U.S. premiere of NFB documentary-musical My Prairie Home at Sundance Film Festival
My Prairie Home, director Chelsea McMullan’s acclaimed National Film Board of Canada (NFB) documentary-musical about indie singer Rae Spoon, will have its U.S. premiere in January 2014, at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival, when it screens as part of the festival’s World Cinema Documentary Competition, with McMullan, Spoon and NFB producer Lea Marin in attendance.
In My Prairie Home, Toronto filmmaker Chelsea McMullan follows Montreal-based transgender performer Rae Spoon on a musical road trip across the Canadian Prairies. All along the way—in a Greyhound bus, the Tyrrell Dinosaur Museum in Drumheller, a bar in Regina, and at a performance in Winnipeg—McMullan’s camera is a constant companion. As the flat, straight prairie highway unfolds, McMullan guides audiences along the long and winding road of Spoon’s life. This playful, meditative and at times melancholic tale of Spoon’s queer and musical coming of age unfolds in interviews and songs, in live performance and fanciful music sequences. Spoon takes us through their childhood (Spoon prefers the use of the gender-neutral, third-person pronoun) growing up in an ultra-religious family, discovering their sexuality, their gender identity, and the crucial and inspiring leaps towards building a life of their own, as a musician and as a trans person.
“Beautifully shot, this documentary-meets-musical-meets-road-movie is a sad, hopeful, gorgeous work of poetry,” wrote Marsha Lederman of the Globe and Mail. James Wilt of Fast Forward Weekly called My Prairie Home “what would happen if Wes Anderson made a trippy musical,” praising the film’s “Guy Maddin-esque creations, blending fact and fiction to create something visually, sonically and intellectually enthralling.”
My Prairie Home is currently playing in Canadian cities, in collaboration with media partner Exclaim!. Spoon’s new album, also titled My Prairie Home, features the film’s score and soundtrack, and is available at Saved by Radio. The video for the first single, “ I Will Be a Wall,” is a clip from the documentary and can be viewed at NFB.ca.
About Rae Spoon
Transgender musician and author Rae Spoon has a voice as big as the prairie sky, and a story like no other. As a young person, Spoon used music both as an escape and as a means of building a world in which they could safely live. My Prairie Home, Spoon’s latest album, explores the meaning of home when it is no longer a place one can return to. The album spans Spoon’s early musical influences, from folk and gospel to indie rock and grunge. Songs about death, coming out as queer during high school, and surviving abuse are all sung by a voice that can break a heart and fill it with hope at the same time.
A country music artist whose more recent work has incorporated experimental and electronic elements, Spoon has released seven solo albums and three collaborative albums over the past 10 years, touring extensively in Canada and internationally (Europe, the USA and Australia). Spoon has been nominated for the Polaris Music Prize, CBC Radio 3 Bucky Awards, and the Galaxy Rising Star Award. Spoon’s first book, First Spring Grass Fire, was published by Arsenal Pulp Press in September 2012. The book was a finalist for a Lambda Award in the transgender fiction category and was short-listed for an Expozine Alternative Press Award.
About Chelsea McMullan
Chelsea McMullan is a Genie-nominated Canadian filmmaker and artist whose films and projects have screened on the international festival circuit and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and the New York Photography Festival. Her award-winning shorts have been featured in Nowness, Dazed Digital, Vice and Vogue Italia magazines. McMullan is a member of the artist co-operative What Matters Most and was also the artist in residence at Fabrica, where she made the Genie Award-nominated documentary Derailments. Her awards include the Shaw Media–Hot Docs Development Fund and the Super Channel Documentary Award. My Prairie Home is her third collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada.
About Lea Marin
Producer Lea Marin’s film credits include a wide range of short dramatic films, documentary series and features that have screened at international festivals and on television, including The Portrait, directed by Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hubert Davis, the interactive documentary co-production The Next Day, and Astra Taylor’s Examined Life.
About the NFB
The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) creates groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation. The NFB has produced over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 4 Canadian Screen Awards, 7 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access acclaimed NFB content, visit NFB.ca or download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.
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