The Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela

After reading about transsexuals in newspaper articles, Olaf de Fleur Johannesson found the ‘ladyboy' Raquela on the internet and afterwards met her in the Philippines. Totally taken and inspired by her, he wrote a screenplay based on her character.

"This film is nothing short of a miracle," said de Fleur. "It was shot on an ultra-low budget with major coincidences such as finding the talented Raquela on the streets of Cebu city in the Philippines." The film was invited to over 40 international film festivals and won several awards such as the Teddy Award for Best Feature at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival.


Raquela is a transsexual 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?

Director/writer/producer - Olaf de Fleur Johannesson

Born in 1975 in Budardal Valley, a small town in Iceland, Olaf de Fleur Johannesson has been a dedicated filmmaker for over a decade. His first two documentaries Shining Star and Africa United won "Best Documentary" at the Eddas (Icelandic Film Awards), in 2003 and 2004 respectively. His first feature film The Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela (2008) won numerous awards. His following feature  was the comedy The Higher Force (Stora Planid) starring some of Iceland's top talents and US actor Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos).

Co-writer/producer - Stefan Schaefer

The US born Stefan Schaefer has worked on independent films as director, writer, and producer for over 12 years. His feature debut Confess won Best Screenplay at the 2005 Hamptons International Film Festival and his second feature Confess travelled to over 30 film festivals. Schaefer met Olaf de Fleur Johannesson in 2003. So far, they've made two feature films together: The Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela and The Higher Force as well as the innovative sci-fi web series The Circledrawers, 2009.

Producer - Helgi Sverrisson

Helgi Sverrisson has worked as a filmmaker and producer in Iceland for over 20 years. Several of his projects were made for Iceland State television RUV. He has produced three films by Olaf de Fleur Johannesson.

Producer - Arleen Cuevas

The 29 year-old Filipino Arleen Cuevas is very active in her home country as line producer and producer. She often collaborates with the up-and-coming Filipino filmmakers Adolfo Alix Jr and Raya Martin.

Key production information

Original Title - The Amazing Truth about Queen Raquela

Director - Olaf de Fleur Johannesson

Scriptwriters - Olaf de Fleur and Stefan Schaefer

Producers - Olaf de Fleur Johannesson, Stefan Schaefer, Helgi Sverrisson, Arleen Cuevas

Production company - Poppoli Pictures

Film length - 80 min

Icelandic distributor - Samfilm

International Sales - Visit Films