Jan Goes to a Trans Film Festival

| Jun 11, 2018
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Have you ever been to a film festival? It’s where they show a variety of films from all over and you watch with a gamut of emotions. And what about going to a film festival with specifically themed movies? I never had before until recently especially when the films were short and specifically focused on transgender topics. I attended the Out Films CT festival on a Sunday evening with 3 others friends (Deja from Ct., Diana from everywhere and Monica from NY like I am). We had arranged to meet for dinner not to far from Trinity College in West Hartford where the screening take place and then, after a really good meal at the Corner Pug, we hit Trinity. I didn’t know what to expect and was pleasantly charmed by the college which is a blend of old and new. The screening was in a presentation space with a few hundred seats and to get there we walked thru new and old buildings and saw a tidy well kept campus. We enjoyed the ambiance of everything. The audience, which probably hit 50, were responsive to the films (they laughed when appropriate and groaned as appropriate) and applauded after each film (well. . .after the 2nd film and then on cause we weren’t sure if we should applaud or not).  

The films were from all over the world and were from 12- 30 minutes in length. Each carried a significant message on a wide ranging set of transgender related topics. This, according to the brochure (check out outfilm.org) was the first transgender themed evening in the 30 year history of the film festival. The festival runs a whole week with a variety of films (including a few other longer transgender films) from June 1 – 9, 2018. The films shown on Sunday evening were:

Mathias — Austria 30 min. in German with subtitles.
Calamity — Belgium 20 min. in French with subtitles
Angela — Canada 12 min.
Get The Life — USA 12 min.
AARSA — India 18 min. with subtitles
Pre-Drink — Canada 23 min. French with subtitles’
Mrs. McCutcheon — Australian 17 min. 

I don’t want to give away much of the story other than to say each in its own way resonated with me and my experiences of the community. The characters portrayed a variety of emotional baggage and dealt with how they handle their transgender journey realistically. It seemed to me that most of the actors were transgender in real life which lent credibility to their parts. 

From the film Mrs. McCutcheon.

Mathias was about a trans man starting to live his life and how he handles life with a new job, new friends and his girlfriend.
Calamity was a tale about a son bringing his transgender girlfriend to meet the family and the tensions which ensue.  
Angela was story about a transgender roller derby skater and the reality of what someone goes through on a daily basis who’s transgender and being accepted in a rural area. She has ups and downs and must deal with the people she meets along the way. (Disclaimer: This is not about Angela Gardner who may or may not know how to roller skate!)
Get the Life depicted a transgender teen coming to grips with his life and what he feels he needs to lose to prove himself.  
AARSA shows a typically unnoticed person who works as a janitor taking a journey toward growing in the path of identity.  
Pre-Drink shows how friends handle the aspects of being transgender and gay as they evolve toward a meaningful relationship.  
Mrs. McCutcheon portrays a transgender youth who is bullied at school for wearing a dress and gains acceptance at a school dance.  

Monica said she cried at each film. I applauded.  The liked Angela and Mrs. McCutcheon the best and really didn’t identity with Mathias.  It was a lot of fun visiting Connecticut but the drive back to NYS was a hike.  Would I do it again.  Yes!!

I’d encourage anyone who’s interested to attend something similar in their area.  I think the organizers did an excellent job choosing the movies and tying it into a meaningful Pride month memory.

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Category: Out & About, Transgender Fun & Entertainment

jan brown

About the Author ()

Jan is actively involved in the transgender community in NYS and Florida where she snowbirds. Jan co-founded her local TG support group, Mid-Hudson Valley Transgender Association (MHVTA) in 2000 and gets out in her various communities (including retail therapy, dining out, and visiting places of interest). She has presented at various TG events including Fantasia Fair, IFGE, Southern Comfort, Be-All, First Event, Liberty and Empire) and was part of the Fantasia Fair organizing committee for several years focusing on programming and advertising.

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  1. jan brown jan brown says:

    I know this may be a tough film festival to find.. typically it’s in the larger cities where the population might support it. If you live in a smaller market, maybe you need to lobby to get a film festival. If you attend a support group or there’s a LGBTQ center in the area, maybe they could be convinced to support something. Good luck. Might also try to find festivals in an area and you can build your travel plans around it. Huggs, Jan

  2. keri_melissa keri_melissa says:

    These all look like great movies! Unfortunately living in the Bible belt, LGBT film festivals are few and far between, and when they do happen they rarely include TG themed films. I’d happily join an online subscription service that included these films, foreign and domestic.