“Being BeBe” is a documentary feature film about performance, persistance, and purpose – all explored through the life and experiences of drag performer BeBe Zahara Benet.
BeBe is originally from Cameroon in West Africa, now living in the U.S. She’s magnetic, and 6’2”– before the hair and the heels. With an unforgettable presence both onstage and off, BeBe wins over loyal fans by lip-syncing, dancing and performing her own original music. Marshall, the person behind the BeBe persona, goes through his daily life as a man.
We’ve followed BeBe’s story from the early days in the Minneapolis drag scene, to winning the very first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, to struggling to make ends meet in New York City.
Our film takes place one hot and stressful summer when Marshall feels tremendous pressure to get his career back on track despite the passage of time and dwindling opportunities. The pressure is compounded by competition, as Drag Race has now launched so many seasons of internationally renowned drag queens. At the height of his self-doubt, Marshall puts his remaining savings into one last live BeBe show called “Reveal.”
To help him truly “reveal” something new to his audiences, his longtime directors recommend an intense and unconventional acting class about accessing your most authentic self. It’s particularly challenging for Marshall, coming from Cameroon, where the mere suspicion of homosexuality is grounds for imprisonment. Over many powerful sessions with other striving students, he transforms in emotional and surprising ways.
We’re currently in post-production, editing our hearts out and raising the finishing funds to get this film edited and out into the world!
If you’d like to support us on this journey, please consider making a tax-deductible donation through our Non-Profit Fiscal Sponsor, Women Make Movies.
Thank you very much! We can’t wait to share this film with you.