A new independent film developed with the Sundance Institute is seeking finishing funds to complete the remaining post-production work. Drunktown’s Finest, written and directed by Sydney Freeland, tells the story of three Native American characters living on a reservation: “a college-bound student, a father-to-be, and a promiscuous transsexual." The director knows the subject-matter intimately, having grown up in Gallup, New Mexico, a town that ABC’s 20/20 dubbed, “Drunktown, USA” in 1990. Says Freeland of her motivation to make the film, “This film is my effort to defy that judgement of my community. With your support my film will show the world that label was wrong, and that my community has complexity, dimension and hope.”
One of the film’s main plot-lines focuses on a transsexual girl, Felixia, and her struggle to find acceptance and love within her own community while at the same time pursuing a career as a model. Transsexual actress Carmen Moore plays Felixia and says that she related to her character’s experiences in the film: “I grew up on a reservation myself trying to find acceptance, same as the character.” As The Huffington Post points out, the Native American community is a particularly poignant backdrop against which to tell a story about a transsexual character given the culture’s own views on gender identity and love:
“An important tenet of this Navajo wisdom is respect for the Nadleeh, or third gender. Since long before the LGBT movement, the Navajo have had a sensitivity for people born with gender identities across the entire spectrum of possibility. They reject the notion of dyadic gender and view relationships in terms of gender identity first, then in terms of sex, meaning that a man in a relationship with a male-bodied Nadleeh is not considered homosexual. This seemingly postmodern concept of gender is actually hundreds if not thousands of years old and still informs Navajo culture today.”
The production team is still looking to raise a little over $20,000 in the next 9 days to complete the film. You can visit the film’s Kickstarter page and contribute HERE.
Check out a video from director Sydney Freeland as well as a video from Carmen Moore AFTER THE JUMP...