Trans Film Festival Returns To The Roxie
The latest edition of the annual Transgender Film Festival returns to the Roxie Cinema this weekend with a slate of films which promise to be both political, informative, and entertaining. The three day festival takes on a special meaning this year given the anti-trans policies of the Trump administration–the President wants to force transgenders to adhere to the gender they were assigned at birth and has also called for a ban on transgenders serving in the military.
“We will address Trump and the alt-right’s attacks primarily by gathering safely in community, sharing in the power of our art,” Transgender Film Fest artistic director Shawna Virago tells BAS. “In less than a year the Trump administration has attempted to eliminate trans people from the UN human rights document. These people have some serious hate towards trans and gender non-conforming people. The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival has survived for over twenty years, proving that trans people won’t be silenced and trans people won’t be erased.”
This year’s festival opens on Friday night with a screening of Happy Birthday, Marsha, a film which commemorates the African American trans activist and performer Marsha P. Johnson and her role in instigating the Stonewall Riots.
“The film interweaves imagined scenes with found archival footage to counter the endemic erasure of trans women of color from narratives of political resistance,” Virago explains. “Directed by Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel, the film stars Independent Spirit Award winner Mya Taylor as Johnson with cinematography by Sundance winner Arthur Jafa and an original score by Geo Wyeth.”
The festival closes on Sunday night with Water Makes Us Wet: An Ecosexual Adventure which is directed by Beth Stephens and Annie Sprinkle.
“The film explores water politics and is narrated by longtime transgender icon Sandy Stone,” said Virago.
Other festival highlights include War Call, a timely music video which addresses the murder of transwomen at the hands of trans amorous men, violence against trans women of color and and the anti-trans hate attacks by the current administration.
The festival also offers humorous entertainment with A Murder Of Porgs, a playful romp about the beloved Star Wars characters and Dropping Penny, in which two dog walkers race to get a pup back back to her alpha butch mom in what Virago describes as “a very Queer comedy”.
Virago noted that the festival gets a very diverse crowd of viewers for their screenings. “All genders are welcome,” she said.
“We were founded in 1997 and are the world’s first and longest transgender film festival, not to brag,” Virago noted. “We organized our initial Festival for the same reason so many other marginalized communities have organized film festival: the absence of authentic representations of our lives in the commercial media. It’s important for all marginalized groups to be empowered to frame their stories, and we were founded to create space and opportunity for transgender and gender non-conforming people to screen their films. Authentic transgender stories are still vastly under-represented or absent entirely from mainstream cinema. Also, we started with DIY principles and we continue to prioritize films made by the most marginalized people in our communities.”
To purchase tickets, go here. Tickets start at $12 and no one turned away for lack of funds.