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GIFFONI EXPERIENCE 2016 - 15.24 July

Sections & Films


Category: Edition 2016

REAL BOY is the coming-of-age story of Bennett Wallace, a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice as a musician, a friend, a son and a man. As he navigates the ups and downs of young adulthood, he works to gain the love and support of his mother, who has deep misgivings about her child’s transition. Along the way, Bennett forges a powerful friendship with his idol, Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician with his own demons to fight.

Original Title Real Boy
Category Official Competition
Section GEx Doc
Tipology Documentary, Feature Film
Duration 72'
Production Year 2016
Nationality USA
Directed by Shaleece Haas
Editor Andrew Gersh
Music William Ryan Fritch
Produced by Shaleece Haas

ShaleeceHaas horizShaleece Haas
Shaleece is a documentary filmmaker based in Oakland, California. She is co-producer of the 2013 documentary THE GENIUS OF MARIAN (PBS/POV), director of the 2010 documentary OLD PEOPLE DRIVING, and producer of several short films including CITY FISHAND AWARDWINNINGGIR. Shaleece is a 2015 Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow, a 2012 Working Films (Reel Aging) fellow and a member of the Queer Producers Collective. In addition to her work as a filmmaker, Shaleece teaches at the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. REAL BOY is her first feature documentary as a director.

Director's statement
“My approach to storytelling starts with a desire to “go deep” with people and build a story from the inside out. With Real Boy, I did not set out to make a film that would represent the struggles and issues facing transgender youth and their families. I set out to tell a story that would move people because it moved me.
The stories within Real Boy resonate for me in part because they are a reflection of my own community. As a queer woman living in the Bay Area in California, I am part of a diverse community of trans and queer people who have become my closest friends, creative collaborators, and chosen family. This form of kinship, deeply embedded in queer history, is often the first place where we find reflections of ourselves, a sense of safety, and love without limits.
In Real Boy, I wanted to highlight this unique bond and explore the intersection between chosen and given family. I also wanted to create a film that leaves audiences not with a greater “understanding” of what the people in REAL BOY are going through, but with a sense of identification. Ultimately, I hope the film makes people laugh, cry, think, feel, and relate”.

world sales
festival contact
Shaleece Haas Productions
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Free entrance up to capacity, Elements +6 parents have priority