Kelli Jean Drinkwater is a filmmaker, artist and activist recognized internationally for her creative practice and voice in radical body politics. Kelli Jean uses the body as a site to explore themes of identity, queer and feminist theory and society’s obsession with “perfection”. Often confrontational, her work aims to investigate the complex relationship we all have with our bodies.
She is an interdisciplinary artist creating within and outside the genres of performance, photography, fashion, film and sound.
In 2016, Kelli Jean was asked to present a TedXSydney talk on fat phobia, at the Sydney Opera House, which has received over 1.6 million views.
Kelli Jean has performed, hosted and curated events in London (UK) for Club Antisocial, Duckie and The Place. Recent performances include Force Majeure’s Nothing to Lose for Sydney Festival and Dance Massive at The Malthouse Theatre in Melbourne, Night Craft for MCA’s Artbar, Tableau Vivant for Underbelly Arts Festival, Monsta Gras at The Red Rattler Theatre and Department H in Tokyo. She is a resident artist with The Glitter Militia performance collective in Sydney, Australia.
As Artistic Associate on Force Majeures’ award winning dance theatre production Nothing to Lose, Kelli Jean collaborated with renowned director Kate Champion. Co-commissioned by Sydney Festival and Carriageworks, the show had sell out seasons for both Sydney Festival and for Dance Massive and The Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne.
Kelli Jean is an award-winning filmmaker working across many roles and genres of storytelling, with a focus on documentary. Her short documentary “Aquaporko!” (2013), won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at QueerScreen Mardi Gras Film Festival in 2013.
She was the primary editor on “The Pink House” (2017), Directed by Sasha Ettinger-Epstein, which won the Documentary Australia Foundation award for Best Documentary at Sydney Film festivals in 2017.
Kelli Jean directed, edited and wrote “Monsta Gras” (2018), a short documentary commission for ABC ARTS as part of their Love Bites series.
“Nothing to Lose”(2018) is Kelli Jean’s first feature documentary as Director and Editor. The film had it’s World Premiere at Frameline Film Festival, San Fransisco and sold out screenings for QueerScreen, Sydney and ACMI, Melbourne. The film continues to receive rave reviews in on the International festival circuit.
Australian audiences can now watch “Nothing to Lose at SBS on Demand.
Kelli Jean is currently in production as Co- Director on “The Rainbow Passage”. Commissioned by Screen Australia and 10Play for the Out Here series.
Image credit: Simian Coates
Cover image by Toby Burrows