"We're all born naked and the rest is drag."
"Salem Reed" is a graduation project by Claire Meulemeesters (director documentary at the HKU School of Arts Utrecht) en Carmen van Sleeuwen (animator at the HKU School of Arts Utrecht)
Nielson and his drag-persona Salem Reed are the stars of this documentary, which will be a harmonious mix of both 'classic' film and 2D animation.
The calm, creative Nielson is more than just a young, regular guy. A couple nights a month, he transforms into Salem Reed, an extravagant, fierce queen who glows with self-confidence. We're going to look for the identity of two opposite personalities. Because who is Salem and who is Nielson? Who do they see whenever they look in the mirror? Where's the dividing line between these two completely different characters? And what's there to learn from each other?
For as long as I (Claire) can remember, I've been intrigued by the topic identity. Around my eleventh birthday, I started focussing on my own identity, self-confidence and the way I came across to other people. It all happened in an almost obsessive kind of manner. Whenever I looked in the mirror, I felt everything but happy. It has taken me a while before I finally won this fight with myself and was able to feel strong and comfortable in my own skin.
Drag queens take the words identity and self-confidence to a whole new level. The transformation of a man to a queen is more than just putting on some lipstick and stepping into a pair of killer heels. They become a completely different person with a new identity. A new personality. They get a moment to flee to another character and with that, get a break from being themselves. I find that fascinating.
A look in the mirror
Whether you're happy with yourself or not, I believe that everbody, at some point in their lives, has wondered about what their life would look like if they'd be somebody else. The film will make you think about that and will ask you that one important question: If you closely listen to your heart: are you the person you truly want to be?
Animation + documentary
A film about a creative drag queen, has to be told in a creative manner. That's why the film will contain around 70% of documentary footage and 30% animation. These two mediums will collaborate to create a unique portrait with a touch of film noir.
Concept art by Carmen van Sleeuwen:
BE PART OF THE ADVENTURE!
We could really use your support! Therefore, we'd be over the moon if you'd want to help us make this film happen through a CineCrowd donation!
Not the financial opportunities to help?
Spread the word! Word-of-mouth advertizing would help out a lot, as would sharing our campaign or page on Facebook. The more people know about this project, the bigger the chance of reaching our goal will become! Because once we've collected the amount we need to make it all happen, we can start shooting!
Claire, Carmen, Salem and the entire crew thank you in advance!
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/salemreedfilm