Local Film Event to Address Trans Identity

Jun 2, 2017

Trans teen Bennett shows his first chin hair to his friend and mentor, Joe Stevens.
Credit Shaleece Haas

For Immediate Release

Friday, June 2, 2017

Contact: Beth Spezia, WSIU Educational Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-5595, beth.spezia@wsiu.org; Lisa Tawil, ITVS, (415) 356-8383, lisa_tawil@itvs.org

Photo caption & credit for attached photo: Trans teen Bennett shows his first chin hair to his friend and mentor, Joe Stevens. Credit: Shaleece Haas.

WSIU, Carbondale Library to Present Free Screening of Film “Real Boy”

New York City-Based Actor & Herrin, Ill. Native to Moderate Film Discussion

Saturday, June 17 at 2:30pm, Carbondale Public Library

Carbondale, IL – Indie Lens Pop-Up, a community film and discussion series presented by ITVS, the PBS series Independent LensWSIU Public Broadcasting, and the Carbondale Public Library, will present a free screening of Real Boy, a film by Shaleece Haas, on Saturday, June 17 at 2:30pm at the Carbondale Public Library, 405 W. Main. It is the final Indie Lens Pop-Up film screening for the 2016-2017 season.

A moving and intimate story of a family in transition, Real Boy follows the journey of trans teen Bennett as he navigates adolescence, sobriety, and the physical and emotional ramifications of his changing gender identity. Through the process, his mother, Suzy, makes her own transformation – travelling a difficult road toward accepting that the daughter she raised as Rachael is now her son Bennett. Filmed over the course of four years, Real Boy is a love story about a mother and son who rediscover connection with each other and find support from their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.

Herrin, Ill. native and actor/performance coach Brad Calcaterra, founder and creative director of The Studio(www.thestudioact.com) in New York City, will moderate a discussion after the film. Calcaterra’s organization provides professional support to actors as they pursue careers in film and television. In 2010, Calcaterra started the successful acting workshop “Act Out,” which tackles the challenges of the LGBTQ actor. His acting credits include the new HBO pilot Crashing, the FOX series Gotham, NBC's Law & Order, and feature films WantedThe Normals, and St. Vincent, opposite Bill Murray.

Real Boy premieres on Independent Lens and WSIU-TV on Monday, June 19 at 9pm. Learn more and watch a preview online at wsiu.org/indielenspopuppbs.org/independentlens/films/real-boy, or itvs.org/films/real-boy.

Stay tuned to WSIU for details about the 2017-2018 season of local Indie Lens Pop-Up screenings. Watch for updates on the air, online, and in the monthly WSIU program guide, Previews, available online at wsiu.org/previews, or contact WSIU Outreach Coordinator, Beth Spezia, at (618) 453-5595 or beth.spezia@wsiu.org.

Questions about Indie Lens Pop-Up screenings at the Carbondale Public Library should be directed to (618) 457-0345. Learn more about the community engagement series on WSIU’s local Indie Lens Pop-Up webpage at  wsiu.org/indielenspopup or at pbs.org/independentlens/indie-lens-pop-up.                                                       

About the Filmmaker

Shaleece Haas (Director/Producer) is a documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA. Her films are marked by a balance of poignancy and humor, and by intimate character-driven storytelling that invites audiences deep into the interior worlds of their protagonists. Haas produced The Genius of Marian (Tribeca, POV) and the short filmsAwardwinninggir (SF DocFest) and City Fish (Hot Docs, Documentary Channel). Her documentary short, Old People Driving (Mill Valley Film Festival), was broadcast on PBS NewsHour as part of the Economist Film Project and won best documentary at the Phoenix Film Festival. She is a 2015 Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow, a 2012 Working Films (Reel Aging) Fellow, and a 2010 Met Life Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellow. Haas is a member of Film Fatales and the Queer Producers Collective. In addition to filmmaking, Haas has taught at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and led video storytelling workshops for the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute and the NY Press Association. She previously worked as an editorial photographer and radio producer and was a founding staff member of the national oral history project, StoryCorps. She is a graduate of the documentary film program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

About Indie Lens Pop-Up

Indie Lens Pop-Up is a neighborhood series that brings people together for film screenings and community-driven conversations. Featuring documentaries seen on the PBS series Independent LensIndie Lens Pop-Up draws local residents, leaders, and organizations to discuss what matters most, from newsworthy topics to family and relationships. Make friends, share stories, and join the conversation. Can't attend in person? Find Independent Lens on Facebook for information on our online Pop-Up events.

About Independent Lens

Independent Lens is an Emmy® Award-winning weekly series airing on PBS on select Monday nights at 9pm CT. The acclaimed series features documentaries united by the creative freedom, artistic achievement, and unflinching visions of independent filmmakers. Presented by Independent Television Service, the series is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, with additional funding from PBS and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. For more visit pbs.org/independentlens. Join the conversation at facebook.com/independentlens and on Twitter @IndependentLens.

About WSIU Public Broadcasting

WSIU Public Broadcasting is licensed to the Board of Trustees of Southern Illinois University and is an integral part of the College of Mass Communication & Media Arts on the Carbondale campus. The WSIU stations reach more than three million people across five states and beyond through three digital public television channels, three public radio stations, a radio information service, a website, and an education and community outreach department. 

WSIU's mission is to improve the quality of life of the people they serve. The WSIU stations partner with other community organizations to promote positive change and to support the academic and public service missions of Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Learn more and get the latest station news online at wsiu.org and on WSIU's Facebook and Twitter pages.

WSIU's programs and services are partially funded by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. 

About the Carbondale Public Library

The Carbondale Public Library provides resources and services to support the educational, informational, cultural, and recreational needs of the Carbondale community. The library provides free services to all residents living within the city boundaries and is part of the Shawnee Library System.

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