Film Director to Bring Documentary about transgendered teen’s journey to Monmouth University

WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Director Shaleece Haas brings her film Real Boy; a coming-of-age documentary about Bennett Wallace, a transgender teenager on a journey to find his voice as a musician, a friend, a son, and a man to Monmouth University’s Pollak Theatre on Monday, March 6 at 7:30 pm. The film is free and open to the public.  There will be a Q&A with Haas and one of the stars of the film, Joe Stevens immediately following the screening.

Navigating the ups and downs of young adulthood, Bennett Wallace works to gain the support of his mother, who has deep misgivings about her child’s transition. As tension mounts at home, Bennett is taken in by his idol, Joe Stevens, the lead singer of the alt-Americana band, Coyote Grace. Exploring how our search for personal identity also involves those closest to us, REAL BOY is a nuanced look at the new American family and the people we turn to when our given families are unavailable. REAL BOY has been screened at more than 70 festivals worldwide, received more than 15 awards, and will be broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lens in June 2017.

Shaleece Haas (Director) is a documentary filmmaker based in Oakland, California. She is the co-producer of the 2013 documentary film, The Genius of Marian, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was broadcast on POV in 2014. Her 2010 documentary short, Old People Driving, premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival and was broadcast on the PBS News Hour as part of the Economist Film Project.  In addition to her work as a director/producer, she is an instructor at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, the Berkeley Advanced Media Institute, and the NY Press Association; and serves as the head of submissions for New Day Films. She is a 2015 Film Independent Documentary Lab Fellow, a 2012 Working Films (Reel Aging) fellow and a 2010 Met Life Foundation Journalists in Aging fellow. She is a graduate of the documentary film program at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

The event is sponsored by Monmouth University’s Department of Communication and the Center for the Arts, and is part of the “On Screen: In Person” film series, which brings six films and filmmakers to Monmouth University as part of a tour of the Eastern seaboard. On Screen: In Person is made possible by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Touring Program. For additional information, please call the Center for the Arts at 732-263-5715 or visit online at


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Event:   Real Boy with post-screening Q&A with Shaleece Haas & Joe Stevens

Date:     March 6, 2017   

Time:    7:30 p.m.

Where:  Pollak Theatre, Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, NJ

Sponsored By:   Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts


Box Office: or call 732-263-6889

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...