Unboxed

Unboxed

2017 | Activism / Documentary / Gender / Genderqueer / LGBTQ History / Male-to-Female / Music / New Release / Theatre/Performance Art / Transgender | 35 minutes | Australia
Directors: Sam Matthews

In this powerful documentary series, filmmaker and trans rights activist Sam Matthews sets out across Australia on a journey to meet other gender-diverse artists and share their stories, while challenging each of them to create a new piece of art based on the theme "Unboxed". Through their stories and their art, each artist shares the personal challenges they have encountered that have shaped them as individuals and as artists. While each story is as unique as any painting, poem, or a song, along the way there are themes that recur: the love and support of friends and family, the challenging journey of self-discovery and self-expression, and, through it all, the sheer joy of art.

There is Bailee-rose, who transforms the human body into expressions of beauty and individuality through dance and choreography. With her classical ballet training, she challenges the traditional binaries and notions of beauty that exist not just in the world of dance, but society as a whole.

For non-binary physical theatre circus performer Beau, comedy has always been a way of sharing the many ups and downs of a gender-diverse life with an audience. But witnessing a tragedy while working in a women's prison threw Beau's life out of balance. Now, Beau will create a different kind of artwork, that links the past and the future in more ways than one.

Portrait-artist Jacquie shares her love of art with the school students she teaches, but some of their parents struggle to see past her gender identity. Back in her studio she takes out her frustration on the canvas, but when she is done all that is left is beauty and art.

Non-binary graphic artist Bleck uses video, light and sound to challenge the question of identity, not as defined by any one moment or label, but as the interplay of moments and identities that make up a whole life and a whole person.

Through the beauty of song, musician Teddy shares with friends and family the courage and heartache of what it means to live honestly.

And writer and poet Stephanie is the hero of her own story, one of transformation and triumph that she once thought only existed in fairytales and legends.

Unboxed is a touching series of portraits that explores the power of art to express the idea of the self: not captured in a box as the world tries to place it, but beautiful, unique and free.