Last year we announced the independent film Pageant Material about a man who wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps as a pageant queen. Pageant Material is a loose adaptation on the Cinderella classic, but with some recent films like Dumplin’ and Cherry Pop on Netflix, it joins a surge of coming-of-age stories that were tailor-made for the queer community.
In Pageant Material, the film’s main character has to learn how to become a stronger person despite ridicule from his step-father, step-brothers, and classmates. Rodney, played by Hart Morse, enters a drag queen competition in hopes of finding some validation and learning more about himself. He calls on the help of his best friend and a strong support system of drag queens to tuck him into shape to snatch the drag pageant crown.
Pageant Material is directed and co-written by Jonothon Mitchell and features a cast that includes Marianne Johnson, Catherine Dyer, Evah Destruction, and 11-year-old drag artist and activist Desmond Napoles. RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 contestant Mayhem Miller was originally attached to the project, but due to scheduling conflicts could not continue with the film.
Pageant Material will have its world premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival on April 9th with an encore presentation on April 13th due to popular demand after the first screening sold out within hours. After the premiere, Pageant Material will go onto the film circuit.
The film also aims to give back to the LGBTQ+ community by donating half of the proceeds of the film to The Dru Project. The Dru Project seeks to provide support for education on issues facing LGBTQIA community members, assist in the development of Gay-Straight Alliance programs in schools, provide support and consultation for parents of LGBTQIA youth, advocate for greater access to mental health services, and develop future leaders in the LGBTQIA community.
Here’s the official trailer for Pageant Material: