Dream Boat

  • Berlinale
  • Dok.fest music
  • Dok.fest ARRI
  • Sheffield
  • Outfest
  • PFFB
  • Lovers
  • Kashish

Once a year the DREAM BOAT sets sail for a cruise only for gay men. Far from their families and political restrictions, we follow five men from five countries on the quest for their dreams. The cruise promises seven days of sunshine, love, and freedom – but on board are also their personal stories, their doubts and uncertainties…




90 min


Tristan Ferland Milewski


A cruise ship and 3,000 men – it is a universe without heteros and women that usually remains a mystery to the outside world. Once a year the DREAM BOAT sets sail for a cruise exclusively for gay men where most passengers are united by the wish to live life authentically as themselves in a protected place:

Dipankar from India escaped an arranged marriage and now throws himself into the action to find his dream man. But the gay community‘s ideal of masculinity increasingly becomes a tight corset for him. Ramzi from Palestine was persecuted by the police in his home country, Palestine, for being gay and had to start a new life in Europe with nothing. The Frenchman Philippe was let down by his family when he was bound to a wheelchair. The more important is his long-term relationship with his partner, and his gay substitute family. Martin from Austria enjoys the hedonism and abundant choice of men to the full and gives perspectives on how to deal with HIV today. Marek from Poland, has everything he needs to stand out on the men’s market, thanks to his trained body. However, he feels lonely in the crowd. Now the countdown is on for seven days of hunting for freedom, love, and happiness – but on board are also their personal stories, their doubts and uncertainties…

Script & Director
Tristan Ferland Milewski

Jörg Junge, Jakob Stark

Markus CM Schmidt

Music Composition & Production
My Name is Claude

Johannes Hampel, Antje Volkmann

Additional location director
Veronika Kaserer

Camera Assistant
Thomas Funk, Falco Seliger

Drone Operation and Shooting
Skypic Media

Additional Editing
Andreas Zitzmann

Sound Editor and Designer
Karl Gerhardt

Re-Recording Mixer
Jörg Höhne

Color Correction
Claudia Gittel

Set Manager
Tanja Steinbrücker

Line Producer
Kathrin Isberner

Production Manager
Anique Roelfsema

Production Assistant
Meike Wenthe, Judith Fächner

Technical Director Postproduction
Xavier Agudo

Production Accountants
Daniela Schöne, Sandra Zentgraf

Creative Producer
Kerstin Meyer-Beetz, Tuan Lam

Junior Creative Producer
Lea-Marie Körner

Executive Producer
Christian Beetz

Commissioning Editor ZDF/ARTE
Olaf Grunert

Produced by gebrueder beetz filmproduktion

In coproduction with ZDF
In association with ARTE
Funded by Filmförderungsanstalt (FFA), German Federal Film Fund (DFFF),
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg and Federal Government Representative for Culture and Media (BKM)

Dream Boat
  • Speaking of life plans: they can be found in abundance in Tristan Milewski’s Dream Boat – even if they seem to resemble one another, here under the premise of a temporary manipulation of society on a cruise exclusively for gay men. A society completely devoid of heteros, who normally rule the world, and completely devoid of women too: by purging the majority the minority becomes one. Many of the guests come from countries where simply being the way they are exposes them to serious danger: a concentrated form of existence is the result here, which represents a challenge beyond the purely physical for the participants.
  • That the film concentrates on this multi-ethnic group and their emotional and physical issues makes it clear that the filmmaker is not interested in simply exploiting the setting for its cliched camp value. But that doesn't mean that Dream Boat isn't above celebrating the setting's hedonistic aspects.
    Hollywood Reporter
    2 Nov 2017
  • Mr. Milewski does not directly address race and ethnic background, but clearly has some serious issues in mind. He asks different passengers their thoughts on love, H.I.V. status and the looks-obsessed mainstream gay culture. Although the repeated questions are narratively obtrusive, the men’s voices broaden this experience beyond its escapist trappings.
    The New York TImes
    2 Nov 2017
  • Gay Cruise Doc “Dream Boat” Goes Beyond the Assless Trunks and offers an alluring, global vision of gay life in the flesh. For all the outrageous cosplay on display, the film is more interested in exploring the interior lives of gay men.
    Village Voice
    1 Nov 2017
  • The true genius of Milewski’s film lies in the way he singlehandedly destroys the differences that we think divide the heterosexual experience from those of the members of the LGBT community." In Dream Boat he shows us once and for all that each of us needs, craves and wants the same thing: Someone to love us, for exactly who we are.
    12 Feb 2017
  • But behind its smile, under the leather and joy are hidden contradictory feelings. Eden for some, the boat can be hell for others in this world of clubbing based on appearances. Eyes are searching, eyes are begging, tears are falling. “From the moment I started to work out and saw the first results, suddenly everybody wanted to talk with me” literally says one of the protagonist. All the value of the film is there. Truths spoken and modesties revealed like pearls that the director beads to make a necklace.(…) Dream Boat is to be seen and to be shown. More than a documentary, it’s a document that we will dig out in ten or a hundred years.
    Garcon Magazine
    July/August 2018
  • But behind this shoal of sexy boys and its sleek images “Dream boat” spreads mostly a melancholy where solitude, handicap, discrimination and homophobia find their escapism in a bubble boat where all dreams are possible.
    Pink TV
    27 Jul 2017
  • "Dream boat": a brilliant documentary on board of a gay cruise. If we have a thousand clichés about holidays between men in mind, the documentarist Tristan Ferland Milewski went beyond them.
    27 Jun 2017
  • „Dream Boat“, a flamboyant and sulphurous film that transcends the clichés about homosexuality.
    Les Inrocks
    25 Jul 2017
  • You understand, this film will take a look at the small and the big things, at the condoms and the cruise ship. It will show the personalities of indovidual protagonists and put into scene their collective dream as a mass. (...) Milewski gives longing and sex a whole new aestethic. And, at the end, tells us of the potential consequences involved in the participation on such a cruise. Because, for some, it may actually change their lifes ... when they realize they are not alone.
    Sueddeutsche Zeitung Feuilleton
    13 Jul 2017
  • The film centers on a cruise ship full of gay men, and follows five men from five countries on a quest for connection and freedom. The five men on the ship are natives of Austria, France, India, Palestine, and Poland. International waters provide the opportunity for them to share their hopes and dreams while celebrating their lives without judgement.
    6 Jul 2017
  • The work offers an honest and non-voyeuristic view behind the scenes. It looks beyond the surface and depicts humans on a quest. Director Tristan Ferland Milewski presents five different protagonists from five different countries. He leaves to do their own thing and tell their stories. The documentary succeeds in offering a journey into a universe, that for every single protagonist is also a journey to himself.
    6 Jul 2017
  • The Love Boat: A documentary film criticizes the standardisation in the gay community. In an ultra sleek style, the documentary Dream Boat tells the story of a gay cruise in which the performance of identity goes hand in hand with the desire to be loved. Far from being a simple depiction of the gay community, Dream Boat offers the metonymy of a world devoured by capitalism, pushed to the limit of its most intimate consequences.
    I-D Vice
    28 Jun 2017
  • An intimate and sublimely humane reflection on that community still marginalized and violated in our so called tolerant society. (...) Thanks to touching and sensitive portraits, an imagery as fanciful as exotic, and a wonderful soundtrack, Dream Boat is a documentary that takes at last a human and intelligent look on the gay community and its problems, and mostly its rights to exist fully in its differences.
    Unification France
    27 Jun 2017
  • Between hell and paradise, this hypnotic and sensitive journey stays in mind because of its touching protagonists, sometimes sublimed and transformed like cinema characters, sometimes scanned with their funny sides, their bad sides, their paradoxes. The look is honest, tender, and we remember most of all, above all frustrations and ruthless mechanics the beauty of friendship, the sparkling eyes, while in the impetus of the party all is forgotten.
    Pop and films
    26 Jun 2017
  • A documentary full of softness and charme ... behind the muscles there are eccentric love stories and the simple desire to be all together with a lot of tenderness. A documentary that will put you back in a good mood.
    18 Jun 2017
  • It’s a very particular and original approach that offers a vision quite far away from usual documentaries. This cruise allows us to escape, to forget the pain of this world and to really be ourselves without worries. The director succeeds to transmit and translate that feeling. On top of that we are offered outstanding images of the boat itself, a real pleasure for the eyes. (…) We would add a positive point for the music signed by My Name is Claude, that plays a crucial role and that sublimes the project. “Dream Boat” makes you think, fights against all discrimination and puts in light a minority in an incredible way, a film that we strongly support at Zickma, as we are also in the fight against all repression and discrimination.
    3 Jun 2017
  • Dream Boat is a really uplifting and thought-provoking film that restores your faith in cinema
    Screen Anarchy
    18 Feb 2017
  • The men in Tristan Ferland Milewski's documentary „Dream Boat“ (Panorama) don’t want to leave anything to chance: For one week, they will be on a cruise together with only other gay men. For some people from the global community these days on board of a cruise, with a party program every evening, are an amusing distraction – for others, who come from homophobic countries like India or Palestine, they are the only time they can carelessly enjoy their sexuality. It’s the celebration of an utopia, seven days on the sea.
    Spiegel Online
    Berlinale-Highlights 2017
  • The other film is DREAM BOAT, a research on a gay cruise ship that holds about 3.000 guests. So to speak by manipulation of society, a minority turns majority for a certain period of time, and we as the spectators embark that temporary world. Many guests are coming from countries where they cannot even live for a few minutes openly as a gay person, but on the cruise ship all of a sudden they are majority and can try to explore what their wildest fantasies or dreams could be. DREAM BOAT is made by Tristan Ferland Milewski and is an intelligent observation of systematics concerning majority versus minority, of different cultural and political backgrounds, and of course of sun and fun and holidays.
    Teddy Awards
  • The true test of quality for any documentary film is whether it avoids the obvious. Take the subject of Dream Boat, for instance: a film about a Mediterranean cruise packed with three thousand gay men. [...] what surprises about Dream Boat is the emotional depths it reaches with the film's handful of central characters. [...] In his feature film debut director Ferland Milewski succeeds in providing a look behind the scenes of an ostensibly superficial world.
    15 Feb 2017
  • A world full of homosexual men—as appealing as that initially seems—also sounds terrifyingly challenging. A few of the subjects in the film discuss the constant judgement within the gay community and the longtime popular opinion that being gay makes you part of a larger, global LGBT family. While several of the men seem to undergo stressful or depressing moments on board, the atmosphere is largely jovial, upbeat and happy. There’s always a dance party to go to. The film’s original score adds this extra emotional layer on top of the sultry scenes where no one seems to wear more than a speedo. In the end, Dream Boat shows us more than what a gay cruise might be like, but also what it feels like to be gay today—a conflicting mix of emotions and desires, where we’re all just looking to be loved.
    Travels of Adam
    12 Feb 2017
  • In his new feature length documentary, Dream Boat, director Tristan Ferland Milewski breaks down this stereotype through a frank yet surprisingly moving exploration of cruise life, telling unique stories that fly in the face of what one may expect. Of course, sex and alcohol play a role, but that's not the only reason why hordes of men fork out hard-earned money to take gay cruises. Ultimately, love is love. Anyone who wishes to be reminded of this beautiful fact in all its glory need look no further than Milewski's stunning documentary. Climb aboard for a film that openly explores issues of LGBT identity and love through a wonderfully colorful and exultant microcosm of the gay community.
    Movie Pilot
    11 Feb 2017

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