REELING: THE CHICAGO LGBTQ+ INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL is currently underway through September 29th, offering award-winning films including full-length features, documentaries, and shorts. Shaleece Haas (“Old People Driving”) documentarian headlines the festival with her film “Real Boy.” The filmmaker follows Ben over the course of 4 years as he transitions from being “Rachael,” to “Ben.” It’s a sublime look into the emotional toll this process takes on not just Ben, but his family and his relationships. The raw honesty of this film enables you to better understand the personal struggle a transgender individual faces.
“Real Boy” not only harnesses important moments such as a surgical procedure, but through the use of interviews, we hear from Ben, his mom, and his best friend. Ben’s quest to become the person he has always felt he should be, connects you with him. The film reminds us that we all have the same wants and needs in life: to be loved and accepted.
As a part of Ben’s transition, Joe Stevens, a member of the band Coyote Grace, mentors this young man as he too went through the same process. Depicting these two parallel lives along with some amazing music from both Joe and Ben, and you have a film that will enlighten you during a time when the LGBQT community needs all of us to understand and accept everyone.
For more information about this festival and all of the films, go to www.reelingfilmfestival.org or follow @reelingfilmfest on Twitter for updated info and ticket promotions. The films are being shown at Chicago Filmmakers, 5243 N. Clark St., Chicago.