The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela (2008)

The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela 2008tt0814005.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela (2008)
  • Rate: 6.1/10 total 152 votes 
  • Genre: Biography | Drama
  • Release Date: 10 October 2008 (Iceland)
  • Runtime: 80 min
  • Filming Location: Bangkok, Thailand
  • Budget: $400,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $5,255(USA)(12 October 2008)
  • Director: Olaf de Fleur Johannesson
  • Stars: Raquela Rios, Stefan C. Schaefer and Olivia Galudo
  • Original Music By: Pavel E. Smid   
  • Sound Mix: Dolby SR (RCA Sound System)
  • Plot Keyword: Philippines | Iceland | Prostitution | Website | Ladyboy

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Olaf de Fleur Johannesson  screenplay (as Olaf de Fleur)
  • Benedikt Jóhannesson  writer
  • Rune Kippervik  script consultant
  • Stefan C. Schaefer  story treatment
  • Stefan C. Schaefer  structure
  • Thor Thorsteinsson  story support

Known Trivia

  • The film is inspired by actual people and events – was originally supposed to be a documentary but was changed to a semi-fiction feature.
  • The first version of the film was 105 minutes. It was re-edited down to 80 minutes with the help of Icelandic director Dagur Kári.
  • Actor Stefan C. Schaefer, who plays the internet pimp Michael, thought he was coming to Paris to work on a screenplay with director ‘Olaf de Fleur’, who asked him on arrival to play the Internet pimp.
  • Olaf de Fleur met Raquela Rios on the Internet after having seen transsexuals dressed like Paris Hilton in poor parts of Cebu City on a visit to the Philippines. Many were auditioned for the main part that ended with Raquela.
  • Brax Villa and Via Galudo – Raquela’s friends in the film are her real friends.
  • The security guard in the film in is played by production designer Alexis Yap.
  • While filming in Paris, Raquela was chased frequently up and down the streets by enthusiastic overly romantic men.

Plot: Raquela, a transsexual from the Philippines, dreams of escaping the streets of Cebu City for a fairy tale life in Paris. Full summary »  »

Story: Raquela is a transsexual-or "ladyboy"-from the Philippines who dreams of escaping the streets of Cebu City for a fairy tale life in Paris. In order to make her dreams come true, she turns from prostitution toward the more lucrative business of Internet porn. Her success as a porn star brings new friends, including Valerie, a ladyboy in Iceland, and Michael, the owner of the website Raquela works for. Valerie helps Raquela get as far as Iceland. From there, Michael offers her a rendezvous in Paris. Will Paris be everything she dreamed of? And will Michael turn out to be her Prince Charming?Written by Johannesson, Olaf de Fleur  


Synopsis: The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela, directed by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, is an 85 minute drama which chronicles the story of a naive but street smart Filipina transsexual prostitute named Raquela who decides to travel in order to find her prince charming.

Like many Transsexuals (often known as "Ladyboys") in the Philippines, Raquela dreams of marrying a heterosexual man from the West. She spends much of her time on the internet looking for men who can come and rescue her. They promise to come, but time after time Raquela gets stood up at the airport.

Her life changes when, by luck, she lands a job as a webcam host on a transsexual porn site. The owner of the website, Michael, a "Ladyboy specialist" who runs his business from New York, promises to help Raquela. Through the internet, Raquela makes many interesting friends. Among them is Valery, the only "out of the closet" transsexual in Iceland, who is looking for someone like herself. Through her friends in the internet world, Raquela eventually gets the opportunity to travel far away on her quest to find the straight man of her dreams.

— from the Queen Raquela MySpace page

{tab=FullCast & Crew}

Produced By:

  • Arleen Cuevas known as producer
  • Olaf de Fleur Johannesson known as producer (as Olaf de Fleur)
  • Baltasar Kormákur known as executive producer
  • Gudni Pall Saemundsson known as associate producer
  • Stefan C. Schaefer known as producer
  • Helgi Sverrisson known as producer
  • Kristin Andrea Thordardottir known as associate producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Raquela Rios known as Herself
  • Stefan C. Schaefer known as Ardilo, Michael (as Stefan Schaefer)
  • Olivia Galudo known as Olivia (also as Via Galudo)
  • Brax Villa known as Aubrey
  • Valerie Grand Einarsson known as Vala Einarsson (also as Valerie Grand) (as Valeria Grand Einarsson)
  • Amor Alingasa known as Amor
  • Raniel Dave Balasabas known as Young Raquela friend
  • Ren Christian Balasabas known as Young Raqulea
  • Margret Eggertsdottir known as Horse shepard
  • Edith Galudo known as Via's Mom
  • Marcus Kalberer known as Johnny K
  • Hronn Kristinsdottir known as Woman in Fish Factory
  • Luis Labandero known as Pimp
  • Archie Modequillo known as Clerk
  • Reynaldo Palatulon known as Taxi driver
  • Ingibjorg Sigurdardottir known as Lonely Older Woman
  • Eggert Horgdal Snorrason known as Driver Fish Factory
  • Alexsis Yap known as Joselito

..{tab=Supporting Department}..{tab=Company}

Production Companies:

  • Cicala Filmworks (co-production)
  • Poppoli Pictures

Other Companies:

  • Reeltime Creative  creative advertising materials (Trailers, Posters, Websites)


  • Clipart (2011) (Greece) (theatrical)
  • Regent Releasing (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • here! Films (2008) (USA) (theatrical)
  • E1 Entertainment (2010) (USA) (DVD)
  • Optimale (2009) (France) (all media)
  • Poppoli Pictures (2007) (worldwide) (all media)

..{tab=Other Stuff}Release Date:

  • Germany 10 February 2008 (Berlin International Film Festival)
  • USA 7 March 2008 (South by Southwest Film Festival)
  • Canada 18 May 2008 (Inside/Out Toronto Gay and Lesbian Film Festival)
  • USA 16 June 2008 (New York Gay and Lesbian Film Festival)
  • Serbia 18 June 2008 (Cinema City International Film Festival)
  • USA 21 June 2008 (Frameline Film Festival)
  • USA 25 June 2008 (Los Angeles Film Festival)
  • Czech Republic 5 July 2008 (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)
  • Australia 25 July 2008 (Melbourne International Film Festival)
  • Indonesia August 2008 (Q! Film Festival)
  • South Korea August 2008 (Cinema Digital Seoul Festival)
  • Finland 20 September 2008 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
  • Brazil 24 September 2008 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
  • USA 26 September 2008 (limited)
  • Denmark October 2008 (Copenhagen Gay and Lesbian Film Festival)
  • USA October 2008 (Image Out Film Festival)
  • Iceland 10 October 2008
  • USA 10 October 2008 (Hawaii Film Festival)
  • Poland 11 October 2008 (Warsaw International FilmFest)
  • Philippines 20 October 2008 (Cinemanila International Film Festival)
  • USA 26 October 2008 (Chicago International Film Festival)
  • Argentina November 2008 (Diversa Film Festival)
  • Lithuania November 2008 (Vilnius Film Festival)
  • Malaysia November 2008 (Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival)
  • Sweden November 2008 (Stockholm International Film Festival)
  • USA November 2008 (Rehobeth Beach Film Festival)
  • Greece 18 November 2008 (Thessaloniki International Film Festival)
  • Philippines 11 April 2009 (Manila)
  • Philippines 23 July 2009 (CINEMALAYA: Philippine Independent Film Festival)
  • Finland 22 September 2009 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
  • Greece 29 April 2010 (Athens International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival)
  • Greece 2 June 2011

MPAA: Rated R for sexual content, language and some nudity


Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

Leave a Reply