alexander zorn

Alexander Zorn is a queer filmmaker based in Chicago, IL. He has over six years of independent filmmaking experience working as a producer, director, and editor. Alexander Zorn is an award-winning queer filmmaker based in Chicago, IL. They have over six years of independent filmmaking experience working as a producer, director, and editor. Born and raised in Nashville, Indiana, they studied film production at Indiana University before earning a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from DePaul University in 2019. Alexander is currently traveling with their latest film Bird of Paradise which is an Official Selection at Heartland's Indy Shorts, Maryland Film Festival, Kashish Mumbai Queer Film Festival, and over 20 others.

As a director, I am interested in delicately walking the fine line between right and wrong. My favorite response to BIRD OF PARADISE is that it could easily be creepy in concept but is handled adeptly and with care. The grey areas of life have always been the most fascinating to me. With this film, I set out to convince audiences of a genuine but unconventional love. I always knew it would be challenging, but for me that was the point. That is the magic of film -- it's an opportunity to change minds.

BIRD OF PARADISE posits that despite age and background, love can develop between anyone. Yet, rarely is everyone okay with unconventional love. This rings doubly true for Ruben and Cypress who are both queer and several decades apart in age. The film is not just a fictional representation of these societal strains placed on relationships that defy the norm, but also a direct critique of how society forces relationships for the sake of comfort. As a queer person, this is something that I've experienced first hand. What makes this film distinct is not simply the depiction of a queer relationship, but the willingness to show an unconventional couple in a realistic way. Often times in queer films sexuality wins out over sensuality and intimacy. However, not every relationship is physical and driven by sex. Some are defined by acts of love that transcend sexual desire. It is important to me to present a queer film driven by this subtle side of love that is often forgotten. The result is a film that is unapologetic in its queerness and its depiction of the subtler side of many relationships.

Bird of Paradise.jpg

bird of Paradise

A queer geriatric nurse learns one of life's hardest lessons when he falls in love with one of his elderly patients.

This film was filmed, produced and conceived completely in Chicago. It's a true Chicago production with locations throughout the entire city in neighborhoods such as Rogers Park, Ukrainian Village, Oak Park, and Wrigleyville

© 2020 Chicago Onscreen Presented by Chicago Park District