Mythbusting in 'Drunktown's Finest'

11.1.2013

By Matthew Breen

Sundance Labs-selected film is one of the few films — perhaps the first ever — to depict a trans Navajo teenager

Drunktown’s Finest — a film about three Native Americans, a college-bound student, a father-to-be, and a promiscuous transsexual struggling to escape their Indian reservation — is in the final stages of its Kickstarter campaign for finishing funds.

Ever since director Sydney Freeland saw a 20/20 report calling her hometown of Gallup, New Mexico, “Drunktown, U.S.A.,” she’s been seeking ways to defy that damning assessment. Sydney found hope in the traditions of her Navajo culture, including the respect for transgender people called the Nadleeh, or the third gender.

One of the main characters in Freeland's film is a transgender teen named Felixia, played by transgender Navajo actress Carmen Moore (pictured). Much of the negative treatment and prejudice that Felixia encounters Moore says has happened to her in her own life.

From Freeman’s Kickstarter page:

“For the last seven years, making Drunktown’s Finest has been a labor of love for everyone involved. The project was fortunate to be selected for the Sundance Institute’s 2009 Native Lab, 2010 Screenwriter’s Lab, and 2010 Director’s Lab. The film took an additional two years of writing and fund raising before we found ourselves able to attract investment interest in spring of this year. We were also able to attract a small, but immensely talented cast and crew. And thankfully we’ve received tremendous support through local production houses with donations of gear and equipment. This project truly is a product of collective effort and faith.”

The film's Kickstarter campaign is here. 

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