Chelsea McMullan on her film about transgender musician Rae Spoon, the sole Canadian feature film at the 2014 Sundance film fest.
After earning praise at Canadian film festivals and a spot being screened in schools, Chelsea McMullan's musical documentary My Prairie Home is hitting a wider audience at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Produced by the National Film Board, My Prairie Home centres on the music and life story of transgender country, folk and electro-pop singer-songwriter Rae Spoon, told through bus trips and small-town gigs across rural Alberta.
The movie revolves around the calm and eloquent, Calgary-raised Spoon — who was born female but prefers to be referred to by the gender-neutral "they" — recounting stories of growing up queer in an abusive, evangelical home. Dramatic revelations are interspersed with performances, both those captured live and quirky music videos.
Toronto director McMullan's film is the lone Canadian feature-length film to land in competition this year at Sundance, where it is being featured in the World Cinema documentary category.
"In and of itself, being in competition in Sundance will already put me on the map as a filmmaker. I'm super happy with that. I really hope it gets distribution ... because I really want people to see the film," she told CBC News.
With this U.S. debut at Sundance, "it's opening up a whole can of worms that's just so exciting. It's going to reach a wider audience. I think this is something we should start talking about."
In the attached videos, CBC's Deana Suamanac looks at My Prairie Home's trip to Sundance and McMullan discusses her film.
The 2014 Sundance Film Festival continues through Jan. 26.