Review by Benjamin Gummery
DRAW WITH ME is a short documentary film by Constantine Venetopoulos created in partnership with The Trevor Project. The film follows the coming out journey of Brendon Scholl, a youth who identifies as Trans, and how their art became their outlet for self-expression. The film features Jennifer Lopez – Brendon’s aunt – in a special introduction, as well as President Elect Joe Biden.
The film is an important and timely look at the life of a relatively ‘normal’ kid (Brendon Scholl) growing up and struggling with their gender identity which is a difficult and dark journey at times but ultimately is an uplifting story as they are embraced and supported by their family and the community and also how art has helped to cope with this; it is some ways a small and intimate story but with much larger implications and part of a wider conversation. The most heart-warming aspect is to see how family and friends embrace Brendon; especially the parents who very naturally adapt; using ‘They/Them’ pronouns. The film also highlights grassroots Trans/LGBT+ activism.
Film-maker Constantine Venetopoulos shoots this is a very natural and discreet way and allows people to tell their own stories whilst visually using the art angle to great effect. The film in accompanied by an introduction from Brendon’s relative Jennifer Lopez and and post sequence that shows the impact and response to the film since it was first screened which while fun additions; to me felt a little tacked on and slightly diluted the impact of the film.
The film can be viewed now on Vimeo On-Demand