Documentary 'Chasing Capri' Follows Southern Teen's Trans Experience

Thursday August 17, 2017

Southeast filmmaker Caleb Holland is releasing his documentary film "Chasing Capri" in August. The film captures the coming of age story of teen trans activist Capri Culpepper, best known for her triumph over the South Carolina DMV in 2015 after she was denied a license based on her appearance.

"Capturing the experiences of LGBTQ youth was an incredible honor. Young activists like Capri Culpepper, the central subject of the film, were making their voices heard at a time of significant change in America," Caleb Holland told EDGE. "Watching these young people come of age, take ownership of their identities, and fight for their rights was beyond moving."

"Chasing Capri" also documents the struggles currently facing the broader LGBTQ community in the southern United States, focusing particularly on the infamous 'bathroom bills' and the aftermath of the Orlando Pulse Nightclub Shooting. After its June premiere, "Chasing Capri" will be widely released online in August.

Holland enlisted the help of many other community members to help tell the story of Culpepper and other youth like her. "Chasing Capri" has garnered notable contributors including Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign, Shakina Nayfack who appears in Amy Poehler's Difficult People, viral trans activist Corey Maison, Orange County mayor Teresa Jacobs, and Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan.

"We were fortunate to have other notable contributors like trans actress Shakina Nayfack and Mayor of Orange County Florida Teresa Jacobs," said Holland. "In the wake of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting Mayor Jacobs proudly supported the LGBTQ community and Shakina Nayfack toured her musical informing audiences about the transgender experience. Both women spoke with us about their drive to bring forth meaningful change for the LGBTQ community, particularly within pockets of the country that might be unaware of the struggles the community faces today."

Speaking on his motivation for creating the film, Holland said, "I grew up gay and afraid to be myself in the same town as Capri. I was drawn to her story because I recognized many of her struggles from my own journey. It's important to me that as few young people as possible grow up as we did, expecting to have to leave their hometown in order to be accepted. I hope this film provides an opportunity for conversation and opens the doorway to understanding between individuals of all different backgrounds."

This film represents 23-year-old filmmaker Caleb Holland's first feature length documentary film. In the coming weeks, Holland will roll out a screening tour will begin, benefiting LGBTQ charities across the South.

"The message of the film is one of hope and unity. LGBTQ rights have long been a struggle, but there is a new generation ready to take the torch and march toward equality," said Holland.

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