IDENTITEAZE Trailer Reveals an Exciting New Player in Indie Sci-Fi

Writer and YouTuber Jessie Earl puts a queer spin on a familiar genre.

The world of YouTube video essays is full of cutting-edge commentary about movies, TV, and other media, and now those voices are only getting more amplified. This is a world where a five-hour video essay about a Star Wars hotel “immersive experience” can get coverage on The New York Times and a philosophy-focused YouTuber can land roles on The Acolyte and House of the Dragon.

Now, another revolutionary commentator Jessie Earl aka Jessie Gender, is stepping into the world of filmmaking with a new Nebula Original sci-fi short, IDENTITEAZE. You can check out the trailer exclusively on Inverse below:

IDENTITEAZE, written and directed by Earl, follows a pair of new hires who must unravel the mystery of their own unknown identities while navigating a corporate metaverse that rigidly defines virtually every aspect of its employees’ reality. That same corporate metaverse is run by an enigmatic CEO whose friendly veneer may mask darker motives.

The cast includes Ezra Reaves, Maggie Mae Fish, James Tison, Darius Rose “Jackie Cox,” Jasika Nicole, Abigail Thorn, and Star Trek legend John De Lancie. It will premiere exclusively on Nebula, a creator-built streaming service, on June 25.

Much like recent hits like Silo and Severance, IDENTITEAZE focuses on the corporatization of selfhood and identity, but specifically through a queer lens, featuring multiple trans actors and produced with a cast and crew of majority women, genderqueer, and LGBTQIA+ individuals. While movies like I Saw the TV Glow and The People’s Joker explore trans identities through media, IDENTITEAZE goes one step further and immerses the message in a stark-white world that is clearly influenced by past media — even including the actor behind Star Trek’s Q — but is fully encapsulated in its own universe.

Identiteaze follows two employees of a mysterious company as they sort out their personhood in a corporate sci-fi world.


"IDENTITEAZE is my love letter to the darker theatrical sci-fi realms of Twilight Zone or Black Mirror, entwined with the philosophical and radical queer essence of The Matrix or LeGuin,” says writer/director Jessie Earl. “To me, IDENTITEAZE speaks to how so much of our world today attempts to sell us who we should be, offering shallow, prescribed destinies to purchase on someone else's terms. At its core, IDENTITEAZE is a deeply personal film about discovering oneself within a world that provides no tools for such a journey—and how choosing yourself is the inception of a much longer, revolutionary path toward transforming the world into something better."

We’re now entering a new era of content creation, where the power of the creators themselves now allows them to compete with the studios and larger platforms. Nebula is at the cutting edge of this movement, and this short may just be the start of a new player in indie sci-fi — one with a built-in audience through a YouTube following.

Identiteaze premieres June 25, 2024 on Nebula.

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