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Award-winning film coming to Sidney documents the power of perseverance

Money from ticket sales will be donated to the University of Victoria’s Anti-Violence Project

A powerful documentary about perseverance, the power of being yourself and overcoming adversity is coming to the Mary Winspear Centre this month.

Francheska’s Film: The Prairie Queen Documentary tells the story of Francheska Dynamites, a drag queen living in Alberta who won’t quit, despite holding down five jobs.

It has won several awards, including best audience award in Alberta and best documentary feature film at the LGBTQA Toronto film festival.

“The film is a documentary about my life,” Francheska Dynamites said. “It covers a lot of issues. I live in a small town that only has 11,000 people and I am originally from the Philippines.”

Dynamites has had to work hard to support her family, who all still live in the Philippines. She was a healthcare worker during the pandemic so she could send her brothers to school and pay for her parents medication. While she works to support her family, her passion is performance and the documentary details how her two identities, one as a drag queen and the other as a provider, influence each other.

“I identify as a gay guy, who as a passion for drag and pageantry and when I am in drag, I transform to the feminine Francheska Dynamites,” she said. “Drag is pretty popular in the Canadian community and pageantry is popular in the Filipino community.”

When looking to screen the film in Victoria, Dynamites and the film team wanted to take the opportunity to fundraise for an important cause. That’s when she found The Anti-Violence Project (AVP), and their mission felt personal to her.

“When I was in the Philippines, I was assaulted,” she said. “While I was waiting for my application to Canada, I lived in a slum in a cemetery. I lived in a very poor community. One night when I got home from work, I was sexually assaulted in my own room and at 3 O’clock in the morning, I ran away and I was homeless for two weeks. So, when I was walking through the University Of Victoria I saw a sign for the Anti-Violence Project and said ‘you know what? I probably want to choose this organization as a beneficiary’ to raise awareness that it exists at UVic.”

Jen Krogfoss, a support coordinator at AVP said the organization aims to provides support, education and action to end gender-based and sexualized violence.

From one-on-one support services to group workshops, AVP is a community resource open to all, but is primarily geared toward students at the University of Victoria.

“We offer free support services that strive to acknowledge all the complexities of sexualized and gender-based violence in a confidential and survivor-led setting,” Krogfoss said. “In addition to these services we do a lot of advocacy on campus and off campus and generally try to raise awareness about us and about the prevalence and how we would like to prevent sexualized and gender-based violence.”

Though AVP is funded through student fees, Krogfoss said any support makes a difference.

“We are so grateful to Francheska and her team for thinking of us and donating to us,” she said. “Any amount of donation can make a huge difference in the services we provide.”

READ ALSO: B.C. joins ‘rallying cry for real action’ to end gender-based violence with 16 Days of Activism campaign

The screening will include a red carpet, where cast of the movie with appear and there will be a 15 minute Q&A and performance afterward. For more information visit


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