Aug 04

And what an amazing 2014 list it is!!!

Gender Reel's 2014 film list in is and all we can say is it's GREAT! This years festival(s) consists of showcasing 30 amazingly diverse films. Additionally, there will be Q&A's, guest speakers and performance art pieces. Check back here for details concerning our city specific schedules in late August.  


Trans Women/Feminine

How I Gave Birth To Myself: This film is about finding one’s own identity in the art that they create. The film recognizes of the kind of freedom that can be found within an individuals mind, body and soul, regardless of their environment. (Filmmaker: Akiko Carver, 2014, TRT: 3 min)

In My Skin: Hate violence, betrayal by loved ones, employment discrimination. These are just some of the issues transgender women face. Often perceived as a bastion of tolerance, New York City can be a hostile place for trans women. Despite rampant stigma and discrimination, trans women survive in the city, forging community and sisterhood. This film tells the story of a theatre ensemble of nine trans women who come together to create a play based on their lives and then perform it at Joe’s Pub at the legendary Public Theatre in downtown Manhattan. (Filmmaker: Audacia Ray, 2014, TRT: 18 min).

Joyeux Anniversaire: This short film explores the second birth of Virginia, a 40-year-old trans woman, who purchases the set of high heels she has always wanted, shoes that help “grow her up.” (Filmmaker: Isabelle Gerbaud, 2013, TRT: 11 min). [Subtitled]

The Tablet: A short film about a transgender woman, Jayview, her partner and their relationship. Jayview, spends her time trying on clothing outfits in an effort to divert her partner’s attention away from his computer tablet. (Filmmaker: John Morgan, 2014, TRT: 14 min).

Trans Lives Matter! Justice for Islan Nettles: A powerful documentary of a community vigil for Islan Nettles, a trans woman of color. This vigil captures the love and support of a community brought together to sustain each other, despite the continued oppressions that occur against trans women of color daily. (Seyi Adebanjo, 2014, TRT: 7 min).


Trans Men/Masculine

Brace: This short film tackles issues of homophobic hate crime, and gang violence against LGBT youth, set against a backdrop of troubled young love. Brace is a visually stunning glimpse into London’s queer nightlife, and the perils that exist behind the bright lights. (Filmmakers: Jake Graf, Alicya Eyo, Sophy Holland, 2013, TRT: 25 min). 

A Self-Made Man: This documentary examines the complexities of gender identity through an intimate portrait of a transgender man and his work with trans youth. This film explores the poignant personal story and important life work of Tony Ferraiolo, a transgender youth advocate. We watch as Tony guide kids as young as 8, and their parents, through the confusing journey of defining themselves, when their physical appearance conflicts with how they view themselves. Even as he struggles to come to terms with his own life as a transgender person, he offers safety and assurance to families immersed in an often frightening transition. (Filmmaker: Lori Petchers, 2013, TRT: 56 min).

Shirts Vs. Skins: This film follows the life of Dale Michaels, an African American guy, who has a great job, great friends and an even greater secret. (Filmmaker: Teresa Dowell-Vest, 2013, TRT: 23 min). — This film will only premiere in select cities. 

Something In Between: There’s a barrier between Nino and the rest of the world. The environment sees her as a girl – something that she can’t feel. Nino ceases to try to be a girl, and starts living as a boy. Daily life suddenly starts to include hormonal injections, a breast binder and the fear-inducing prospect of surgery. In order to obtain transgender diagnosis and gender-reassignment treatment Nino must prove that he’s a masculine man. However, upon turning thirty, Nino feels that the right choice is somewhere in between. The confirmation of gender happens easily in the Magistrate, resulting in celebration, but Nino nevertheless has to answer questions regarding parenthood and physical identity. This documentary directed by Riikka Kaihovaara portrays Nino’s relationships with the people around him and the effects that gender contradictions have on Nino’s mental and overall well-being (Filmmaker: Rikka Kaihovaara, 2013, TRT: 44 min).

The Baseball Project: This film visualizes the immersion of a 26-year-old, queer trans man into a baseball clinic for 8-12 year olds. The film looks to redo a “male” childhood, while engaging of gender and consent as a construct. (Filmmaker: Oli Rodriguez, 2009, TRT: 6 min).

Zanderology: This film is an illustrated documentary about Zander Keig, a trans man who was born dead, paralyzed at age six, put in a mental hospital as a teen, was in a Mexican gang, joined the military, became an undercover drug officer, obtained three graduate degrees and is now a social worker for homeless veterans. Zanderology goes beyond telling people that it gets better and humorously explains how one person changed their life in almost every way possible. (Filmmaker: Megan Rohrer, 2013, TRT: TBA).

Gender Non-conforming/Queer

Crazy Hot: This short film takes a campy look at ups and downs of dating. It is a valentine to all those hopeless romantics that endure the lunatic antics of that special someone…if only for a song. (Filmmaker: Stephanie Saint Sanchez, 2014, 10 min).

Chuppan Chupai—Hide and Seek: This film shows the secret, yet open lives of a group of Pakistani sexual minorities, raising questions about transgender activism, religion, underground gay life, social acceptance, and collective familial customs of transgender people in urban Pakistan. The film follows the lives of: Neeli Rana, a transgender activist, whose courage and persistence pushed the apex court of Pakistan to grant basic civil rights in favor of “the third gender;” Kami, a fearless and flamboyant boy, who speaks out about his gay life; Waseem, a veteran dancing boy, who struggles with his sexuality, denouncing it due to familial pressure; and Jenny, a transgender woman who regrets her transition. (Filmmaker: Saadat Munir, 2013, TRT: 68 min) [Subtitled]

DOH! Oh Dear, A Female Tear: This film explores the issues of voice, gender and representation as Stephen traces his westernization, the discovery and silencing of his voice, and people’s reactions in Singapore and North America. Reflecting on the “unsettling” quality of his voice. (Filmmaker: Stephen Chen, 2013, TRT: 12 Min).

M.I.: A Different Kind of Girl: Laine Brown, a spirited and passionate male impersonator born on North Carolina’s rural coast, transforms by taping down her breasts, shaving her head, and studying the masculine performances of today’s most famous male entertainers—to become the incomparable NATION TYRE, show-stopper and ground-breaker for women in drag. As she pushes the bounds of female gender identity, is there room for Nation, a lone performer, to challenge the constraints at work n the African-American and LGBT community in pursuit of fame and visibility on the world stage? Features music and special commentary by KIN4LIFE. Introducing Laine Brown as Nation Tyre, The House of Tyre, Breyannah Allure, Paris Brooks, Image, First Lady, Hollywood and many more. (Filmmakers: Leslie Cunningham and Alana Jones, 2012, TRT: 53 min). 

The Heartbreak of VD: This experimental short is a reminiscent of a 1940’s ‘cautionary tale,’ based on vintage World War II venereal disease posters. (Filmmakers: The Play Babies, 2014, TRT: 13 min).

How To Be Beautiful: “How to Be Beautiful” was created as a commission for the 16mm John Waters- inspired film “Camp Randy.” The video is part dance, part drag performance. Borne of AP and Lazer’s collective genderfucking imagination, the content is fueled by impulse, unadulterated joy, and their pleasure centers. They don makeshift garments and messy makeup. Playground equipment, discarded sofa chairs, hot dogs, and junk radios serve outside their usual functions. The duo’s chemistry generates unreproducible moments of uncanny timing and hilarity. The tone is crass, yet heartfelt, and the Godley & Creme soundtrack casts a saccharine nostalgic glow. With a playful, rambunctious spirit, Lazer and AP use campy sexualized gestures, grandiose sass, and a hyperbolic sense of self to propel themselves into the sublime ridiculous. (Filmmakers: Lazer Goese & AP Looze, 2014, TRT: 4 min). [Experimental]


Stark Electric Jesus: In Dec 2013, the Supreme Court of Indian ruled to uphold IPC 377, a law that criminalizes sex between men or what is otherwise considered “unnatural offences.” This film explores the experiences of a gender non-conforming man, who finds himself in a cage of hallucination, fantasizing about the freedom and love he desires, but may never have due to the restrictions placed on him by this law. (Filmmaker: Hyash Tonmoy, 2014, TRT: 12 min). {Disclaimer: There are scenes of animal killings that are cultural in nature, but could be triggering for some.} [Experimental]

They Hate Me In Vain: LGBT Christians In Today’s Russia: The situation has become increasingly difficult since the passing of homophobic law 6.21 in 2013. This legislation outlaws the “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors.” The law pretends to protect minors from moral corruption, but in reality it legitimizes violence against LGBT people, promotes bullying, stifles freedom of the press and deflects attention away from the country’s real social problems. This film deals with the current situation in Russia. However, its issues are common to all territories of the former Soviet Union. (Filmmaker: Yulia Matsiy, 2013, 67 min) [Subtitled] — This film will only premiere in select cities. 

When A Butch Dyke Dies: This short explores the question of what happens to a butch dykes body once they die. (Filmmaker: Krissy Mahan, 2013, TRT: 3 min).

“…until justice rolls”: In this short, Faggotgirl decides to meet her best-friend across town. However, they are thwarted in their attempts to use public transportation because of the inaccessibility of the system. (Krissy Mahan, 2014, TRT: 4 min).

Urban Drag: Five people explore their identities and define themselves through clothes and makeup. They perform in the urban context because that is the space where their sexual identities were created, then imposed. Now they are reinventing themselves. (Filmmaker: Teresa Sala, 2013, 8 min).


Fragile: Fragile is a subtle, moving film that explores the delicate issue of gender identity and bullying. It follows the story of a young boy, who through his struggle with his gender embarks on a difficult journey of self – discovery and contentment. Alex moves in permanently with his dad and is forced to suppress his true identity as he struggles to live up to the expectations set for him. He is bullied and beaten at school and is pushed to abide by his dad’s rules at home. Alex lacks the confidence to face his inner fears and most importantly his dad. He soon realizes he may have to choose between who he is and who his dad thinks he should be. After getting caught cross-dressing, Alex confronts his dad and faces unimaginable consequences.  He runs away from home and befriends a woman who restores his confidence. Alex eventually comes to terms with who he really is and returns home to face his dad. The film is told from the unique perspective of a fragile and innocent child to build a moving narrative. Fragile is a highly personal, passionately shot film that captures the surreal nature and struggle of gender identity. (Filmmakers: Juliet & Juliana Mango, 2014, TRT: 9 min).

I’m Just Anneke: This film is a portrait of a 12-year-old girl who loves ice hockey and has a loving, close-knit family. Anneke is also a hardcore tomboy and everybody she meets assumes she’s a boy. The onset of puberty has created an identity crisis for Anneke. Does she want to be a boy or a girl when she grows up, or something in between? To give her more time to make a decision, her doctor has put her on Lupron, a hormone blocker that temporarily delays the hormones of adolescence. Despite rejection by her friends and struggles with suicidal depression, Anneke is determined to be true to herself and maintain a gender fluid identity that matches what she feels on the inside. I’m Just Anneke takes us into the heart of a new generation of children who are intuitively questioning the binary gender paradigm. (Filmmaker: Jonathan Skurnik, 2010, TRT: 12 min)

"Oversimplified" Episode 1: Origins: Kelly, born and raised in New York City, met Caleb two years ago at a LGBTQ youth shelter. At first rivals, now they are best of friends. Ellen just arrived to the city eager to find community. Through encounters with getting "grilled," generalizations made about the LGBTQ community, and connecting to their history, they explore origins and explain why they are through with being oversimplified into a few (lgbt) letters when the story's much more complex. (Filmmakers: Global Action Project, 2014, TRT: 13 min).

The Nanny Project: This short investigates the importance of play, while examining the social expectations of gender. There is a performance interaction between a young boy princess and ze’s nanny/manny. Shot entirely on a low quality cell phone, the camera itself is a natural factor of play. (Fillmmaker: Oli Rodriguez, 2012, TRT: 7 min).

The Family Journey: Raising Gender Nonconforming Children: This film charts the emotional and intellectual transformations parents and siblings must make in order to successfully nurture their gender nonconforming family members. In frank, vulnerable interviews, famlies from all over the country speak out about the power of love and acceptance to help their unusual children thrive. They also come to realize that loving a gender nonconforming child, in the face of ignorance—and sometimes—hostility, has turned them into more compassionate human beings. (Filmmaker: Jonathan Sturnik, 2010, TRT: 15 min).

Turn: A PSA by SupaFriends 2013: A PSA in which one young person responds to the violence of homophobic and trans phobic language with words of their own. (Global Action Project, 2013, TRT: 2 min)

Transgender Parents: This film takes the conversation about parenting & transexuality to the next level. Some parents transitioned in the presence of their kids and some who transitioned prior to founding families – being out as trans and as parents, in ways that were not possible 20 years ago. (Filmmaker: Remy Huberdeau, 2014, TRT: 46 min). —- This film will only premiere in select cities. 


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