A young woman must face the wrath of her mother on the night of her graduation. Written, Produced, and Directed by Atlas O Phoenix in 2001.
Runtime:45 minutes 56 seconds
Completion Date:February 14, 2001
Production Budget:5,000 USD
Country of Origin:United States
Country of Filming:United States
“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” - Cesar A Cruz
Atlas O Phoenix, they/them/theirs, is an award-winning director, writer, producer, and editor who creates powerful and dynamic films that examine the dark and light spaces of their humanity whether through narrative or documentary films.
Additionally, they were an actor and performer for the legendary Dykes Do Drag (2017-2020) and The Naked I series (2018/2020).
Atlas is the creator and founder of, Trans-LATE!, a wellness event that centers trans, intersex, agender, and nonbinary folx and their allies. Part cabaret, part dance party, Atlas created a unique space for their communities to feel joy, have fun, and expect the unexpected. Their event is sponsored by the Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition, RARE Productions, Twin Cities Gay Scene, and Transcendence Cabaret. The cabaret features members of Transcendence Cabaret, Newbie Draggons, and over 50% BIPOC performers, a rarity in the Twin Cities.
Currently, in production with their new feature-length documentary film and spin-off web series, Beautiful Boi, the film and mini-series capture their journey as they transition. It examines and tracks their mental health journey of nearly 40 years. The inspiration came from the first person they ever fell in love with and the devastating loss of that beautiful friendship. Throughout this loss, they found themselves and have been thriving in the name of love for three years.
My films and artistic vision are deliberately creating something inconvenient while showing the truth in all its varying shades and textures.
I encourage viewers to move past their comfort zone to discover themselves in new ways. I create a space for the audience to decide if they want to shift their world views, attitudes, and self-perceptions. If my art makes viewers uncomfortable, it’s working. There's infinite power in vulnerability. Once you learn something new, you can't change the feeling of this experience. I am as much a teacher as I am a student.
At this point in my filmmaking journey, after beginning my transition at 50, I want to create films that explore the darkness of the soul while examining its flight to the light.
2STLGBQINPA+ filmmakers are an enormous inspiration to me because these stories are about overcoming obscene social obstacles based on sexual orientation and gender expression. Additionally, this includes a radical bias towards the color of one's skin.
Vigilance in regard to rejecting tropes, cliches, and tokenism is necessary to change the narrative often exploited by larger institutions. 2STLGBQINPA+ cinema has continued to evolve into a powerful and inspiring force for good in the world. This planet needs all the good it can get. Our vulnerability helps us discover the superheroes we already embody. My films are about the quest to find the individual within the self.
From the Star Tribune:
Written by Sheila Regan -
"Recently, Phoenix made a declaration of taking a break from being identified as Black, biracial, homosexual, and transgender.
‘I actually made a resignation of identities,' says Phoenix. 'Since childhood, I've had to deal with others saying things in regards to me not being enough of this or that. I just want to be seen as a human being.' … Phoenix's piece in "Off-Kilter Cabaret" called "Ordinary" is about all aspects of their skin.' Originally I was just going to focus on the color of my skin, and then I decided it was probably more important to focus on as many things as possible regarding my skin,’ Phoenix says. Phoenix looks at racism, fatphobia, and bigotry in the piece, all while looking at their own personal intersections in regard to race and gender identity, and more.
'I am talking about how we can appreciate each other as human beings," says Phoenix. "Regardless of what color our skin is, the shape of our skin, what we do with our skin, or the condition or tone of our skin."