Project UnLonely Films Season 7

Frankie

James Kautz

Frankie, a non-binary trans person, crashes their ex-partner’s men-only 12-step meeting, determined to be heard… no matter the cost.

Consider This

Watch this video to explore the film’s meaning and major themes a bit more. Talking with others about a shared arts experience can enrich our perspectives. Share your thoughts in the comment section, below!

Meet the Filmmaker

What is their why?

James Kautz (he/him) is a multifaceted artist of stage and film, hailed by The New York Times as “fearless” and as “fiercely talented” by Time Out New York.

He is the founder of RED SEED FILMS, an independent film production company focusing on stories of personal transformation, gender, and identity. The company’s award-winning, inaugural short, FRANKIE, written and directed by James, has been accepted into over two dozen film festivals, including Oscar, BAFTA, and Canadian Film Award-qualifying festivals. Some of the most notable include Raindance, deadCenter Film Festival, Atlanta Film Festival, and SCAD Savannah Film Festival.

James was the Founding Artistic Director of the award-winning, critical darling, Off Broadway theatre company, The AMORALISTS. As an actor, James has worked in television (HBO, CBS), theatre (Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage), independent films, web series, and voice-over. He has taught and directed in NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and The Atlantic Theater Company Acting School.

“A few years ago, I entered into a men’s codependency group. It was honestly the first time in my life I’d ever been in a space where cisgender men were so openly vulnerable. A common theme amongst all of us in the room was this idea that we’d denied our true selves in an effort to ‘stay safe’ in the face of someone else’s addictions and fears.

My spouse Morgan, who is a Producer on Frankie and plays Frankie, was coming out as trans, non-binary at the time, and they were having so many similar revelations about their own experience.

The commonality of that human need: to be seen and recognized despite someone else’s fear – that was the seed of Frankie.”

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Join The Conversation

What steps can we take to create a safe and supportive environment where those who are going through transitions can feel comfortable sharing their experiences? Why do we often find it difficult to create such an environment and instead perceive these discussions as a threat?

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