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Ends Sat, May 4


  • Dir. Vera Drew
  • USA
  • 2022
  • 92 min.
  • NR
  • DCP
  • Assistive Listening
  • Hearing Loop

This revolutionary DIY parody film and hilarious reimagining of the classic autobiographical coming-of-age story follows an unconfident, closeted trans girl as she moves to Gotham City to make it big as a comedian by joining the cast of UCB Live — a government-sanctioned late night sketch show in a world where comedy has been outlawed. As mainstream success eludes our heroine, leading her to unite with a ragtag team of rejects, misfits and a certain love interest named Mister J, “Joker the Harlequin” is born again as a confident (and psychotic) joker on a collision course with the city’s fascist caped crusader. Vats of feminizing chemicals, sexy cartoon interludes, scarecrow psychiatrists, CGI Lorne Michaels, and psychedelic gender dysphoria all play supporting roles. Helmed by writer/director/editor/star Vera Drew — and using her own life experiences as a basis for the film — THE PEOPLE’S JOKER is a deeply personal journey that’s as much documentary as it is parody.

THE PEOPLE’S JOKER features a superhero-sized cast of celebrated comedic talent in both voice and live action roles behind the vibrant kaleidoscope of characters that lampoon the iconic heroes and villains of the DC Comics world, featuring cameos from comedy multi-hyphenate Tim Heidecker, award-winning actor Bob Odenkirk, Maria Bamford (Netflix’s Big Mouth, Adult Swim’s Teenage Euthanasia), and Scott Aukerman (Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis co-creator and host of the Comedy Bang! Bang! podcast), with Vera Drew, Lynn Downey (Amazon Prime Video’s Daisy Jones & The Six), Nathan Faustyn (SADDLED), and Kane Distler, in his film debut as Mister J.

“THE PEOPLE’S JOKER is a fearless, gloriously funny, and moving act of cinematic anarchy. Filmmaker Vera Drew (who also stars in and co-wrote the film) shows us what can be done with the superhero tropes we’ve watched take over filmmaking when someone decides to put real emotion and bold vision into it… It's funny (of course), but deeply vulnerable and genuine, too. Vera rewrites the rules of the superhero genre by engaging with them on a human level, far away from the stilted, distant nature of the franchises we’re used to, thank God.” —Alejandra Martinez, Austin Chronicle

“Coming out as a bold filmmaker with a fearless voice, prolific alt comedy editor Vera Drew’s mixed media dystopia is an experimental trans coming of age story wrapped in a scathing critique and confident rebuke of mainstream comedy. Fiercely original and deeply personal….” —Jude Dry, IndieWire

“...Near perfect. There’s nothing like THE PEOPLE’S JOKER and there probably never will be, which just makes it all the more necessary.” —Kyle Logan, Screen Anarchy

See the Official Website