It's just 25 seconds long, and no one says a word in it. But the trailer for "In a Heartbeat" has the internet talking.

Even the two creators behind the project can't believe the response.

Beth David and Esteban Bravo, students at Ringling College of Art and Design in Florida, were "floored" when their Kickstarter page for the short film reached its initial fundraising goal a mere three hours after launching.


The film — the duo's senior thesis project — looks downright adorable, sure. But it's the subject matter that really makes the short stand out among the rest.

Watch the trailer for "In a Heartbeat" (article continues below):

"In a Heartbeat" is about a middle-school boy who "runs the risk of being outed by his own heart after it pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams."

It's a story that most audiences have not had a chance to see before.

“Being gay is a subject that hasn't been widely explored in computer animation," Bravo explained in a video promoting the film, noting that rates of bullying for LGBTQ teens are much higher than their straight and cisgender (non-transgender) peers.  

The film is a heartstring-tugging reminder that those kids — and LGBTQ adults — deserve their stories be told on-screen, too.

“We want to put out a message of love and self acceptance to all the kids and young people who struggle to identify as LGBT+, just like [the main character] Sherwin does,” David said.

David and Bravo have had fun promoting the film using parodies of iconic movie posters, like "The Fault in Our Stars."

Image courtesy of "In a Heartbeat."

And 2005's "Brokeback Mountain."

Image courtesy of "In a Heartbeat."

But the film's rapidly growing online fandom is even cooler, reflecting audiences' hunger for a delightful, important queer love story like this one.

The hashtag #InAHeartbeat has been filled with creative works from devoted fans on Tumblr and Instagram. And they definitely give you a sense of just how important this film is shaping up to be for many young people.

"I'm genuinely happy to see LGBT representation, especially when it's shown at a young age, with something that's as sweet and simple as a crush," one fan wrote on Instagram.

#inaheartbeat #heart #love #art #myart #fanart #scketch #scketchbook #cute

A post shared by Maria Isupova (@maridiamsy) on

"Okay if you don't know what in a heartbeat is don't talk to me," joked another.

Some fans are even pulling out the all-caps to express their excitement.

"We're very touched by the response we've gotten so far and we're happy to know that our project has already had a positive impact on so many people," the creators say of the overwhelming fandom.  

"It proves to us that there is a need and a want for media that addresses LGBT+ themes in a positive and lighthearted way," they note, "and gives us hope that films like this could be more widely accepted and produced in the future!"

To learn more about the short film, visit its Kickstarter page.

Let's Do More Together

A Boston couple moved into a new place the week of lockdown. Here’s how they kept their sanity.

The new litmus test for domestic partnerships? A pandemic.

For medical workers in a pandemic, protecting loved ones can be tricky.

To support this effort and other programs like it, all you have to do is keep doing what you're doing — like shopping for laundry detergent. Turn your everyday actions into acts of good every day at P&G Good Everyday.

True

When Jonathan Irons was 16, he was put on trial for burglary and assault with a weapon. According to CBS Sports, Irons was tried as adult, and an all-white jury found him guilty—despite there being no witnesses, no fingerprints, no footprints, and no DNA proving his guilt.

Irons began his 50-year sentence in a Missouri state prison in 1998. Now, 22 years later, he's a free man, largely thanks to the tireless efforts of a WNBA superstar.

Maya Moore is arguably the most decorated professional women's basketball player in the U.S. A first-round draft pick in 2011, she's played for the Minnesota Lynx, where she became a six-time WNBA All-Star, a five-time All-WNBA First Team player, a four-time WNBA champion, and the WNBA Most Valuable Player in 2014.

But before the 2019 season, in the peak of her career, Moore decided to take the year off for a different kind of court battle—one that had wrongfully convicted a young man and doomed him to spend most of his life behind bars. Her decision rocked her sport, and there was no guarantee that sacrificing an entire season to fight for criminal justice reform would bear any fruit.

Keep Reading Show less