Islam and Drag Queens – this is the juxtaposing yet dazzling world of Medulla Oblongata. We teamed up with director Roberto Nascimento and the Wireless to produce this, the inaugural episode in a new series of Wireless Docs.
As a drag queen who escaped the Maldives to live in New Zealand, we were instantly drawn to Medulla Oblongata’s uplifting transformation. Hairdresser by day and pageant-winning drag queen by night, Abaraham Naim – better known as Medulla Oblongata – is a notorious fixture in the Auckland LGBTQ scene. But it wasn’t always this way. It was our goal to share Medulla’s inspiring tale of living under the Islamic flag while embracing her true identity. We wanted to showcase Medulla’s challenges and accomplishments, all while introducing the drag queen’s fiery and charismatic personality to new audiences.
In a continued effort to share relevant and provocative stories, Wireless Docs allowed us an opportunity to share Medulla’s story. As an innovative platform to find new voices, the Wireless invited storytellers from all over New Zealand to submit stories they were passionate about – all in the hope of enlightening different generations and creating an avenue for ongoing, constructive discussion.
Selected to produce Medulla Oblongata, we were honoured to help bring this often-tragic but always fascinating journey to the screen. Medulla Oblongata is currently the most-watched episode of the new Wireless Docs season.
Originally released in April, the film will begin its festival run in August, premiering at the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (NCGLFF). The second largestLGBT film/video festival in the Southeastern US, the NCGLFF attracts thousands of people to its progressive and influential event every year.
Make sure to keep an eye out for our next chapter in the Wireless Docs series. Mad Hunter – a humorous and inspiring tale about an eight-year-old girl determined to leave her mark in the BMX world – is set for release in late-July.
If you’d like to follow Medulla Oblongata, you can check her our on facebook or youtube. Additionally, if you’re interested in checking out a behind-the-scenes of this doco from Medulla’s perspective, you can check that out here.