Acts of Love

Acts of Love directed by Isidore Bethel and Francis Leplay
 I Documentary
Length I 71 minutes
Release I 2021

When his older boyfriend loses interest in him, the filmmaker relocates to Chicago and uses dating apps to cast new lovers in an amorphous project that his mother hates.


Directors I Isidore Bethel and Francis Leplay
Photography I Ryan Saunders
Editing I Francis Leplay
Sound I Alex Sherman
Sound Editing I Margot Testemale
Sound Mix I Fanny Weinzaepflen
Color Grading I Aurore Toulon

Production I Hutong Productions (France)
Co-production I Sin Sitio Cine (USA)

Support I Ile-de-France, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Agora Docs In Progress (Thessaloniki Doc Festival)

International Sales I Outplay Films

World Premiere at HOT DOCS Canadian Int’l Documentary Festival (Toronto 2021)


HOT DOCS I Nightvision I Toronto 2021 (WORLD PREMIERE)
THESSALONIKI Documentary Festival I Newcomers I Grece
TRANSILVANIA International Film Festival I What’s Up Doc ? I Cluj Napoca, Romania
SIDEWALK Film Festival I Shout I Chicago
ZURICH LGBT Film Festival I International Competition I Switzerland
QUEER LISBOA I International Competition I Lisboa, Portugal


The Hollywood Reporter: An “exciting, genre-bending film” that “proves that it’s worth taking risks – in art and in romance.”

NOW Magazine: “A bold, brave look at intimacy, honesty and the power dynamics that exist both in interpersonal relationships and between artist and subject.” (4/5 Ns)

Filmmaker: “Acts of Love is simultaneously discomfiting and meditative, its locked-down frames capturing troublesome scenarios building to an unexpectedly cathartic ending.”

A Moveable Fest: “The film feels as if it’s capturing raw emotions more than manufacturing them, with a self-consciousness that’s particularly impressive when Bethel is both the film’s driving creative force and its central subject.”

POV Magazine: “A thoughtful study of love and heartbreak, but ultimately a celebration of savouring the encounters that define us throughout our journeys.”

One Movie, Our Views: “A daring and exciting hybrid documentary…the film itself becomes surprisingly moving, building towards an incredible final sequence of images that ends this journey on a deeply resonant note.” (3.5/4 stars)

ForReel Movies: While Bethel “wades through footage to find the purpose of his production, we as an audience get to watch him wade through hopes, desires, and fantasies to find what it actually means to love people and to cherish the experiences they offer.”

KinoCulture Montréal: “A one-way mirror behind which hides a budding filmmaker who’s shy despite his appearance – or who acts that way – who’s aware of his actions, who’s wildly in love with film and cameras. He’s a filmmaker who unsettles us, who deliberately disorients. But that’s how true moving image makers assert themselves.”

On NOW Magazine’s top “12 must-see films according to NOW critics,” Yohomo’s “10 Queer Films to Watch at Hot Docs,” and The Queer Review’s “LGBTQ+ highlights at Hot Docs 2021” lists