By LINDSEY BAHR July 21, 2022

Billy Porter, right, director of the new film “Anything’s Possible,” poses with the film’s lead actor Eva Reign at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles on Thursday, July 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Eva Reign stepped onto the set of “ Anything’s Possible ” for the first time almost exactly a year ago. She was, to put it mildly, nervous.

It was a big moment for Reign, who had dreamed of acting in films for most of her life but hadn’t managed to break through. She didn’t even have an agent or a manager when she responded to the open casting call. Suddenly there she was, starring in a film directed by Billy Porter about a transgender high school senior’s first big romance and all she could think about was how she was going to have to prove herself. But Porter put her at ease.

“You’re safe now. You’re doing the thing,” Porter told her. “Have fun doing the thing. You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t earn it.”

“Anything’s Possible,” which debuts on Amazon Prime Video Friday, is a milestone for transgender representation in film — a studio-produced celebration of an empowered Black trans girl.

Porter likes to say that the script found him. The rom-com, written by Ximena García Lecuona, checked off a lot of boxes for the Tony- and Emmy-winning actor, who makes his directorial debut with the film. He loved that it wasn’t a coming out story. He loved that Kelsa (Reign) was already accepted by her peers and being pursued by a cute guy (Abubakr Ali). He loved that it could help dispel a pernicious fallacy that trans and queer people have “miserable lives.” And he loved that it just happened to be set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where Porter was born, raised and found his voice as an artist.ENTERTAINMENTWill Smith posts an apology video for slapping Chris Rock‘Amber Brown’ springs to TV under Bonnie Hunt’s sure handJoe Manganiello gets family mysteries solved on PBS showQ&A: Melissa Barrera survives, on screen and in Hollywood

“I wanted to come back and just create a love letter to Pittsburgh, that honored all of the energies, the mentors, the teachers, the chosen families and all of the people who raised me and made me the human being that I am today,” Porter said. “That happened in Pittsburgh.”(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Alexa Fogel, who also cast “Pose,” was the one who put Reign in front of Porter. Reign was working as a freelance journalist when a friend told her about an open casting call for the film.

“She stuck out to me because there is a grounded and mature energy to her that is beyond Kelsa’s years,” Porter said. “I really felt like for the first time seeing this archetype in the mainstream marketplace, we needed a leader to guide us through this tale who was grounded and mature — probably more mature than what you would think a traditional 17-year-old would be.”

Porter was a grounding force for Reign throughout the process, encouraging her to embrace the full range of her voice which she’d been made to feel self-conscious about in the theater.Reign and Porter on the set of “Anything’s Possible.” (Tony Rivetti/Prime Video via AP)

“There are plenty of cis women out there with much, much deeper voices than mine. But when you’re a trans women, they try to put you in strange boxes that don’t make any sense, that are totally made up,” Reign said. “Billy said that before we even started shooting. And I just burst into tears. I had never had that said to me. It made me think this is the start of something totally new.”

For his part, Porter didn’t want Reign to go through what he did. When he was studying theater at Carnegie Mellon, he remembered being told that his own voice was too high for the American stage and that he’d never make it as an actor. His experience in the industry would prove otherwise.

“I’ve been through a whole lot in my life. A whole lot of naysayers. A whole lot of people telling me that who I am was not good enough, that my queerness would be my liability,” Porter said. “This piece found me because of the decisions and choices I made in my life prior, choosing myself and my authenticity decades ago.”

In Kelsa, Reign saw some similarities to her own journey, including having a supportive and sometimes overly protective mother (played in the film by Renée Elise Goldsberry). But, she said, her high school experience in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, was “a little bit rougher.”

“I was this budding trans person at the time, and a lot of people couldn’t quite figure me out,” she said.

Reign turned to writing, drawing comics and acting to express herself and eventually found her way to New York, where she’s been making a name for herself in more than one medium. She recently won a Peabody for her work in the Vice News docu-series “Transnational.” And she’s hopeful about what “Anything’s Possible” might do for the kinds of stories that are told about transgender people.

“Billy Porter is really putting in the work to have more happy, queer, trans narratives,” she said. “We’ve seen happy trans people on shows like ‘Pose’ and ‘Euphoria,’ but I kind of thought that was few and far between. I didn’t think that was something that was going to come up in my all life and career and journey as an artist. I struggle with being honest about that because I don’t want to talk in morbid ways. But I didn’t think it was feasible.”

“A lot of my friends in New York who are also trans artists and actors and writers, they’re all looking at this movie, like, ‘Oh my God, we’re doing this. We’re telling happy stories,’” she added. “We’re all kind of having this collective moment of being like, ‘Oh we’re allowed to show our joy. Hopefully we can do more of that.’”


The Pittsburgh Film Office is pleased to announce that Pittsburgh is one of the top 5 small cities and towns on MovieMaker Magazine’s list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2022! MovieMaker compiles its annual list based on surveys, production spending, tax incentives, additional research, and personal visits, whenever possible.“It is great to have the Pittsburgh region recognized once again as one of the BEST PLACES TO LIVE AND WORK IN MOVIEMAKER MAGAZINE.” Pittsburgh Film Office director Dawn Keezer says. “We are grateful that the amazingly gifted local crew and talent has been recognized for their incredible skills to bring stories to the screen.” “As a former Pittsburgher, I tell everyone who will listen that it may be the most underrated movie city in America,” says MovieMaker editor-in-chief Tim Molloy. “Stunningly cinematic, from the skyline to the inclines to the gorgeous greenery to all the authentic, historic neighborhoods, it’s a storyteller’s dream — and it’s affordable, culturally thriving, and one of the friendliest places you’ll ever go. The Pittsburgh Film Office does an exceptional job of helping productions of all sizes. I’m thrilled and not at all surprised that the local film business is as busy as it’s ever been.”

The Official Pittsburgh Film Office Movie Tour

Calling all Movie Buffs! Celebrate the “Hollywood of the East”, where movies and film crews abound! Interactive tour through city backdrops of movies such as The Dark Knight Rises, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Flashdance, The Next Three Days, Inspector Gadget, Abduction, Jack Reacher, and dozens more! (2.5 hours)

Due to COVID-19, the bus tours have been suspended until further notice.

PITTSBURGH – The Department of Public Works announced today that it has permitted Fidelis Productions, LLC to move the dates of its upcoming road closures in the Municipality of Monroeville and Pitcairn Borough. Pitcairn Road between the Sugar Camp Park entrance and Tilbrook Road as well as Stroschein Road between Pitcairn Road and Wyngate Drive will now close from 7 p.m. Friday, June 25 to 4 a.m. Saturday, June 26. The closures are required for a film shoot.   Residents who live within the closure areas will have access to their homes at all times.   Pitcairn Road traffic will be detoured using Wall Avenue, Broadway Boulevard (Route 130), Brinton Road, Rosso Drive, and Tilbrook Road. Stroschein Road traffic will be detoured using Wyngate Drive and Monroeville Boulevard.   The closures were originally scheduled to occur overnight on 6/18. However, due to recent storms, streetlight work necessary for the film shoot has been delayed.  
For more information, contact John Adkins at 412-352-6465 or [email protected].

Dear Pittsburgh Film Lovers,  

YOU can make a difference today with the gift of your support by joining the Pittsburgh Film Office #2020Donate and close out 2020 with a bang!
Donate Now!

With your support, we can impact our community in a lasting way!

We are calling all Pittsburgh area film lovers to support the economic initiatives of the Pittsburgh Film Office and continue to bring jobs and economic impact to the southwestern Pennsylvania region! 

These are challenging times for all. Now more than ever, our community needs us! And we need YOU!

YOUR FINANCIAL GIFT contributes to bringing film productions to the Pittsburgh region! Recent productions that support local businesses and help local crew members create family-sustaining careers:

Available NOW!

  • HAPPIEST SEASON streaming on Hulu
  • I’M YOUR WOMAN streaming on Amazon Prime 
  • MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM streaming on Netflix 

Ways to support the Pittsburgh Film Office: Donate any amount to help support the Pittsburgh Film Office

Donate $50 or more and receive Friends of the Film Office (FOFO) membership (regularly $60) for invitation only film premieres, events, news and more! 

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Please join us in making a year-end donation here TODAY!


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Pittsburgh Film Office

535 Smithfield Street, Suite 500

Pittsburgh, PA 15222.

We will send you a receipt for your tax deductible contribution. 


For the love of film, 

The Pittsburgh Film Office

APRIL 23 – MAY 3


SouthSide Works Cinema


Twenty-seven years strong, the annual JFilm Festival presents international Jewish-themed films that deepen audiences’ understanding of Jewish culture, tolerance, and our common humanity.