How will you know if you don’t try? Better yet, how will you learn if you don’t ask questions?
Just ask Morgan Strug.
Knowing little about her thesis topic, The History of Drag, Strug logged several glittery hours seated front and centre at drag shows.
“I found the performers here are unique and have a level of professionalism and ability that isn’t prioritized in other places,” Strug told me. “That’s what makes (Halifax) drag special — it’s so individualized.”
In awe of the glitz, glamour, and the guts of these talented performers, Strug sought to share her newfangled fascination with a wider audience. Compiling footage for her first documentary, Strug submitted her work to Come OUTeast, one of many teaser events for OUTeast, a queer film festival in Halifax.
“It wasn’t accepted but I asked them what I could improve on,” Strug said.
Strug’s determination to achieve as a filmmaker resonated with OUTeast festival producer, Andria Wilson.
“We were inspired so we got back in touch with her and researched some funding through the province of Nova Scotia to start a mentorship program effectively to support her and her work,” Wilson said.
After a year of mentorship, and now fine-tuning a full-length documentary for the festival’s Special Event Screening, Work-in-Progress creator Strug remains modest.
“I think I was just a lucky applicant,” Strug says.
And of the festival’s first protégé, Wilson says: “Morgan took the initiative to make this happen. That’s the kind of people we are looking to work with.
“This being the first OUTeast Film Festival, we want to give people that are excited about film, about art, and about working in Atlantic Canada a place to come together as an artistic community, as a queer community, and see this work and work like it,” added Wilson.
• Work-in-Progress will be shown on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Neptune Studio Theatre. The cost is $10.
• The OutEast Queer Film Festivals runs Thursday through Sunday. Visit outeastfilmfest.com for complete event details.