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Unconditional Love

Season two of local web series set to air

9/7/2017, 6 a.m.
"Unconditional Love" follows a black gay couple and their best friend as they navigate the challenges of youth, relationships and ...
Joseph Goncalves courtesy j. goncalves

When native Dorchester filmmaker Joseph Goncalves produced the first season of his web series called “Unconditional Love,” he had no idea where it would go. The show follows a black gay couple and their best friend as they navigate the challenges of youth, relationships and faith. After a lot of hard work and the support of a crowdfunding campaign, season two will air on Oct. 1.

ON THE WEB

Watch “Unconditional Love” at www.youtube.com/channel/UCgh-qFgfD0eL2uHHtGmL3cw

For Goncalves and staff writers Thomas Mason Jr. and Han-’Naeh Belser, representation was key. “It’s important for people to see themselves reflected back to them,” says Goncalves. “As a black man, you already come into this world with so many stacks against you.” He wanted to illustrate the difficulties faced by marginalized groups on the main stage, rather than in a supporting character who never sees full development.

The series, which can be viewed Sundays at 6 p.m. on YouTube, was filmed in Boston, and many of the actors represent local talent. Its first season received substantial acclaim, securing an Indie Series award nomination and acceptance to the My True Colors festival in New York.

Goncalves hopes an improved reputation for the Boston art scene will be part of the show’s impact. “I hope people see that there’s a lot going on here in Boston and all art is worth sharing,” He said. The artist-turned-producer studied English at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and began his career in theater. While in school, he wrote, directed and produced two performances at Dorchester’s Strand Theatre. Now he works for City Hall by day and pursues his artmaking by night.

Stage work

His previous productions served as a partial trial run for “Unconditional Love.” Produced on stage rather than on screen, “Through Struggle, I fought. I conquered” is an autobiographical story based on his experience as a writer growing up with a single mother. His desire to describe, and perhaps overcome, challenging circumstances through art is admirable and well documented.

For a young man with talent, Goncalves, 25, has a sophisticated vision. The series thrives on a balance of sharp, emotional shots and moody, artistic frames marked by a shallow depth of field. The work has few trappings of a budget production and thrives on Goncalves’ clear artistic vision.

As the series premiere draws near, Goncalves is thankful for his team and excited by the repercussions generated by his work. “I hope people see themselves in the story and know that it’s OK to be different and to be true to yourself.”