RuPaul's Drag Race royalty star in Sussex film makers latest documentary
A Sussex documentarian has today launched his latest film looking at London's role as 'the captial of drag'.
The documentary stars RuPaul’s Drag Race UK alumni Tayce and Ginny Lemon and has been released today, showcasing London’s diverse and dynamic drag scene as the industry emerges from coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
‘London: The Capital of Drag’, was filmed and produced by documentary filmmaker Ollie Tunmore and throws light on the often-unseen side to the drag community, including drag kings, non-binary and gender fluid performers and AFAB (assigned female at birth) artists.
Twenty-four-year-old Ollie, an Arundel resident, grew up in the town and attended Bishop Luffa School in Chichester.
He learned his practical filmmaking skills attending Bournemouth University where he studied BA Hons Media Production. While the documentary was filmed in London, the entirety of the film was edited and distributed by himself from his home office in Arundel, which is a true testament to the sign of the times as we emerged out of lockdown.
Including behind-the-scenes interviews with stars from the scene such as Barbs, Cara Melle and Mr Gay England 2021 finalist, Chiyo, the film explores what it means to be an LGBTQIA individual living in London in 2021, focusing particularly on the queer performance and nightlife scene.
Non-binary drag performer and show producer Carrot commented: “Mainstream drag so often focuses on high beauty standards and an expectation to look and behave a certain way.
"London’s drag is so much more than that, with non-binary, plus sized and gender non-conforming performers able to not only be visible, but thrive while doing so.
"That’s why this piece is so important. It brings together all of these different performers to the forefront, in one place, for everybody to celebrate.”
Drag artist Kiki Snatch said about the film: “The London scene is like nowhere else I’ve ever been. It allows people to be authentically themselves and explore their own identity and what that means to them.
"This film showcases exactly that, and I can’t wait for the world to see it.”
The film features more than 30 different artists and 70+ performances from across London, as well as exclusive backstage footage and sit-down interviews with some of the biggest names in London drag today.
Speaking about the production and release of the film, director and producer Ollie Tunmore commented: “It’s a genuine honour to have been trusted by all of these phenomenally talented artists to film their art.
"When I set out to make this documentary, the main objective I had was to celebrate ‘the other’, by championing diversity in any which way that I could.”
He added: “The queer scene in London is one of the brightest, most dynamic and special in the world. I wanted to capture a snapshot of this incredible collective of people who are working day and night to represent queer culture and share it with the world.”
“Filming and production took three months, which coincided with the opening up of London as we emerged out of lockdown. Naturally, this presented challenges, with Covid-19 restrictions changing all the time - hence why some interviews of the film had to be filmed via Zoom.
"Obviously, this wasn’t ideal, but I’m also somewhat pleased it happened – as it now feels like an authentic reflection of that strange and challenging period for us all.”
Ollie also went on to describe the film as ‘a love letter to the queer community, celebrating those who might have otherwise been under-represented or marginalised in the past.’
London: The Capital of Drag will educate, entertain and enlighten viewers hoping to see some familiar faces, learn about drag, and see what London truly has to offer.
London: The Capital of Drag is out now and is available to view: https://vimeo.com/617787482