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Arts, Sports & Culture

Furries Documentary Premieres In Pittsburgh

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Fursonas
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An insider's look at anthropomorphic role play drew sell-out crowds at its Pittsburgh premiere on Thursday.

Released in January, Fursonas speaks to a furry-friendly city long-known locally for its love of Anthrocon and the community it lauds. 

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Credit Virginia Alvino / 90.5 WESA News
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90.5 WESA News
Filmmaker Dominic Rodriguez (far right) joins some of the crew of Fursonas at the documentary's Pittsburgh premiere.

“You look at a group of fur-suiters for example, and they all look like they’re a part of the same thing," said director Dominic Rodriguez. "But under each costume there’s a different person with a different life.” 

The film born from a student project for Point Park University is now a feature length documentary, Rodriguez said. 

A first-time filmmaker, Rodriguez said he outed himself and his sometime-hobby to humanize the subculture.

It’s a paradox, he said. Fursonas is a film, in part, about furries’ struggle to agree on what media exposure should look like. The film, which won a Spirit of Slamdance award this year, touches on issues of control, divisiveness and infighting in a growing social community.

Rodriguez said some furries didn’t want the film made at all; others are fans.

Furry outsider Trevor O’Neale said he loved the film.

“It was nice to take a look behind the mask," O'Neale said. "It was nice to see a movie that focused on community and identity, which is an issue I think we all face and deal with.” 

Upcoming screenings are scheduled in L.A. and Chicago. Rodriguez said Fursonas will be available on demand this summer.