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The Real Thing

Directed by Brandon Kelley

When a soldier returns home, things have often changed. For Staff Sergeant Michael Waltze, the ultimate change is in his child. While on his tour of duty, his daughter has transitioned and started living her truth. Today he is coming home to surprise her.

Parental love is unconditional. It transcends a person’s memory of their child. The Real Thing is an infinitely stronger bond.


Brandon Kelley focuses on wrapping the performances of their actors around the story of the film.  The opportunity to tell a compelling story, using the talents of a flexible and robust cast, is what Brandon finds most exciting.

Having worked for the past seven years in various crew positions, they have tried to absorb the lessons that each department has to teach.  An encompassing trust with their DP, AD, and keys is something upon which Brandon insists, as this is the key to smooth production.

Most of Brandon’s films focus on the theme of social import.  Their most well-known short film, The Real Thing, is included in many school curricula in order to introduce children to the concept of a transgender classmate.  As a newly-out, but proud, genderqueer individual, Brandon is touched by the deeply personal responses to The Real Thing but looks forward to their next projects.

Plays in

Drama Block: Not Your Everyday Story

This selection of shorts include projects that are made by or star military / veterans and local films.

Dates & Times


Museum of Photographic Arts

Fri, Sep 27
6:15 pm