Director BIO: Kayden Phoenix (PENANCE)

Director Biography – Kayden Phoenix

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Kayden Phoenix is a Chicana Writer and Director from Boyle Heights, California. She received a full ride academic scholarship to Loyola Marymount University where she acquired a BA in Business Administration, with an Emphasis in Marketing. Upon entering the industry, the first thing she noticed was the industry dominated standard- complete with character generalizations.

In response, she became a huge advocate for diversity both in front and behind the camera, giving a voice to stories untold. She plans on evening the playing field for the under-represented through her unique and diverse filmmaking.


Director Statement


The concept of this project rooted from our culture’s take on sexuality. Homophobia, particularly trying to correct it with conversion therapy is sadly apart of our history. Penance is a take on the church and their extreme punishments (ex. electric shock therapy).

This is important to me because though I was raised traditional, I of course do not condone nor support this behavior. I purposefully cast all Latinas/os to show how harsh Latino culture is toward LGBTQ.

I identify as LGBTQ and even when I lived in Hollywood, I got looked down upon, name-called, and followed. And this is HOLLYWOOD! Where we’re very “welcoming” and “accepting”. So my perspective and how I see the world as an LGBTQ individual and how my culture judges me for that.

Cinematically, I love colors and symmetry. I’m a big fan of Guillermo del Toro and Tim Burton. So aesthetically pleasing while at times raw.

This film has won Best LGBTQ Award at the LA FILM AWARDS.


By lgbttorontofilmfestival

Festival occurring twice a year. In Toronto in June. And in Los Angeles in September. Showcasing the best of LGBT Short Films and Screenplays from around the world.

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