John Carlos Frey talks about THE LITTLE PAGEANT THAT COULD the compelling heartwarming story of the history of the Best In Drag Show

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The Little Pageant That Could is a compelling new documentary on how a few friends in West Hollywood spontaneously got together in the middle of the AIDS Crisis to help the community survive the pandemic in the best way it could . And that was by creating L.A.’s Best in Drag Show which started as a spur-of-the-moment spoof of Miss America thrown by a few twenty-something friends in a tiny West Hollywood apartment in 1990, that grew to become L.A.’s longest-running drag benefit that would end up raising over $6 million to help those living with HIV/AIDS. It was at a time when people with AIDS were abandoned by society, politicians, and even their own families. But it was also one of the first times in the burgeoning queer community”s history that we used power, passion and energy to take charge of our own destiny .

Now in 2024 when legislation is being passed to restrict the art form, this film bears witness to the power of drag to make a meaningful – and desperately needed – contribution to society.

The Little Pageant That Could is directed by John Carlos Frey, who also served as the stage show’s original director and he has included a wealth of outrageously funny, never-before-seen footage spanning the pageant’s 33-year history. Its not just an inspiring story about the power of drag,, but a tribute to all those men (and women) who were selfless motivated to help those in our community live as long as they could and with dignity.

Frey has said “Those that choose to criminalize this sacred form of queer expression should be the first to line up and watch The Little Pageant That Could, and maybe they would find that drag saves lives and heals hearts.”

The documentary has been produced by World of Wonder who are the producing company behind Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

On the eve of the movie’s premiere at Provincetown Film Festival QUEERGURU got to talk with director John Carlos Frey about the film, and the story behind it …… and also asked him to refund the 2 boxes of tissues my husband and I got through when we watched the doc.

Queerguru’s Ris Fatah reviews “GAY USA” first American feature-length documentary by and about LGBTQ+ people.from 1977

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    Step back in time to another era of queer life with the relaunch of Gay USA, the seminal 1977 documentary on the huge Pride protests/celebrations of that summer. Now digitally remastered, Arthur J Bressan Jr.’s iconic time-capsule film was the first documentary by queer people about queer people. Gay USA saw 25 photographers/interviewers … Continue reading

Queerguru’s Ris Fatah reviews COMMITMENT TO LIFE ‘the most comprehensive film on the history of AIDS’

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  Los Angeles, 1981. The dark shadow of the global HIV/AIDS epidemic was just beginning and, for the time being, the thriving queer community members of West Hollywood’s ‘BoysTown’ were living life to the full, blissfully unaware of what lay ahead for them. Emmy Award-Winner film-maker Jeffrey Schwarz begins his latest documentary here and takes … Continue reading

From 1999 : DISCO HEAVEN : Holly Johnson’s tribute to all his friends he lost to AIDS

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    Back in 1999 Frankie Goes To Hollywood singer Holly Johnson released DISCO HEAVEN a heartfelt tribute to all the friends he had lost to AIDS. At the time Johnson told The Guardian It’s a song about remembering in a positive way your friends that aren’t here any more. You know they’re all there … Continue reading

IN OUR BLOOD :   Australia’s radical response to AIDS in the early 1980s : an ABC TV Series

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  Queerguru has been Down Under quite a bit recently covering Queer Screen Mardi Gras Film Festival, Sydney WorldPride 2023, and Myra DuBois’s Antipodean Tour and here’s one more item before we head back to the Northern Hemisphere. The ABC Network, in conjunction with Screen Australia, has had queer writer Adriano Cappelleta be one of … Continue reading

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