Two brothers find themselves at odds and not just with themselves in this tense drama from the team who brought you Crisis Hotline.

Lex is an openly gay man who has struggled with his mental health for many years. After a breakdown and a suicide attempt, he decides to stay at the family home to recuperate. His best friend Kenny joins him for support. There, next door neighbor Harry tends to the duo on occasion and unbeknownst to Lex, Harry begins to harbor feelings for Lex. However, Lex has feelings for someone else. Lex’s brother David, who is engaged to Laura, is an actor who has been looking for a comeback after a slump. He has an idea for a film and brings along aspiring screenwriter Shane.

Lex has an instant liking to Shane. However, Shane begins to have an instant attraction to Kenny. Things become complicated with all parties when David’s idea is the very thing that has caused Lex to have a long history of mental illness. The incident involved Lex killing their stepfather when he and David were teenagers. Things come to a head when Lex sees David not caring about the incident from the past and moving on while he suffers on a daily basis. Things get worse when Lex decides to sell the family house, which is set to cause a rift between the brothers and all parties involved.

From the team who brought you Crisis Hotline comes this very tense drama about two brothers who are not only different based on their orientation, but their methods to overcoming an issue that has plagued one brother in the past while the other brother has moved on. From the moment you meet Lex, played by Crisis Hotline’s Pano Tsaklas, things get tense as he sees Harry, played by the film’s writer and director Mark Schwab, as an annoyance.

Kenny, played by Jose Fernando, and Laura, played by Casey Semple, respectively the best friend of Lex and fiancé of Robert Sean Campbell’s David, are the two most level-headed characters of the film. Kenny finds himself the object of Jacob Betts’ Shane, the screenwriter who plans to use Lex’s past story as the inspiration for his script thanks to David, who likes to sugarcoat to a major degree Casey’s job within the government. While Kenny attempts to rebuff Shane on numerous occasions as he just wants to be there for his best friend, Casey gets annoyed with David’s sugarcoating when it comes to others knowing her real job and when she reveals the truth to Shane, who accepts Casey for who she is and her actual job.

The third act is where it really gets tense and lo and behold, Schwab throws in a major twist when the brothers finally confront each other, which begins with Lex’s intention to sell the home they are all staying in. It involves to why exactly Lex killed his stepfather years ago. Producer/editor Mark Balunis makes a cameo as the home inspector, who is a pivotal scene finds himself in shock when there is a surprise involving one catching two in a compromising position.

Brotherly Lies is very tense but at times brings a grounded level in this really good LGBTQ drama from writer-director Mark Schwab. The cast is excellent, and the drama is very tense with some nice twists thrown in.


A Diamond in the Rough Films production. Director: Mark Schwab. Producers: Steven Murr, Tim Sika, and Mark Balunis. Writer: Mark Schwab. Cinematography: Adam Bishop. Editing: Mark Balunis.

Cast: Pano Tsaklas, Robert Sean Campbell, Jose Fernando, Jacob Betts, Casey Semple, Mark Schwab, Mark Balunis.