It’s about time that a multifaceted and diverse representation of trans themes, stories, and characters that mirror, validate, educate, and empower trans folks are being expressed and seen through the medium of film/media! Trans Cinema is hot, here, and now! More trans stories are expressed in film/media than ever before. As a queer, trans filmmaker and artist, I am excited to see so many empowering new trans films being made! During Frameline38: The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, I saw several amazing, diverse, and riveting trans feature films; Kumu Hina, Drunktown’s Finest, 52 Tuesdays, andSomething Must Break as well as two trans shorts film programs; Transtastic! and The City Of Shy Hunters. The City Of Shy Hunters is a new trans shorts program that focuses solely on trans masculine films. This was the first year that it debuted at Frameline38.
This year at Frameline38, I didn’t have a chance to see every single trans feature film. Where as in years past, I did see every trans feature film on the festival line-up as well as Transtastic!, the trans shorts program, curated by the talented and wonderful Shawna Virago and The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival. Virago is a San Francisco based transgender musician, writer, performer and the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival. Some of my highlights from this year’s Transtastic! line-up were Who Do You Think You Are? A narrative French short film by Marie Loustalot. I resonated with the trans protagonist, enjoyed the story, sound design, and the pacing of the film. I would like to see this short made into a feature. I am partial towards French Cinema; contemporary as well as the French New Wave.
Transforming Family, directed by Canadian, Remy Huberdeau is a diverse, educational, and fascinating short documentary about trans and gender fluid parents or parents-to-be in contemporary North American society. I found every interview authentic and it was very insightful to hear the first hand point of view of trans and gender fluid parents and parents-to-be. Transforming Family is the first film that I’ve seen that explores a diverse range of experiences and subjects exploring the themes of family from the perspective of parents and parents-to-be with the complexities of trans and gender fluid identities. It is a subject that needs to be explored more in cinema. It’s an educational documentary for all that view it. For me as an insider and filmmaker of trans cinema, I learned from watching this documentary. I would love to see Transforming Family made into a feature. I appreciate that the subjects interviewed shared a diverse range of experiences.
Another wonderful Canadian short film by Artist/Director Iris Moore is Beyond The Mirror’s Gaze. Beyond The Mirror’s Gaze is a whimsical, tender, and imaginative animation. I love the style of the animation and the interchanging of body parts; facial features, eyes, and genitalia, to show the playful explorations of gender, desire, and identity in this sweet and short documentary. Gender Games, directed by Veronica Lopez and Meg Smaker is about a middle-aged trans woman who after a 30-year absence returns to college and joins the women’s basketball team. I really enjoyed this documentary that touched upon themes of aging, acceptance, and making a commitment to what one is passionate about and doing it. It’s an inspiring and insightful documentary that stands solidly on its own as a short film.
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