Miss Juneteenth (M)
The pageant is named for the June 19 holiday: the day in 1865 when Texas slaves learned they were free, two-plus years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The real-life competition, which takes place in cities throughout Texas, is open to girls ages 15-18 and offers a college scholarship.

Turquoise was full of promise when she won back in 2004, but life got in the way, derailing her plans. Still, she remains a local celebrity, albeit with a hint of scandal—so much so that she yearns for her daughter, Kai, to fulfill her destiny by competing in the Miss Juneteenth pageant, winning and blazing her own trail to greatness. Never mind that Kai would rather use her time practicing to try out for the school dance team than learning about diction and etiquette.

Turquoise grasps for what could have been by pushing Kai toward something she doesn’t want, and while that mother-daughter battle may sound familiar—as well as the drive for vicarious victory that gives the film its tension—the understated tone and unhurried pacing make these situations ring true.

"The most touching dramedy since Little Miss Sunshine" New York Post

"A warm, rich story of emotional triumph" Houston Chronicle
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