University Communications

Award-winning writer and filmmaker Gabrielle Burton to discuss gender and her current film project

"Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens" will capture the thriving drag scene in Columbus, Ohio

March 21, 2014 | Angela O'Nan
Angela O'Nan
Administrative Associate University Communications 812-465-7005
Article Photo
Gabrielle Burton
Photo Credit: Provided

Southern Indiana Review’s 2013 Thomas A. Wilhemus Nonfiction Award winner, Gabrielle Burton, will discuss the process of making her current film "Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens," at 7 p.m., Monday, April 7, in rooms 2217-2218 in the University of Southern Indiana’s University Center East.

The film, still in the editing stage, will capture the thriving drag king and queen scene in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, and use the performances as a platform to talk about gender. “Drag turns gender on its head because it makes us think and question what we thought we knew,” said Burton.

In addition to her observation of the drag scene, Burton also draws on her experience as a mother of a boy and a girl to compare the binary division that exists in our society between male and female. “The binary model says ‘you are one thing or another; you are a boy or you are a girl; you are masculine or you are feminine,’” she said. “All of us have elements that cross ‘traditional’ gender role differentiation.”

Burton also will be screening work-in-progress clips from her film from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. on Tuesday, April 8, in USI’s Wright Administration Building, Forum I. “Ms. Burton is an accomplished filmmaker with a rich, fascinating background,” said Ron Mitchell, editor of Southern Indiana Review and instructor in English. A student-led panel discussion coordinated by Dr. Leigh Anne Howard, associate professor of communication studies, will accompany the screening.

Both events free and open to the public are sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, Dean of Students Office, Communication Department, Multicultural Center, Students Advocating for Equality (S.A.F.E.), and Southern Indiana Review.

Burton’s credentials include directing the grassroots success “Manna From Heaven” with her sister Maria (MGM/Sony); writing, producing, and acting in the feature comedy “Temps”; producing the marital comedy “The Happiest Day of His Life”, and the thought-provoking “Letting Go of God”; and co-producing the romantic comedy “Just Friends." She also runs a production company with her four sisters, aptly named Five Sisters Productions.

Burton’s winning essay, “East of East”, can be found in the fall 2013 issue of Southern Indiana Review.

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