Atlas O Phoenix
-Cesar A. Cruz
Atlas O Phoenix is an award-winning director, writer, producer, and editor known for personal, powerful, and uninhibited films. They were a performer and actor for Dykes Do Drag and The Naked I series, and they formerly cohosted Genderful, the trans and nonbinary talk show/podcast with Gender Meowster. Available on YouTube and podcast platforms.
Atlas’ films and artistic vision reveal inconvenient truths, pushing viewers outside their comfort zones to discover new perspectives and challenge their own identities. Their work aims to shift worldviews and attitudes, embracing the power of vulnerability. A compliment they received from a father who watched their film, Do I Qualify for Love? was that his experience with the film completely shifted his understanding of parenting and left him deeply affected. This interaction confirmed the profound impact of Atlas' work, as it transformed his beliefs and self-perception. Such meaningful moments fuel their growing career, with more to come in their experimental documentary, Beautiful Boi. Beautiful Boi, is an experimental documentary studying their life, transition, and mental health journey.
They create films probing the soul's journey from darkness to enlightenment. Emotionally provocative, their work delves into life's light and dark realms. Featured at renowned festivals, their films have garnered multiple awards.
LGBTQIA+ filmmakers inspire by tackling social obstacles of sexual orientation, gender identity, and racial bias, while uncovering universal threads of disempowerment and ascension. Avoiding tropes, cliches, and tokenism is vital for LGBTQIA+ cinema to wield its power and inspire positive change.
Beautiful Boi was awarded one of four grants from the Jerome Foundation's Film, Video, and Digital Production Grant on October 2, 2023.
Nominated for 6 awards at the 2020 Black Continental Independent Movie Awards for their second short film, Little Men; it received an Honorable Mention trophy from the festival. Also received an Honorable Mention from the Deep Focus Film Festival in Brooklyn in 2021.
Ordinary won awards from France, India, and Houston including the Prix Coup de Coeur from Cannes, France, and Best International Documentary Film from Pune, Maharashtra, India. Screened at various international film festivals including the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival, TRANSlations in Seattle, and the Tampa Bay Transgender Film Festival in 2023.
Little Men won awards and was nominated at various international film festivals, including Minneapolis St Paul, Bucharest, London, Rapport, Seattle, and Gary. Received Award of Recognition from IndieFest in La Jolla. Won two REMI awards (Silver and Platinum) for screenplay and film at Worldfest Houston International Film Festival in 2018/2020.
Their third film, Do I Qualify for Love?, was exhibited at multiple festivals including Minneapolis St Paul, London, Birmingham, North Carolina, DC, and Gary. Competed for Best Short Documentary at Minneapolis-St. St Paul International Film Festival in 2021 and was selected among the Best of the Fest.
Received grants from Jerome Foundation, MN State Arts Board, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and VSA MN for their films and screenplays since 1999. Received Honorarium from Sundance Institute in 2021. Commissioned to write three essays for Walker Art Center's MN Artists about Beautiful Boi, with two essays published in November 2021.