Daquisha Jones, left, and Ariel Mahler, a graduate of College of the Atlantic, in a screenshot from their web series "Bad Ally." PHOTO COURTESY OF SAMANTHA ALLEN

COA alum tackles intersectionality

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — College of the Atlantic graduate and filmmaker Ariel Mahler, along with writer Daquisha Jones, has launched a crowdfunding campaign for their new web series, “Bad Ally.”

Bad Ally” is a six-part series that examines the intersection of the transgender community with women of color.

Mahler, 29, originally from North Andover, Mass., now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and though they were assigned male at birth, they recently came out as nonbinary trans and use the they/their/them pronouns.

One of the protagonists, Mix, a white nonbinary transgender actor, meets the other protagonist, Harriet, a black cisgender straight writer. In a world that narrowly defines everything, including friendship, these main characters defy stereotypes and redefine friendship in this new-age buddy comedy set in New York City.

“The crew of ‘Bad Ally’ believes your actions speak louder than your Facebook posts. Your activism is as important as your identity,” Jones said of the project, which she co-wrote with Mahler. “You can think that you’re being an advocate, but lip service is not enough in this day and age. You can be a ‘bad ally,’ no matter how hard you try. It is up to us to become better allies.”

Mahler partnered with Jones after discovering they both had a shared passion for social justice and a desire to tell compelling stories.

“We hope to reclaim so-called PC culture and safe-space mentality,” Mahler said. “This project mixes the academic with the crude, the elevated with the nasty, to produce a story that hasn’t been told before. We want to give a platform to the underrepresented by showcasing this not-very-likely, yet desperately necessary, friendship.”

In 2016, Mahler self-produced their first original web series, titled “Façades,” which tackled the relationship between a nonbinary trans person and a drag queen. It explored the conceptual lines between “gender as identity” and “gender as performance.”

The campaign is being run through Seed & Spark, a fundraising web platform designed specifically to help indie filmmakers.

Visit www.badallyseries.com.


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