He Won’t Belong

“A spacious dreamy and unsettling neo-noir tale of isolation and reliance.”

– F3 Film Magazine

He Won’t Belong

In the midst of a storm on a desolate strip of California’s lost coast, Theo spots a young shivering stranger named Connor on the side of the road and brings him back to his home for shelter. While they wait for the storm to pass, they begin to uncover each others’ past wounds.

Director Profile

Dominic Mercurio

Director Bio :

Dominic Mercurio is an award-winning San Francisco based filmmaker and musician. His video work has premiered on Billboard, FADER, PopMatters, The Bay Bridged, and has been featured at SFMOMA. He’s worked with Tune-Yards, The Seshen, Pomplamoose, Foxtails Brigade, and more. He was selected as a 2023 SFFILM FilmHouse Resident. His most recent project, a music video series / short film hybrid titled CYAN, was screened at the 2020 editions of Film Fort, Portland Film Festival, and Drunken Film Fest Oakland. While he has become known for his surreal and nightmarish music videos over the past decade, Dominic has just completed his first narrative short to hit the festival circuit titled He Won’t Belong. This queer drama shot in Sea Ranch, CA that stars Cole Doman and Joel DeCandio, tells the story of two men who meet in the midst of a coastal storm. While they wait for the storm to pass, they begin to uncover each others past. The film will premiere at festivals in 2023. Outside of film, he co-hosts a film review podcast Totally Tell Me and plays drums in the Oakland-based band Foxtails Brigade. He has played at major venues and festivals across San Francisco and beyond; such as The Fillmore, Great American Music Hall, El Rey Theatre, Noise Pop, and SXSW. Born and raised in the SF Bay Area, Dominic has a B.S. in Digital Film and Video Production from the Art Institute of California – San Francisco.

Director Statement :

He Won’t Belong explores anxiety, loneliness, loss, and intimacy — all through a queer lens. As a gay man, I always long to see LGBTQ+ characters grapple with issues I’ve had to deal with in regards to my sexuality beyond just ‘coming out’. For myself and many queer people I’ve met, confronting yourself internally in your young formative years to present yourself externally as a queer person comes with its own set of struggles that can last a lifetime. While these issues are common among the LGBTQ+ community, I believe this story can resonate with anyone regardless of sexual orientation. This is a story for anyone who has ever felt they didn’t belong.