Real Boy
June 19, 10 pm

Real Boy

  • BY Shaleece Haas | IN LGBTQ
    Premiered June 19, 2017

About the Film

A moving and intimate story of a family in transition, Real Boy follows the journey of trans teen Bennett as he navigates adolescence, sobriety, and the physical and emotional ramifications of his changing gender identity. Through the process, his mother Suzy makes her own transformation — travelling a difficult road toward accepting that the daughter she raised as Rachael is now her son Bennett. MORE

Filmed over the course of four years, Real Boy is a love story about a mother and son who rediscover connection with each other and find support from their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.

Through observational storytelling that is alternately heartbreaking and humorous, Real Boy offers a clear-eyed look at a family tested by a change they never imagined, the complexity of addiction, the healing power of music, and the unbreakable bond between mother and child.


The Filmmaker

Shaleece Haas is a documentary filmmaker based in Los Angeles, CA. Her films are marked by a balance of poignancy and humor, and by intimate character-driven storytelling that invites audiences deep into the interior worlds of their protagonists. Haas produced The Genius of Marian (2013; Tribeca, POV) and the short films Awardwinninggir (2012; SF DocFest) and City Fish (2011; Hot Docs, Documentary Channel). She associate produced Extreme by Design (2012, PBS) and The Art of Doing It Yourself (2011, PBS). Her documentary short, Old People Driving (2010, Mill Valley Film Festival), was broadcast on PBS NewsHour as part of the Economist Film Project and won best documentary at the Phoenix Film Festival. Haas’s films have received support from ITVS, California Humanities, Berkeley Film Foundation, Fledgling Fund, Film Independent, IFP, among others. She is a 2015 Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow, a 2012 Working Films (Reel Aging) Fellow, and a 2010 Met Life Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellow. Haas is a member of Film Fatales and the Queer Producers Collective. In addition to filmmaking, Haas has taught at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and led video storytelling workshops for the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute and the NY Press Association. She previously worked as an editorial photographer and radio producer and was a founding staff member of the national oral history project, StoryCorps. She is a graduate of the documentary film program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. LESS

Film Credits

PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
Shaleece Haas

EDITOR
Andrew Gersh

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS
Charlotte Lagarde
Sally Jo Fifer
Lois Vossen

ORIGINAL SCORE
William Ryan Fritch

ANIMATION AND TITLE DESIGN
Molly Schwartz

ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS
Sam Berliner
Kyle Ranson-Walsh

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
Shaleece Haas

LOCATION SOUND
Sam Berliner
Tom Gorman
Jonathan Hong
Lauretta Molitor
Kent Pope

ADDITIONAL CAMERA
Lincoln Else
Avery Hudson
Kate Kunath
Clare Major
Carmen Osterlye

ADDITIONAL EDITING
Kevin Oliver

CONSULTING PRODUCER
Marc Smolowitz

CONSULTING EDITORS
Don Bernier
Sally Rubin
Toby Shimin

ASSISTANT EDITOR
Theresa Desautels

PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS
Dominic Joseph
Alex Safron

POST-PRODUCTION SUPPORT
Susan Cohen
Semany Gashaw
Jen Gilomen
Brianna Nelson
A. Q. Quintero
Camilla Savoia
Melina Tupa

TRANSCRIPTION
Julie Lagarde

TRANSLATION
John Kane
Jason Plourde
Grace Small
Zanna Williams

MOTION GRAPHICS
Picturebox

AUDIO POST-PRODUCTION
Berkeley Sound Artists

COLOR GRADING
Color A Go-Go

LEGAL SERVICES
Justine Jacob

ACCOUNTING SERVICES
Daniel Bao

INSURANCE SERVICES
Larry Walsh

CONSULTING PRODUCER FOR ITVS
N’Jeri Eaton

SUPERVISING PRODUCER FOR ITVS
David Eisenberg

FEATURING (IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)
Bennett Wallace
Suzy Reinke
Dylan Engle
Joe Stevens
Lynn Stevens
Robert Stevens
Julie Engle

ARCHIVAL MATERIALS PROVIDED BY
Sen Beever
David Butler II
James Clayton
Daniel Connolly
Coyote Grace
Dylan Engle
Trevyn Madrone
Heather Miller
Del Rapier
Nik Rapier
Suzy Reinke
Sara Stell
Joe Stevens
Bennett Wallace

ORIGINAL SONGS
“Fear Not My Love” and “For My Family”
written and performed by Bennett Wallace

“A Guy Named Joe” and “Goodnight Lady”
written by Joe Stevens
performed by Coyote Grace

“Land of the Opportune”
written by Bennett Wallace
performed by Bennett Wallace & Joe Stevens

ADDITIONAL MUSIC
“Zuma” (Instrumental), “Born Blind” and “Heaven Dog” (Instrumental)
written by Joe Stevens
performed by Coyote Grace
published by Mile After Mile Records (BMI)

SPECIAL THANKS
Nick Adams
Heather Anderson
Joel Baum
Jen Bradwell
Regan Brashear
The Breitbach Family
Dionisio Ceballos
Allie Corcovelos
Justin P. Clark
Eli Conley
Ingrid Elizabeth and Ty Greenstein
Rebekah Fergusson
Alexis Fish
Ariana Garfinkel
The Garramone Center
The Gersh Family
Shana Goldin-Perschbacher, PhD
Samantha Grant
Don Gwizdalski
The Haas Family
Becks Hawkins and Leslie Wentland
Christie Herring
Aidan Key
Josh Klipp
Dan Krauss
Jackie Logg
Bryan Ortega-Wilson
Maya Rand
Rough Cuts
Taran Schindler
Danny Schultz
Mike Seely
Beth Spitler
Jun Stinson
The Vincent Family
Juli Vizza
Banker White and Anna Fitch
Alexis Whitham

FISCAL SPONSORS
San Francisco Film Society
Swell Cinema

FUNDING PROVIDED BY
California Humanities
California Institute of Contemporary Arts
Pacific Pioneer Fund
Film Independent
Jen & Evan Dodge
Heather Blessing
Jill Johnson
Ken Powers

Real Boy is a co-production of Shaleece Haas and Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

This program was produced by Shaleece Haas, who is solely responsible for its content.
© 2016 Shaleece Haas. All rights reserved.

Are you or anyone in your family transgender? Share your own stories about adjustment and acceptance here. What aspect of Bennett's story, which is also a story of coming of age and sobriety, do you relate to?

AWARDS

  • Frameline Film Festival
    Audience Award - Best Documentary
  • Independent Film Festival Boston
    Excellence in Documentary Editing
  • Twist Seattle Queer Film Festival
    Best Documentary
  • Iris Prize Film Festival
    Jury Prize Best Feature
  • Woodstock Film Festival
    The James Lyons Editing Award for Documentary Feature
Please review our comment guidelines.
Are you or anyone in your family transgender? Share your own stories about adjustment and acceptance here. What aspect of Bennett's story, which is also a story of coming of age and sobriety, do you relate to?