Saturday, May 12th is the wrap up for the 13th annual Translations Film Festival, one of the premiere film festivals by and for the transgender community and allies. Produced by Three Dollar Bill Cinema, this year’s fest concludes with the closing night film, CLOSE KNIT from Japan followed by an after party at St. John’s on Pike Street.
All the deets:
Saturday, May 12, 2018 | 12:00 PM
Julie Sokolow; 2016; USA; 83 min.
Whether it’s a dirty water dog or a sense of self you seek, head east to follow Brooke Guinan, New York City’s first openly transgender firefighter. Showing just what it takes to live openly in the face of a strong, male-dominated tradition, WOMAN ON FIRE brings you the tale of this third-generation firefighter and her chosen and blood families. These 21st-century superheroes face fears and obstacles together and give new meaning to words like home and family. A heartfelt portrait of courage and change in the American family and workplace, this heartwarming documentary is a testament to love, courage, and loyalty.
Opening Short: SWIM
Mari Walker; 2016; USA; 11 min.
The buoyancy of the water lifts a young trans teen’s spirits during a secret midnight swim.
Content Warning: Swearing or Verbal Abuse
Saturday, May 12, 2018 | 2:30 PM
I AM… LAITH ASHLEY
Kase Pena; 2017; USA; 4 min.; in English and Spanish with English subtitles
Kase is a Dominican transgender man raised in New York City. This love letter to his family for their unconditional support gives him strength to work with LGBTQ homeless youth.
Daniel Foerste; 2017; USA; 12 min.
Christmas can be a difficult time of year for many, especially those who have identities outside what is considered “normal.” This short gives us a look into the relationship between two brothers and the power of healing with the help of a campy guardian angel.
WALK FOR ME
Elegance Bratton; 2016; USA; 12 min.
Trans teen Hanna learns the meaning of family when she discovers the New York gay ball scene.
Content Warning: Identity Based Abuse or Harassment, Nudity
Sal Tran; 2017; USA; 15 min.; in English and Vietnamese with English subtitles
Xanh’s mother is a seamstress who polices Xanh’s gender presentation through the creation of feminine clothes. As their mom continuously criticizes their wardrobe, Xanh experiences nightmares that push them to search for peace within.
Content Warning: Nudity/Drug Use/Swearing or Verbal Abuse
SILVIA IN THE WAVES
Giovana Olmos; 2017; Canada; 13 min.
Noa struggles to honor the identity of his recently deceased parent while his mother tries to uphold the appearance of a conventional family. Grief and fantasy entwine to reveal the complex relationship between history and erasure, identity and memory.
Content Warning: Discussion or Depiction of Suicide
Maaria Sayed; 2016; India; 15 min.; in Hindi and Urdu with English subtitles
A return to his childhood home brings Rehan back to memories of his father’s rejection of his gender. An atmospheric, poignant story of coming out as trans in a lower-middle-class Muslim family.
Content Warning: Identity Based Abuse or Harassment
John Sheedy; 2017; Australia; 16 min.
Ten-year-old Mrs. McCutcheon is having trouble fitting in at a new school until meeting Trevor, a tough little charmer who also suffers prejudice due to his Aboriginal heritage. With the school dance only days away, the two must navigate the pressures of school and family and find the courage to be who they are.
Saturday, May 12, 2018 | 4:30 PM
Marie-Pierre Grenier; 2017; Canada; 70 min.; in French with English subtitles
In this humorous and nostalgic biopic, the magnetic and mischievous transgender elder Michel Gagnon vividly relates the roller-coaster story his colorful love life, accented with masterful puppetry. He lays bare a life full of courage, sex positivity, and fierce self-assurance in the face of stuffy sensibilities and transphobia. Director Marie-Pierre Grenier weaves the presence of the documentarian into the fullness of Michel’s life. The result is a film that asks the viewer to bear witness and honor the complexities of our trans elders, and to walk away empowered to live a similar life of richness, intrigue, and intimacy.
Content Warning: Sexual descriptions/discussion
Opening Short: TAKE A WALK ON THE WILDSIDE
Lisa Rideout; 2017; Canada; 15 min.
A small shop in Canada offers more than just wigs. For decades it has provided a place to be seen, heard, and transformed, under the loving care of owner Paddy.
Content Warning: Nudity
Saturday, May 12, 2018 | 5:00 PM
Fox Fisher; 2017; UK; 58 min.; in English and Icelandic with English subtitles
Fox and Owl Fisher are nonbinary trans activists from the UK—and they want to share what that means for them. With help from their community and loved ones, they explore issues such as legal recognition, language, health care, and social acceptance, delineating the challenges that they and many other people like them face daily. While education and social justice are at the heart of this film, it is also a love story of two people from different backgrounds finding each other. Through romance and activism, this couple defies gender norms and resists systems of oppression.
Content Warning: Vulgar language
Opening Short 1: COSMOPOLITAN.COM’S “I AM BEAUTIFUL”: JACOB TOBIA
Jason Ikeler; 2017; USA; 4 min.
For Jacob, using the pronoun “they” shows that gender is limitless. Jacob describes the ongoing process they went through to identify as genderqueer.
Opening Short 2: FLASH FLOOD: A ROTOSCOPED DOCUMENTARY
Alli MacKay; 2017; Canada; 6 min.
Intimate transgender testimonials are paired with dreamlike animation of three people stranded by a cataclysmic flood, while memories and introspections well up from deep within.
Content Warning: Nudity/Implied Violence
Saturday, May 12, 2018 | 7:15 PM
Naoko Ogigami; 2017; Japan; 127 min.; in Japanese with English subtitles
CLOSE-KNIT, reportedly the very first transgender-centered film made in Japan, explores the everyday struggles of Rinku (Toma Ikuta), a transgender Japanese woman, through the perspective of Tomo, a lonely, neglected youth (Rinka Kakihara) seeking solace and a stable home when her mother abandons her. Tomo’s frustrations begin to be channeled when Rinku shares her skill at knitting. The concept of the “chosen family” looms large in this painfully tender and wistfully photographed tale of love in a time of great strife, which also peels back the layers of provincial Japanese transphobia.
Content Warning: Discussion or Depiction of Self-Harm, Nudity