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‘Pageant’ queens grace silver screens
Documentary a hit at Slamdance, other film festivals

by Miss Della . Contributing Writer

Victoria Parker sashays through the Slamdance crowd gathered for the ‘Pageant’ premiere.
The feature-length documentary “Pageant,” which you’ve read about in previous Drag Rag columns by this writer, has made a splash onto the scene. Since its January debut at the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, it has been selected for the Florida Film Festival and two more film festivals in Miami and Dallas.

“Pageant” delves into the lives and hopes of five ordinary men — who we know as Coti Collins, Victoria DePaula, Alina Maletti, Victoria Parker and Chantel Reshae — as they strive for one extraordinary dream: Miss Gay America. (Also appearing are other contestants and former Misses Gay America, like Las Vegas’ Hot Chocolate, MGA 1980.)

The movie will inspire and amaze as each of the featured contestants open up their hearts and their homes to expose not only their incredible stage talent, but the true story and essence of the movie — the professionals behind the make-up.

Producer Ron Davis said, “I think that audiences are going to be pleasantly surprised by the heart and soul of ‘Pageant.’ It is more than a movie about female impersonation or about Miss Gay America. It is a movie about five men with their heart set on one dream and and about never giving up.”

The entire experience has been a roller coaster ride for the film’s leading ladies —especially Nashville’s Victoria Parker, who was packing her bags at press time to move back to Raleigh, where she’ll be emcee extraordinaire and housecast member at Legends’ new cabaret theater.
Parker explained that there was a casting call by the filmmakers for contestants competing at the 34th Miss Gay America (which Charlotte’s Luscious won). Although she had not qualified at the time, being the savvy businessperson that she is, Parker contacted the producers and told them she was considering doing a preliminary and was interested in taking part in the documentary.

The rest, as they say, is history. The film crew followed her to the prelim, which she won, then returned to Nashville to document her preparations to compete nationally — even taping her entertaining at local bars. “I think you’ll be pleased by how much they show me entertaining, and really focusing on me outside the pageant realm,” Parker said proudly.

She made the trip to Park City for Slamdance and had the time of her life, basking in the limelight and hobnobbing with celebrities. On the night of the premiere, one could spot in the audience Sarah Michelle Gellar, Sarah Jessica Parker and Dennis Quaid. At another function, Parker met Anjelica Huston, Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, Phylicia Rashad and Jacqueline Bissett.

“There are rumors that [the film] will go to other festivals, even in Europe, so I’m getting my passport now,” Parker declared. “I’d love to go to London and anywhere else this will take me.”
When asked whether she thought it could lead to other opportunities, Parker was quite hopeful and enthusiastic. “Well, God yes — maybe another movie, or even a spot in a Broadway play would thrill me, of course!”

Look for a “Pageant” release date in an upcoming column of the Drag Rag.

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