Rad Queers: A film project by Graham Kolbeins
The Qu’s mission is getting out there. We are an LGBTQ inclusive website, that wants to showcase and act as a platform for queer voices all over the world. A BIG thank you to guest contributor, Andrew Extein, out of L.A. who did a fabulous piece titled “Coming Out on the Inside,” and is now helping get the word out about us!
We would like you to meet Graham Kolbeins, a 24 year old, queer filmmaker living in Chicago. He has recently started a webseries film project called Rad Queers.
Rad Queers is a documentary video series focused on queer artists, activists, individuals, and groups whose work helps makes the world a better place.
What is your background?
GK: I’m a filmmaker, writer and curator. I have an art blog called Future Shipwreck, for which I’ve made a number of short documentaries over the past few years, mostly focused on visual artists.
What made you decide to start Rad Queers?
GK: I like meeting people: getting to know them and listening to them talk about their lives. I’m a huge fan of documentary storytellers like Ira Glass, Werner Herzog and Errol Morris, and I wanted to make something in that vein, but imbued with the life-affirming queer joie de vivre of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
A lot of the queer narratives that I find in the media focus on strife, anguish and rejection. It’s a sad reality that much of the world still permits violence and discrimination against queers, and those disheartening stories need to continue to be told. But I think we also need positive, inspiring queer narratives that shine a light for others.
The subjects of “Rad Queers” are people I look up to, whose courage and passion I admire, who feel no need to conform to a safe societal norm, and who do things that make the world a better place to live in – be that through art, activism, or dancing at a leather bar.
How did you choose Payasos L.A. as your premiere?
GK: Soon after I got to know the Payasos at a fundraising yard sale, I met with Leo Iriarte and shot some preliminary footage for “Payasos L.A.” I pitched the video to a production company I’d been working with, and they seemed a little wary of the subject matter– so I decided to produce it on my own. I’d been mulling over the series in my mind for a long time, and the Payasos just felt like a great place to start. They are such a friendly, fun and multi-faceted group, there was a lot to explore!
What other Rad Queers can your viewers expect to see in the future?
GK: The second episode focuses on playwright/performance artist Ian MacKinnon, who runs a unique, non-elitist performance night in Santa Monica called “Queer Mondays.” Ian also co-wrote and performs an incredible multimedia theater piece called “Gay Hist-Orgy” that’s hilarious, sexy and full of insight on same-sex desire throughout the ages! I’m also currently planning several more episodes to be shot this fall in Chicago.
Check out his premiere episode on Payasos L.A. below, and be sure to check out Rad Queers!