Here’s a project you should know about that’s currently screening at Frameline Fest.
Based on a short film, Alaska is a Drag, revolved around Leo (Martin L. Washington, Jr.), who works at a fish cannery but has dreams of becoming a drag star. Virtually abandoned by their parents (Nia Peeples and Kevin Daniels), he and his twin sister Tristen (Maya Washington) seeks solace at the gay bar in town, owned by their “surrogate mother” Jan (Margaret Cho). Through years of getting beat up by his former best friend, Leo has acquired skills which capture the attention of an amateur boxer. He begins to train Leo as a new guy pops in town (Matt Dallas) who wants to be his sparring partner. On the flip side, Tristen enters him in a drag competition, and his worlds collide as drag auditions end up on the same day as a qualifying boxing round. Thus, Leo is forced to face the real reason why he’s afraid to leave Alaska.
The film is written and directed by Shaz Bennett, and produced by Diane Becker, Jean-Pierre Caner, and Melanie Miller. Allison Kelley is director of photography. Bennett is a 2017 Sundance Screenwriting Lab Fellow who has worked on UnREAL and Bosch.
The project has support from the Film Independent Foundation and IFP Labs. You can donate to the film, which is in post-production, through the FII here. You can also find out more about the film and its progress on their official Facebook page.
Watch the short film on which the feature film is based upon, below: