A teenager in rural Alabama sets out to win an Atlanta drag pageant in Pageant Material, a modern-day film adaptation of Cinderella.
Currently in pre-production, Pageant Material will star Hart Morse as Rodney, a bullied 17-year-old boy who wants to follow in his mother’s footsteps as a pageant queen.
“This coming-of-age southern dramedy is about following your dreams, overcoming adversity, and forging down your own road no matter how treacherous the path,” writes Atlanta-based director and co-writer Jonothon Mitchell in a statement.
“It is my goal to bring stories of everyday people to life in fresh and exciting ways, but more importantly as a gay man I yearn for more accurate and positive LGBT representation in film.”
L.A. drag favorite Mayhem Miller, a fierce competitor on season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race, will star in Pageant Material as Miss Dixie Lee. Miller memorably snatched scenes in last year’s drag comedy Cherry Pop.
The film will also star preteen drag sensation and activist Desmond Napoles, a.k.a. Desmond Is Amazing, as Young Rodney.
Pageant Material, which begins shooting this summer in Atlanta, “aims to explore topics such as growing up gay, the struggle to create your own identity, and small-town life,” Mitchell continues. “While many films about LGBT identity set in the deep South focus solely on the opposition, we wanted to take a different approach and focus on painting the South in a tolerant light, despite a lack of resources.”
A crowdfunding campaign to raise filming costs was recently launched through Indiegogo. Incentives include the chance to name the drag queen characters competing for the crown: “It’s like you’re her drag mother.”
Half the profits from the completed film will benefit the Dru Project, an LGBT educational support organization that assists in the development of Gay-Straight Alliance programs in schools.
RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 10 airs Thursdays at 8/7c on VH1.