The gay and lesbian festival circuit favorite Ciao finally arrives in theaters Friday. The movie was nominated for the Queer Lion award this year at the Venice International Film Festival.

When Mark suddenly dies, best friend Jeff (Adam Neal Smith) finds an email affair he was having with Italian hunk Andrea (Alessandro Calza), who is readying to come to Dallas, Texas to meet Mark for the first time. Jeff informs Andrea of Mark's passing, then invites him to come anyway.

The movie first soul searches as the two men grieve the passing of their friend and possible lover. Their shared experience of commiserating over Mark's untimely death yields its own unspoken chemistry. Lives are altered forever as the pair come together.

Director/writer Yen Tan's Ciao is a powerful film that speaks about the strength of love and its mysteries. said Ciao was “the best gay movie I've seen all year.”

New York City will be first to say hello to Ciao; it opens there on Friday. A slow rollout of the gay film will continue throughout December.

On the net: The official Ciao movie website is at