REAL BOY is the coming-of-age story of Bennett Wallace, a transgender teenager finding his voice—as a musician, a friend, a son, and a man.
The film follows Bennett over the first 3 1/2 years of his transition as he grapples with issues of identity, sobriety, and connection to the people he loves. And the person he loves most is his mom, Suzy, who struggles to accept and understand his decision to transition.
As Suzy works to overcome her misgivings, Bennett finds support in the people who understand him best—his musical hero Joe Stevens, a celebrated transgender musician fighting his own demons; and his best friend Dylan, another trans teen on a similar path to young manhood.
At its heart, REAL BOY is a story about growing up. It’s a story about the meaning of family, given and chosen. And it’s a story about how our search for identity isn’t just personal, but involves those closest to us.
British Film Institute: “Real Boy is often raw and breathtakingly honest, but it is to the film’s credit that it never judges its characters. It is impossible not to feel a sense of awe at the resilience, courage and maturity of young trans people.”
World premiere at the BFI Flare Festival 2016. North American premiere at Independent Film Festival Boston (IFFBoston 2016), where Andrew Gersh was presented with the Karen Schmeer Award for Excellence in Documentary Editing. REAL BOY won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Frameline 40.
Produced and Directed by Shaleece Haas. Read more about the film here.