Two films directed by Fia Perera will be shown at Cinequest in Mountain View, CA to be held from August 15th to 30th. Information and tickets. Each of the films is compelling and offer an unusual look at gender identity. MERMAID is a short film and presents a topic that one could easily turn one off. However, I felt drawn in and gained a new perspective.
The other film is PAUL & TRISHA: THE ART OF FLUIDITY, a full length documentary. It was unlike any documentary I have ever seen. The art work alone is worth the price of admission, but the story is amazing and its presentation is brilliant.
Fia Perera’s award-winning, proof of concept short film MERMAID has an in-person screening at the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival. MERMAID is a heart-rending and-warming drama that delves into the lives of Cass, a lonely ten-year-old who secretly yearns to be a girl, and Pepper, a drag queen unraveling in the face of addiction and grief. Their paths cross when—between relentless bullying at school, an overwhelmed and unaccepting father at home, and the loss of his only ally—a hopeless Cass attempts suicide and is saved by Pepper. The two forge a deep connection as Cass becomes mesmerized by an LGBTQ+ world he never knew existed and Pepper sees a spark of hope in the young boy’s struggles. With Pepper’s love, support, and care, Cass is able to explore his gender identity and blossom into her authentic self, reconnecting with her father in the process
Wednesday, August 30at 7:30PM PDT
Mountain View Show Place ICON Theatre & Kitchen at 2575 California St, Suite 601, Mountain View, CA 94040 Tickets available here. WHO: In attendance at Cinequest: filmmaker Fia Perera
Fia Perera’s feature documentary PAUL & TRISHA: THE ART OF FLUIDITY has its World Premiere with two in-person screenings at the Cinequest Film & Creativity Festival.
Paul/ Trish – The Art of Fluidity dives into the colorful life of well-known 77-year – old Gender Fluid British artists Paul Whitehead and his alter ego Trisha Van Cleef as they navigate their gender and artistic fluidity as two artists in one body.
PAUL & TRISHA: THE ART OF FLUIDITY is a colorful documentary exploring the livesof two 77-year-old British artists who exist in one gender fluid body:Paul Whitehead and Trisha Van Cleef. Paul Whitehead is a painter, graphic designer, writer, and musician who worked as an art director for Time Out and John Lennon; founded the Eyes and Ears Foundation and its Artboard Festival, which gave artists the opportunity to showcase their work on billboards; and made album covers for music icons like Genesis, Credence Clearwater Revival, Van der Graaf Generator, and Peter Hammill. Whitehead began exploring his gender identity through cross-dressing during the 1960’s, leading to the emergence of the converged artist Trisha Van Cleefin 2004. The film delves into the brutal challenges and beautiful victories that Paul and Trisha have faced—together and individually—in the mercurial and competitive art world while unapologetically navigating the uncharted waters of gender identity and artistic expression, breaking down perilous stigmas along the way
Early in his career, Paul Whitehead was integral to the launch of the UK Time Out in addition to being the Art Director for John Lennon. In his signature surreal style, he went on to create album covers for music icons, Genesis, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Van der Graaf Generator, and Peter Hammill, among others.
Upon moving to Los Angeles in 1973, Whitehead founded the Eyes and Ears Foundation and created the Artboard Festival where local artists could freely improvise on billboards turning their work into a novel ‘drive-through’ community art gallery.
Widely recognized as both muralist and painter, Whitehead holds the Guinness record for the largest mural in the world at the former Vegas World Casino, now the Stratosphere
During the 60s and 70s at the height of “Sex Love and Rock n’ Roll,” Whitehead began exploring his gender fluidity, periodically wearing items of women’s clothing. However, not until his marriage at age 35 that his other half, Trisha Van Cleef, emerged. What earlier began in the privacy of their bedroom between Paul and his wife soon gave way to another identity – presenting to the world as a woman. Ultimately, the marriage came to an end but marked the beginnings of a completely different artistic expression and self-permission to live harmoniously as both genders.
Paul and Trisha have weathered a lifetime of challenges and victories in the mercurial and competitive art world, often choosing artistic freedom over commercial exploitation. And both have faced the stigma and fear around their sexuality and genders.
In this 75-minute documentary, Paul and Trisha masterfully navigate these unchartered and perilous waters in an entertaining, artistic, and unapologetic way. They remind us that it’s not their job to make others feel comfortable and that not everyone is going to love you or like what you do…And that is OK.
Monday, August 28 at 6:30PM PDT Wednesday, August 30 at 5:00PM PDT
WHERE: Mountain View Show Place ICON Theatre & Kitchen at 2575 California St, Suite 601, Mountain View, CA 94040 Information and tickets