RIFF Movies Archive

Alaska Is A Drag



United States, 2017, HD - Color - 89 min

DIRECTED BY:
Shaz Bennett

CAST:
Martin L. Washington Jr., Maya Washington, Matt Dallas, Christopher O'Shea, Margaret Cho, Jason Scott Lee,

SCREENPLAY:
Shaz Bennett

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Alison Kelly

EDITING:
Jean-Pierre Caner, Lex Benedict, Brooke Sebold

MUSIC:
Maciej Zielinski

PRODUCER:
Shaz Bennett, Jean-Pierre Caner, Melanie Miller, Diane Becker

PRODUCTION:
4248 Productions

WORLD SALES:
4248 Productions

STORY DESCRIPTION:

ALASKA IS A DRAG is a Fish out of water story – literally. Our hero Leo is an aspiring superstar (Martin L. Washington Jr.) stuck working in a fish cannery in Alaska. Leo sees disco balls in the scales of the fish he slices. Everyone who slices fish all day, daydreams – Leo’s are glamtastic. 
 
Most of the time, Leo and his twin sister Tristen (Maya Washington) are left to fend for themselves. To escape the monotony of fist fights and fish guts, they create their own magic – the Northern Lights follow them.
 
They hang out at the one gay bar in a hundred miles, owned by their surly surrogate mom – Jan (Margaret Cho). Their real mom (Nia Peeples) left years ago and their dad George (Kevin Daniels) preaches on the side of the road. 

After years of getting beat up by his former best friend, Kyle (Christopher O'Shea), Leo has learned to fight back – his skills catch the eye of his cannery boss, an amateur boxer (Jason Scott Lee) who offers to train him to be a fighter. And when the new kid in town, Declan (Matt Dallas), wants to be his sparring partner – Leo’s world turns upside down.
 
When Tristen enters Leo in a drag competition – he's never performed for anyone but her – his worlds collide – the drag audition falls on the same day as the qualifying round for boxing and Leo has to face the real reason, he's afraid to leave Alaska.
DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE:

Shaz Bennett currently works on Amazon’s acclaimed series BOSCH. Before that on Lifetime’s UnREAL, and was a writer on A&E’s hit show THE GLADES. ALASKA IS A DRAG is her feature debut film, based on the short film of the same name – made through the prestigious AFI Directing Workshop for Women, Shaz was selected as one of Fox's Top 20 Directors, Sundance Screenwriting Labs 2017, and Fox's inaugural Franchise Directing program. The Feature ALASKA IS A DRAG, is based on the award winning short film by the same name. It’s a black comedy lovechild of HEDWIG and ROCKY. The short screened in over 150 festivals including: AFI FEST, Nashville, Sarasota, Torino, Melbourne, Palm Springs, Frameline, Provincetown and Los Angeles. It sold in the US, UK and France to Vimeo, iTunes, and several VOD platforms. Shaz’s performance pieces and other acclaimed short films (TOP OF THE CIRCLE, MARTINI and TUNNELS) have been viewed in numerous festivals and museums across the United States, Mexico, Canada, South Africa and Europe including: AFI FEST, Cinevegas, The Los Angeles Film Festival, True West Festival, Silverdocs, Nashville, Philadelphia, Lunafest, the Berkley Photographic Museum and the International Women's Museum.

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