Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-06-08
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

REELING FILM FESTIVAL Gay filmmaker takes the crown in 'Pageant'
by Lauren Emily Whalen
2019-09-17

This article shared 2497 times since Tue Sep 17, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In Pageant Material, a teen dreams of becoming a queen—a drag queen, that is. Rodney ( Hart Morse ) is seventeen, out of the closet and mourning the death of his beloved mother. While enduring bullying from classmates and his redneck stepfamily, Rodney holds tight to fantasies of shiny tiaras and—even brighter—acceptance.

"The core of the story is about following your dreams and what you might face along the way," said Jonothon Mitchell, the director and co-writer of Pageant Material, a Cinderella-inspired narrative that will screen Sept. 24 as part of Chicago's Reeling Film Festival. "I think it's a universal feeling."

Although the Atlanta-based filmmaker and actor didn't share the drag dreams of his young protagonist, elements of his own experience made it into the screenplay he co-wrote with Madison Hatfield.

"I grew up incredibly close to my mother," Mitchell said via phone. "Rodney's deep connection with his mom is the most informed part of the film. I am the only child of a single mother, and my mom's always been my number-one fan."

Like Rodney, Mitchell came of age as a queer teen in the small-town South. He was inspired to write Pageant Material while filming a movie in Gaffney, South Carolina. Mitchell approached Hatfield, who was playing his onscreen wife, and "three days after we met we started writing a script and bouncing ideas off each other." What started as a short film soon evolved into a feature and less than six months later, cameras were rolling.

As an openly gay teen, Rodney encounters his share of bullying and violence—much of which is depicted onscreen. "I tout this as a story of queer joy, but there's a lot [of obstacles] Rodney encounters on his journey," Mitchell said. "For me, queer joy is the ability to be unabashedly yourself in the face of adversity. Rodney knows who he is, and in every single instance he stands up for himself and fights back.

"Unfortunately, violence and bullying [are] part of the queer experience," Mitchell continued. "If we want to do justice to the story of Rodney, I think it's important to show what could and does happen to so many others."

Rodney also finds a host of allies. His best friend Monique ( Marianne Johnson ), a wannabe makeup artist, and two employees of an all-night diner all help him prepare for the pageant. In one of the film's most touching scenes, a short-order cook ( Alexander Baxter ) praises Rodney's bravery and makes a surprising confession.

"Madison had walking pneumonia while we were writing," Mitchell said. "She called me and said, 'I just wrote this monologue for Dale the line cook. If you hate it, we can get rid of it.' I hung up the phone, read it and called her back, weeping.

"As she describes to people who ask, she felt it was important to showcase a straight white man who wasn't a dick."

Mitchell and Hatfield are now working on their next project, which Mitchell describes as "an abortion road-trip romcom." Though Pageant Material was Mitchell's first foray into feature filmmaking, he's eager to repeat the process.

"With a feature it's just so much more intense and more work," he said. "But the higher the risk, the bigger the reward."

Pageant Material will screen Tuesday, Sept. 24, at 9:15 p.m. at Landmark's Century Centre Cinema, 2828 N. Clark St. Director and screenwriter Jonothon Mitchell will attend. For more about the 2019 Reeling Film Festival, visit ReelingFilmFestival.org .


This article shared 2497 times since Tue Sep 17, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Actor Ezra Miler seeking treatment for mental-health issues 2022-08-16
- After troubling behavior that has included charges of harassment and felony burglary, as well as allegations of assault and abuse, non-binary actor Ezra Miller (Justice League; The Perks of Being a Wallflower), said they are seeking ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-08-14
- "Steven Spielberg recently remade West Side Story and bent over [backward] to respect ethnicities and ended up pleasing nobody. And it's too bad, because the original musical was written by Stephen Sondheim, Arthur Laurents and Leonard ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'The L Word,' drag queens, Tanya Tucker, Wanda Sykes, David Bowie 2022-08-14
Video below - Showtime announced that Grammy and Emmy nominee Margaret Cho, Joey Lauren Adams and Emmy nominee Joanna Cassidy will guest-star in the third season of the series The L Word: Generation Q, along with previously announced Grammy-nominated ...


Gay News

Five Worth Finding: Movie short, 'Kaepernick,' ice cream and more 2022-08-14
- —Fraud: Non-binary director Zen Zadih Pace's debut narrative short, Fraud—starring trans actress Dana Aliya Levinson (STARZ's American Gods) and Babak Tafti (Showtime's Super Pumped)—was selected for ...


Gay News

Actress Anne Heche dies at age 53 2022-08-13
- Anne Heche—the actress who starred in a string of high-profile late '90s movies including Six Days Seven Nights, Donnie Brasco and Wag the Dog as well as Emmy-winning TV shows such as Men in Trees and ...


Gay News

Haven Chicago presenting first-ever Festival Au Cinema on Aug. 26-28 2022-08-09
-- From a press release - CHICAGO (August 8, 2022) — Haven Chicago is pleased to present its first annual Festival au Cinéma, the company's new platform for visionary and innovative filmmakers and media artists staking their claim in the future of ...


Gay News

Chicago filmmaker releases documentary about activist, writer Joseph Beam 2022-08-09
- A Chicago filmmaker's desire to learn more about the quote "Black men loving Black men is a revolutionary act" led him to a community of writers and activists who helped tell the story of the man ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jane Lynch, Dwayne Johnson, 'Star Trek,' Beyonce, Shea Coulee 2022-08-07
- NBC has renewed the Jane Lynch-hosted game show Weakest Link for a third season, Variety noted. Season three will run for 20 episodes. The series is based on a British format distributed by BBC Studios that ...


Gay News

TELEVISION 'They/Them' cast members reflect on making the film 2022-08-06
- They/Them (pronounced "They-slash-Them") is a new 2022 film from Blumhouse Productions in which the terrors of an LGBTQ+ conversion camp invade the lives of a diverse group of young people who spend a summer together. The ...


Gay News

Actress Anne Heche in critical condition after car crash 2022-08-06
- Actress Anne Heche reportedly crashed her car into a house in the Mar Vista neighborhood of Los Angeles on Aug. 5, setting both the vehicle and the house on fire, according to CNN. She is now ...


Gay News

TELEVISION Darwin Del Fabro ('They/Them') talks horror, love scenes and inner strength 2022-08-04
- Queer Brazilian singer/actor Darwin Del Fabro is one of the cast members of the horror movie They/Them (pronounced "they-SLASH-them")—a slasher movie (get it?) set ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Cabaret' coming to Metropolis Arts on Sept. 15 2022-08-02
- Musical Broadway classic and hit film Cabaret re-creates the decadent and complicated world of 1929 Berlin at the Arlington Heights venue Metropolis Performing Arts Centre on Sept. 15-Oct. 22. Cabaret is Kander and Ebb's legendary musical ...


Gay News

Billy Masters 2022-08-01
- "Mike, you's in danger, man."—Whoopi Goldberg paraphrases her line from Ghost (or, as Barbara Walters always called it, The Ghost) in response to Pence's former aide Marc Short revealing what almost happened to the VP on ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Comic Con, WNBA player, Timothee Chalamet, Kate McKinnon 2022-07-31
- Out Magazine listed at least seven LGBTQ+-related characters and projects that were unveiled at San Diego Comic Con. Some of them include Michaela Coel (from TV's I May Destroy You) as a queer character in the ...


Gay News

Gene Siskel Film Center running 'Pioneers of Queer Cinema' 2022-07-31
- In partnership with the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. Clark St., presents differing, often radical explorations of sexual orientation and gender identity in the series "Pioneers of Queer Cinema." ...


 



Copyright © 2022 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 

Sponsor


Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.