Our team at Corduroy Media is comprised of some seriously talented people. We are grateful to work with the best and brightest in the Bay and then providing opportunity for them to unleash their talents on client projects.
Crescent Diamond, the lead editor on our video production team, is no exception. Not only is Crescent a top-notch editor, but she’s also an award-winning filmmaker in her own right. And we want to take a second for a full-on brag session about one of her personal projects that has earned her well-deserved success.
Three years ago, Crescent produced and directed Performing Girl, a documentary about the Tamil Sri Lankan-American performer D’Lo. The movie, which Crescent created as her San Francisco State University Master of Fine Arts in Cinema thesis project, follows D’Lo’s story from his childhood (through footage from home movies of him performing for relatives) through his later coming out as both queer and transgender. Animations, home movies, and family snapshots paint the portrait of his personality. In interviews and clips from his performances, DʼLo and his parents explain how his identity and their relationship has changed over the last twenty years.
Crescent initially met D’Lo at one of his performances, in which he came out dressed as his mother, a conceit that allowed him to interpret his mother’s point of view and to explore his relationship with her. Later in the performance, he took off the sari and revealed the masculine clothes he wore underneath, and spoke from his perspective.
What struck Crescent about D’Lo was the warmth and humor with which he talked about gender, identity, and his experiences. Not only are his performances a unique way to talk about his relationship with his parents, but his story is one of hope and success, which is currently a rarity in transgender narratives.
In 2013, Performing Girl debuted at San Francisco’s Frameline, the oldest and largest LGBT film festival in the world. From there it’s appeared at Outfest LA, BFI London, and a number of other festivals spanning the globe.
Crescent receiving the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Short at Outfest LA (with Jury)
The film has accumulated a healthy number of air miles and has brought Crescent well-deserved acclaim. At Outfest LA in 2013, the film won The Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Short. That same year it won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the Southwest LGBT Film Festival. In 2014, it was awarded the Audience Favorite Award at the London Lesbian Film Festival, and just this year the Sacramento International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival named it Best Short Film.
Crescent is most proud that Performing Girl is being used by universities in their gender studies classes and by other advocacy and support groups, thanks in large part to the securing of a distributor earlier this year.
The increased exposure also has benefits for D’Lo. In recent years, he’s appeared on TV shows including “Sense8” on Netflix, “Transparent” on Amazon, “Looking” on HBO, and a number of other television and film projects. Additionally, Crescent reports that the film has helped D’Lo easily explain who he is not just to his own family but to his wife’s family as well.
You can read more from Crescent in this interview at The Huffington Post, where she talks about working with D’Lo, her hopes for how the movie can move conversations around gender identity forward, and more.
Congratulations, Crescent! We’re so proud to have you on our team.