Alumna accepted into St. Louis International Film Festival

The documentary, Crowning Change was directed by alumna Lexy Kadey and starred Erin OFlaherty, the first openly gay pageant contestant for Miss America.
 Photo from Lexy Kadey

The documentary, “Crowning Change” was directed by alumna Lexy Kadey and starred Erin O’Flaherty, the first openly gay pageant contestant for Miss America.
Photo from Lexy Kadey

KAYLA DRAKE | Multimedia Producer

The documentary, “Crowning Change,” has made national headlines since it’s premiere in winter 2018 and now the film is headed home for its last festival.

Alumna Lexy Kadey directed the film as part of the Cinema Arts capstone course her senior year. Since the film’s release, it has been screened at Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival, the Los Vegas Film Festival, the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase and most recently, the St. Louis International Film Festival. 

“I entered in a ton [of festivals] last year and [St. Louis Film Festival] was… the last one on the tour,” she said.

The acceptance was unexpected, Kadey said, because she entered into the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase, unaware that would also qualify her for the St. Louis film festival. 

Kadey found out she was accepted when a man from the festival emailed her about a speaking opportunity for the festival and cinema arts professors Ben Scholle and Peter Carlos congratulated her in an email. 

“Crowning Change” has not won an overall place in the festivals it has been entered into, but Kadey said in Las Vegas she had a Q&A and was screened first, as the only documentary in the short films category. 

The documentary follows Erin O’Flaherty, the first openly gay Miss America contestant in the pageant’s 100-year history, and her experiences within the competition. O’Flaherty made national headlines and became an advocate for LGBTQ youth

Kadey said it is time to move on to another project because O’Flaherty was crowned Miss Missouri in 2016, married her wife in 2017, and it is the end of the 2018 festival season.

Now, Kadey said she is ready to invest in her first feature film. A teaser for the horror film will be shot in October in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to send to investors to finish funding. 

Although Kadey could not share many details about the film, she said the idea first started three years ago in associate professor Andrew Millian’s scriptwriting class. 

“[The film has] just been on my mind ever since,” she said. “I’ve worked on it every Christmas break.”

Kadey said the biggest takeaway from her first directing experience is to have confidence in her abilities and not let people “walk all over her.”

“Having my film in the film festivals and do so well gave me the confidence that my work is worth a little more than free, it’s worth something,” she said. 

Currently, Kadey is a freelancer in Nashville, working on everything from music videos for artists to filming live births.

The schedule is not yet released for the St. Louis International Film Festival, but it will be Nov. 1-11.