Alpha Kings
Short | Nonfiction | 15’ | 2023 | U.S.A | Digital
The New Yorker Documentary


Streaming now on The New Yorker and YouTube

From a rented mansion in the suburbs of Houston, Texas, a group of young men sell a hyperbolic, alpha-male version of themselves on the internet.

These “Masters” forgo college to support themselves in the world of online Financial Domination, where thousands of paying clients consent to relinquishing control over their finances. Through the course of one night, the film alternates between vignettes of virtual, live-streamed sessions, and cam shows in which anonymous participants engage in consensual erotic labor. Alpha Kings explores the dichotomy between these “Masters” and their true private selves, drawing on themes of desire, masculinity, sexuality, power, and performance. In a current social-political climate in which the American Dream seems far-fetched, the film’s subjects grapple with uncertainty about the future, their place in society, and the value of their work.

Selections
International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) 2023
True/False Film Festival, 2023
Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, 2023
Camden International Film Festival, 2023
Rooftop Film Series, 2023
Palm Springs ShortFest, 2023
Museum of the Moving Image, New Adventures in Nonfiction, 2023
Metrograph: Highlights from Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces, 2023
Athens International Film and Video Festival, 2023
IndieLisboa International Film Festival, 2023
Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterhur, 2023
Bogotá Short Film Festival (BOGOSHORTS), 2023
Cinemateca de Bogotá, Special Programs, 2023
London Short Film Festival, 2023
DC/DOX, 2023
Winnipeg Underground Film Festival, 2023
SYNCRO, Festival Internacional de Cortometrajes de Buenos Aires, 2023
Tabor Film Festival, 2023
New/Next Film Festival, 2023
Rockaway Film Festival, 2023
Les Mains Gauches, 2023
Film Fest Gent, 2023 
Kurzfilmfestival Köln, 2023
Nashville International Film Festival, 2023
Denver Film Festival, 2023
International Film Festival of Valladolid (Seminci), 2023
NewFilmmakers LA, 2023
NewFilmmakers NY, 2023
Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Market Picks, 2023
FIPADOC, 2024
AFI Fest, 2023 (Grand Jury Prize, Special Mention for Social Commentary)
Venice Film Week, 2023 (Best Documentary Short)
Kurzfilm Festival Hamburg, 2023 (Hamburg Short Film Prize)
Drunken Film Fest, Oakland, 2023 (Best Documentary Short)
Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2023 (Honorable Mention)

Directed, Photographed & Edited by
Enrique Pedráza-Botero & Faye Tsakas

Featuring
Master Dax
Master Hercules
Master Robert
King Jess
Jolie Daspit
Skylar Breann

Consulting Producer
Stefan Weinberger

Production Assistant
Jolie Daspit

Technical Support
Srdan Keca
Frank Floyd

Sound Mix
Dan Olmsted

Color Grading
Robert Arnold

Post Sound Assistance
Sruti Visweswaran

Faculty Advisor
Jamie Meltzer 

Made with the support of:
Pacific Pioneer Fund

Produced in the Documentary Film M.F.A. Program
Department of Art & Art History
Stanford University

The New Yorker Documentary


 
Poster deigned by Brandon Winters