• Black Divaz, a documentary that goes beyond the make-up, glue guns and a glamour of the Miss First Nations Drag Queen pageant (Joseph Meyers)
Black Divaz, a compelling documentary that tells the story beyond the make-up, glue guns and a glamour of the Miss First Nations Drag Queen pageant
By
NITV Staff Writers

15 Feb 2018 - 3:24 PM  UPDATED 22 Feb 2018 - 3:40 PM

Lights, tights and action!

To coincide with the 40th Anniversary of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, NITV presents the compelling documentary Black Divaz, a one-hour television special which shines a light on the Indigenous LGBTQI+ community.

The doco follows Indigenous Drag Queens from around Australia as they embark on a quest to be crowned the Inaugural Miss First Nations Drag Queen

We meet the fierce, sassy contestants, Nova Gina, Isla Fuk Yah, Crystal Love, Josie Baker, Jojo and Shaniqua and the pageant’s drag hosts, Miss Ellaneous and Marzi Panne, and hear the stories behind their outrageous Drag personas. Souls will be bared and connections made as one Queen makes history as she is crowned Australia’s Miss First Nation for the first time!

However, Black Divaz goes beyond the make-up, the glue guns and the glamour of drag to reveal the complexities of a world that is little known or understood. The pageant, hosted during Darwin Pride Week, showcases not just the incredible talent in the Indigenous drag community but also sheds a light on some of the bigger issues faced by Indigenous men and sistergirls who happen to love drag.

Being LGBTQI+ in today’s world differs greatly and for many gay, transgender, sistergirls and gender diverse members of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The fight for understanding and equality is sometimes just as difficult within their own communities, clan groups and families as it is in the wider Australian community.

NITV Channel Manager, Tanya Orman says, “Black Divaz is an incredibly important documentary for NITV to commission, as it gives our vibrant Indigenous LGBTQI+ community a platform to celebrate and share their stories.

“The documentary not only aims to celebrate the fabulous Queens in the film, but to reach those members in our community who are struggling. Hopefully they watch Black Divaz and feel a sense of pride and belonging.”

Director of Black Divaz, Adrian Russell Wills says he hopes the documentary will speak to other Indigenous LGBTQI+ people and youth, particularly those in rural and remote areas.  

“My hope is that Black Divaz speaks directly to those kids in remote communities, or those living in small country towns, or even those kids living in big cities who feel isolated, misunderstood or different. I wish for them to see themselves on screen and recognise their hopes and dreams are valid and can come true, that they too can be celebrated.

“The Divaz teach us all to live our truth out loud and proud, through their personal stories we see life isn’t always easy walking down a different road but it is a road many who have gone before have paved for them so they can discover their Diva!”

 

Watch Black Divaz on NITV (Channel 34) on Thursday 1 March at 8.30pm. Catch up available On Demand. Join the conversation #BlackDivaz 

SBS will have an encore telecast of Black Divaz following its broadcast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras’s 40th anniversary on Sunday 4 March at 11pm.

Black Divaz will also be screening at Queer Screen’s 25th Mardi Gras Film Festival on Wednesday 28 February.