John and Tim meet at their all-boys high school and fall in love. It's the start of a 15-year romance tested by the discrimination they face, their jealousies and separations and life's more serious challenges.
SBS Movies

22 Jun 2015 - 1:15 PM  UPDATED 28 Jul 2015 - 4:50 PM

In the trailer for new Australian film Holding the Man, there are touching scenes of the budding romance between two students at their all-boys Catholic high school in Melbourne.

John (Craig Stott) is captain of the AFL team, and Tim (Ryan Corr) an aspiring actor who is starring in the school's production of Romeo and Juliet. There's the intial spark, the confessions of attraction and then the line: "John Caleo, will you go 'round with me?"

The film is a tender 'love story for everyone'. It follows the 15-year relationship, the ups and downs, and the discrimination the couple face.

"You're going to grow out of this," Tim's father tells him.

"Otherwise, you're going to have a very lonely life. A very sad life," says his mother.

But there are even greater challenges when John and Tim are diagnosed as HIV-positive.

"We'll get through this."

The film is based on Tim Conigrave's memoir and has been previously adapted for Australian theatre. This version was writted by director Neil Armfield, and it is the first feature he's directed since Candy  in 2006.

Holding the Man was the closing night film at this year's Sydney Film Festival, and opens in cinemas on August 21.

Watch the trailer for Holding the Man

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