Little Miss Westie is a moving documentary following two transgender siblings, Ren (transgirl) and Luca (transboy), as they navigate puberty, school, dating, and family during the Trump era. Ren is competing in the Lil Miss Westie pageant as perhaps the first out transgirl, if she has the nerve to come out while on stage. Her older brother, Luca, coaches her on posing, make-up, and talent because he competed six years ago when he was living as a girl. A poignant and complex family portrait, Little Miss Westie challenges fundamental ideas about gender identity and parenting, while entertaining audiences as this tween and teen bicker, explore, and compete, all while coming of age.
Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with the filmmakers, Ren and Luca, and their parents. Their mother, Shelley Stoehr-McCarthy, is an adjunct professor of English at Southern.
There will also be a pre-screening reception (7-8 p.m.) hosted by the SAGE Center and Residence Life.
Sponsored by: English Department, MFA Program, Women's Studies Program, LGBTQIA+ Prism Club, SAGE Center and Resident Life.
The event is part of Transgender Awareness Week and Social Justice Month.
Director Joy E. Reed (she, they) brings over a decade of experience in documentary and has been on the creative team of a number of films that have premiered at Sundance, including BUCK (Audience Award), and HOW TO DANCE IN OHIO. Joy is a principal of Oh, MY! Productions, and their work has been broadcast on PBS, HBO, and other festivals worldwide.
Director Dan Hunt (he, him) brings over 25 years of filmmaking experience whose work focuses on topics as broad as gender, sexuality, aging, and prison reform. His past documentary work has broadcast on PBS, ABC, Logo, Netflix, and WEtv and screened at festivals including SxSW, Woodstock, Tokyo LGBT and Rio International. Past work has received the Golden Eagle, Gracie Allen Award, several Tellys and Audience Awards at festivals. Hunt was the EP of the PBS series IN THE LIFE. He currently is on faculty at Marymount Manhattan College and is a programmer at the Tribeca Film Festival.