Program 17: Alaska is a Drag
Directed by Shaz Bennett
Alaska is a Drag takes us to an outlying fishing village in Alaska where Leo (Martin L. Washington), a hot, young aspiring drag queen with some super smooth moves and a captivating smile, dreams of stardom. The only problem is that he’s stuck working in a cannery and is conspicuously gay in a world where being different is hardly a virtue.
He and his twin sister Tristen (Maya Washington) live in a travel trailer, essentially on their own. Their father is a compulsive gambler who’s often missing in action and most recently sold the tires off their trailer in the hopes of making a big win. Their mother left when they were still very young, but they’re buoyed by the collection of postcards she sends and a dream to one day leave Alaska and reunite with her. Complicating their plan is that Tristen is being treated for Hodgkin’s disease, and Leo is using all of his money to help pay for her treatments. But hope arrives as Tristen nears the completion of her chemo: an invite to a national drag show and a boxing match that – with a bit of training – Leo’s nearly certain to win.
Sauntering into their lives is Declan (played by Matt Dallas, Kyle XY) who is a bit of a loner but strikes up a friendship with Leo. With a faint air of mystery and cool sensuality, he leaves the twins speculating as to his orientation. A special treat in the film is Margaret Cho as Jan, the owner of the only “gay” bar for miles.
Alaska is a Drag finds its strength through some engaging character development, and the gentle sense of optimism that pervades the story line. If you’re seeking a warm and enjoyable film with a subtle sense of humor, this is one not to miss.
— Jennifer Morgan
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Frameline San Francisco Int’l LGBTQ Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Outfest LA Film Festival