Kiley May - ImagineNative Resident

January to October 2020

This residency was developed to offer a mid-career or established Indigenous artist the opportunity to expand their practice and to experiment with the latest video technologies in the creation of a new short video work. This program offers the opportunity to enhance a current project create a short film (5-10min) using in-kind and monetary resources of the partnering artist-run centre (upto $5000 value), plus a $1,000 CAD bursary, along with mentorship support. 

Kiley May is the 2020 imagineNATIVE/CSV 2020 Commission recipient. Her project, Disclosure, is a trans romantic dramedy.

Kiley May
Kiley May is Hotinonhshón:ni, Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) and Turtle Clan from Six Nations reserve, now rooted in Aterón:to (Toronto). She is a two spirit transgender multidisciplinary storyteller - an actor, screenwriter and filmmaker. Watch out for her short film Disclosure, a trans romantic dramedy, premiering at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in October. 

About the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival:
The imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival is the largest international festival of its kind that celebrates the latest works by Indigenous peoples on the forefront of innovation in film, video, radio and new media. The imagineNATIVE Institute, a department within the organization, also runs year-round professional development opportunities for Indigenous screen creatives.


Short film, romantic comedy, 2SLGBTQIAP+
When a handsome, charming stranger asks out a trans woman, she battles with disclosing her trans identity - only to learn he has something to reveal too. 
Libbie is a cute, quirky, slightly awkward Indigenous trans woman. A witty, bright, romantic feminist on a mission, she is thrown off-kilter when a chivalrous man expresses interest in her.
Martino is a fresh, athletic and virile cisgender Italian Canadian man. A go-getter who's perceptive with old-worldly charm. He meets an alluring trans woman who makes him look deeper within himself.
Why it matters
While dating for most people is normalized, the particular experience of dating while trans is not. The uncertainty of the Russian roulette scenario of disclosing one’s trans identity is not discussed enough, nor is trans-attracted men's reality. This film reveals this virtually unknown undiscussed world of trans women dating and the men who date them. The intention is to generate a conversation. Understanding, sensitivity and empathy for trans and trans-attracted people in these circumstances are needed, as is destigmatizing and normalizing trans attraction and relationships. 
Why it will succeed
Amusing and illuminating, Disclosure is a fresh take on a romcom, fulfilling the demand for authentic storytelling and intersectional representation. Right now, audiences need escapist, lighthearted and funny stories like this one, about the thrills and joys of the dating gamble. Though a niche experience, the themes of revealing oneself, vulnerability, taking a risk, fear of rejection and acceptance are immensely relatable.


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