Award of Excellence – Steve the Queen (Australia)

Title: Steve the Queen
Runtime: 8 min
Country: Australia
Director: Zachary Lurje
Placement: Award of Excellence
Competition: December, 2023

Synopsis: A single dad drag queen struggles to be a better parent before past baggage weighs him down.

Seasoned drag queen, Steve, aspires to be a great parent to mechanic-mad son, Davey. Trouble is, he is disorganised, reactive and pales in comparison to ex-wife Therese who just left him three months ago. Steve is preoccupied with hosting duties at drag bingo and forgets about Davey’s all-important apprenticeship meeting at school.

The next morning, Steve fails to smooth things over with bribery and is forced to confront the reality of his shitty parenting. The roles of parent and child are reversed, when Davey shows incredible maturity and makes a peace offering to his dad a week later at drag bingo. With boisterous bingo players as witnesses, Steve takes his first steps, kicking and screaming, into responsible parenting. Davey is proud and relieved when his father enters the teacher’s office in full drag – now the school knows what he has to deal with!

Steve appears in drag throughout and is embraced by his son and bingo players. What if drag was more than spectacle and a regular presence in domestic life? Steve the Queen explores queer single parenting in all its mundane glory and whiplash glamour.