, the first act centering on two up-and-coming footballers (Russell Tovey and Arinzé Kene) who share a hotel room and an unexpected kiss the night before their first match, then cutting ahead to see how that moment reverberated throughout the next 10 years.
This exclusive clip comes from the third section, when Ade (Kene) pays a visit to Jason (Tovey), who has become a successful professional soccer player, but is still deeply in the closet. By way of a game of "Forfeit or Dare" with a young bellhop, Harry (Nico Mirallegro), Jason reveals just how much hurt he hides.
"You drink from the bucket. I ask you to do something that you don't want to do, you have to drink," Jason haughtily explains, before instructing Harry, "Take off your shirt. And your trousers."
"Do you see anything you fancy?" he taunts Ade, then gives Harry "a go at the bucket," holding his head down and nearly drowning him as Jason loses himself in thought. To which a giddy Harry only shouts, "F**kin' hell, you guys play hard."
The Pass is based on a play by John Donnelly, with Tovey having played the role of Jason onstage when it was performed at The Royal Court Theatre. The film adaptation, directed by Ben A. Williams, debuted at the London BFI Flare Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, and I had the chance to speak with Tovey ahead of its screening at New York's NewFest.
"I think that it can have the same affect as Andrew Haigh's Weekend and other gay, lesbian, queer films-- like Carol had a breakout, or Brokeback Mountain," he said. "What I'd really like is if there was some audience that saw it that wasn't expecting it. There are many soccer movies made, especially in the U.K., I'd love it if, like, someone stumbled across it thinking it was going to be a soccer movie, like a hooligan thing, and then coming away from seeing this film and being like, 'Whoa' and being taken aback with the concept and moved by it."
Watch the trailer for The Pass:
Here is the movie's full synopsis:
"The night before their debut game, two professional soccer players share a kiss. In a sporting world where image is everything, this surprising 'pass' sets the men up for a contrasting decade of fame and failure, full of secrets and denial."
The Pass is available digitally and on VOD on May 8.