Real Boy

During his transition from female to male, Bennett is taken under the wing of his musical hero, transgender folk singer Joe Stevens.

Bennett Wallace
Independent Lens
Premiere Date
June 19, 2017
60 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2016 Frameline Film Festival-Audience Award
  • Nominated laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2018 GLAAD Media Awards-Outstanding Documentary
  • Director

    Shaleece Haas

    Shaleece is a documentary filmmaker based in Oakland, CA. She is the co-producer of the 2013 documentary film, The Genius of Marian, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast on POV in 2014. Her 2010 documentary short, Old People Driving, premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival and was broadcast on PBS NewsHour as part of the Show more Economist Film Project. In addition to her work as a director/producer, Shaleece is an instructor of video storytelling at the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute, a program of UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. She is a 2015 Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow, a 2012 Working Films (Reel Aging) fellow and a member of the Queer Producers Collective. Prior to starting her work in documentary film, Shaleece worked as an editorial photographer and radio producer and was a founding staff member of the national oral history project, StoryCorps. She is a graduate of the documentary film program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism Show less

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    The Film

    Real Boy is an intimate story of a family in transition. As 19-year-old Bennett Wallace navigates early sobriety, late adolescence, and the evolution of his gender identity, his mother makes her own transformation from resistance to acceptance of her trans son. Along the way, both mother and son find support in their communities, reminding us that families are not only given, but chosen.