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Black Divaz

An award-winning documentary takes you behind the make-up, under the wigs and beneath the sparkles of the glitz and glamour of Australia’s inaugural Miss First Nations Drag Queen Pageant.

By Tamara Howie


Black Divaz follows Indigenous drag queens competing in the ground-breaking national competition, co-founded by Darwin local Ben Graetz, aka Miss Ellaneous. 

“(The pageant) is about creating visibility and awareness for the LGBTQI Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community,” he says.

“It’s basically creating an avenue to showcase the extraordinary talents out there.”

The pageant was a glittery hit and the film struck a chord in the community and received two standing ovations at its premiere at the 2018 Mardi Gras and won the people’s choice vote for best documentary.

“For us it was about seeing the girls up there on the screen,” Graetz says.

“A lot of the contestants were from regional or remote towns. Jojo was one of the only black drag queens in her town – same as Nova.

“It’s created this awareness in those town and started conversations within those communities. 

"Now the girls are role models, all the younger LGBTQI members of the community know who they are and know they’re supported.”

The documentary explores the personal stories and the complexities faced by the contestants as Indigenous drag queens. 

Unlike other drag shows, there was no room for drama – something Graetz knew wouldn’t be an issue anyway. 

“The competition is all about sisterhood and supporting each other – there’s a lack of visibility and support in general for the community, so to bitch and to go against each other is really not in the nature of who we are as a community and who we are as a people,” he says.

The Top End and NT premiere at the Deckchair Cinema will be extra special, with performances and Q&As with the girls featured in the film in their hometown.

“The showcase in Darwin will be incredible – we’ll have Shaniqua, Crystal Love and Isla performing and there’s a real hometown pride,” Graetz says.

“It’s going to be a really special night.”

Thu 14 Jun | 7.30pm | Deckchair Cinema | See the event listing

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