Actor, writer and director John Cameron Mitchell's unique aesthetic and talent cannot be questioned. His first film, 'Hedwig and the Angry Inch,' began as an off-Broadway play showcasing Mitchell as a frustrated transsexual from East Berlin whose musical stylings are stolen by the young man she's in love with. Mixing animation, outrageous musical numbers in suburban restaurants and rec rooms, and a dark humor (Hedwig's operation didn't go smoothly, so to speak, hence her "angry inch"), this heartbreaking rock opera that was more or less workshopped in the downtown NYC party Squeezebox won two awards at Sundance and later nabbed Mitchell a Golden Globes nom for best performance by an actor in a musical or comedy.

Mitchell's second film 'Shortbus' is equally boundary breaking, as it examines the physical and emotional relationships between New Yorkers. Combining real sex, real New Yorkers (like the joyfully anarchistic Hungry March Band and performer Justin Bond) and a real search for meaning in a post-9/11 world, 'Shortbus' proved once again that you can't pigeonhole Mitchell.