Check out the press release and trailer below.
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After an unlikely casting onto a reality television show, 47-year old suburban telemarketer Ed Popil leaves his job to pursue a full-time entertainment industry career as his drag queen alter ego, 1960’s era housewife Mrs. Kasha Davis.
WORKHORSE QUEEN – an intimate exploration, through a tender mix of touching moments and wise-cracking humor, of the complexities of reality television’s impact on queer performance culture – arriving on DVD and VOD May 3, followed closely by the network premiere on Starz on June 1 for Pride Month? Told from the perspective of the overlooked yet beloved Queen Mrs. Kasha Davis, WORKHORSE QUEEN focuses on the growing divide between members of a small town drag community – those who have been on television, and those who have not.
WORKHORSE QUEEN world premiered at Slamdance, and went on to play numerous prestigious festivals, including ImageOut, where it won the coveted audience award, aGLIFF, Bentonville Film Festival, CinemaQ, Doc Edge, the American Film Festival where it took home Best Documentary, as well as the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival and the Buffalo International Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature at both.
“In this cultural moment where drag queens are most visible in the competitive space of reality television, it’s important to remember that there are communities of drag queens doing meaningful, subversive, healing, and celebratory work in smaller towns – and that every drag queen who makes it to the television stage is a part of a longer lineage of queer activists and artists who paved the way for them”, said Washko. “This film celebrates generations of queer performers who have created space for drag in places that may have been otherwise unwelcoming to LGBTQ+ people. I am thankful that through distribution, the film will get to circulate widely – to the people in those small towns.”
Director Angela Washko’s directorial debut follows Mrs. Kasha Davis as she navigates the exciting highs and devastating lows of pursuing the fame promised by a reality television platform. With one foot inching toward Hollywood’s doorstep and the other cemented firmly within her beloved Rochester community, Mrs. Kasha Davis finds a surprising new audience at home as she works toward becoming the queer role model for children that Ed didn’t have and desperately wanted growing up.
“It has been an incredible journey documenting Ed Popil/Mrs. Kasha Davis, said Washko. “He stood out to me because it felt like there was so much more to his story and he represented a larger community of drag queens who don’t quite fit the mold of what reality television wants from its participants.”
In addition to Mrs. Kasha Davis, the film also includes the voices and perspectives of drag queen celebrities who have been on RuPaul’s Drag Race, such as superstar Bianca Del Rio, Darienne Lake, Tatianna, and Pandora Boxx, as well as leaders in subversive performance communities around the world, and drag queens who reject or who have been rejected by the reality tv platform.
Founded in 2009, Breaking Glass Pictures (www.bgpics.com) is a film distribution and media company that focuses on releasing unique and visionary independent films, inclusive of all genres, from around the world. In addition to theatrical, DVD, digital, and Video-on-Demand releases in North America, Breaking Glass functions as an international sales agent in all film markets, as well as a production company dedicated to creating compelling independent cinema. Breaking Glass also facilitates festival, theatrical, and special event bookings, and offers a full-service marketing team (marketing strategy, artwork and trailer creation, PR, social media) to independent filmmakers.
STARZ (www.starz.com), a Lionsgate company, is a leading global media streaming platform committed to delivering premium content that amplifies narratives by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences. STARZ is home to the highly-rated and first-of-its-kind STARZ app that offers the ability to stream or download STARZ premium content, as well as the flagship domestic STARZ® service, including STARZ ENCORE, 17 premium pay TV channels, and the associated on-demand and online services. In 2018, STARZ launched its STARZPLAY international premium streaming platform to provide subscribers access to the “best of global SVOD.” STARZPLAY, coupled with its STARZPLAY ARABIA joint venture, has expanded its global footprint into more than 60 countries throughout Europe and Latin America along with Canada, Japan, India and Indonesia. STARZ and STARZPLAY are available across digital OTT platforms and multichannel video distributors, including cable operators, satellite television providers, and telecommunications companies around the world. In February 2021, STARZ launched #TakeTheLead, a multi-faceted and innovative inclusion initiative expanding its existing efforts to improve representation on screen, behind the camera and throughout the company.