Portland’s Queer Film Festival is back and full of new and interesting films and events. QDoc is the only festival in the United States devoted exclusively to LGBTQ documentaries.
QDoc has done a great job of truly capturing the essence of diversity. There is a plethora of films and documentaries that include trans and QPOC stories and experiences.
Here are four trans films you should know about.
Saturday, May 19 at 6:00pm
Winner of Jury Award for Best Documentary (Atlanta Film Festival)
In MAN MADE, director T Cooper, himself born and raised female, takes us into the heart of transgender male (FTM) culture, revealing unexpected truths about gender, masculinity, humanity and love. Four trans men take a variety of life paths toward stepping on stage at Trans FitCon, the only all-transgender bodybuilding competition in the world. MAN MADE is a character-driven, intimate , and riveting verité-style competition film, as well as a unique narrative on social justice. It speaks to the ways in which we all choose to define and reshape ourselves,both figuratively and literally.
Saturday, May 19 at 3:15pm
Winner of the Audience Award (FCFilm)
LEITIS IN WAITING is the story of Joey Mataele and the Tonga leitis, an intrepid group of native transgender women fighting a rising tide of religious fundamentalism and intolerance in their South Pacific Kingdom. The film follows Joey, a devout Catholic of noble descent, as she organizes an exuberant beauty pageant presided over by a princess, provides shelter and training for a young contestant rejected by her family, and spars with American-financed evangelicals threatening to resurrect colonial-era laws that criminalize the leitis’ lives. With extraordinary access to the Kingdom’s royals and religious leaders, Joey’s emotional journey reveals what it means to be different in a society ruled by tradition, and what it takes to be accepted without forsaking culture and tradition.
Emmy Award-winning directors and QDoc alums Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson (KUMU HINA) along with story creator Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, herself a Polynesian transgender woman who once won the crown in Joey’s beauty pageant, bring unexpected humor and insight to the inspiring story of Pacific people who must be true to themselves no matter the cost.
Friday, May 18 at 4:30pm
Before September 2011, no person who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender could serve openly in the United States military. Those who did serve were forced to do so secretly, at great risk to themselves and their families. In 2011, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was repealed, making it legal for LBG Americans to serve openly without fear of official reprise or discharge. In June 2016, the ban keeping transgender Americans from serving openly was also lifted (temporarily). Shortly thereafter, the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs began to record the stories of veterans and service members from across the state who were forced to serve in silence. BREAKING THE SILENCE captures the experiences of these proud Oregonians, who put themselves at tremendous risk so they could serve the country they love.
Friday, May 18 at 9:00pm
This film is presented with English subtitles
Winner of the 2018 Teddy Award for Best Documentary (Berlinale Film Festival)
Linn da Quebrada is a black trans woman from the impoverished outskirts of São Paulo, she is also a pop performer who raises her voice for queer people of color from the slums. Accompanied by her childhood friend and partner in crime, black trans woman and singer Jup do Bairro, her concerts are nothing short of dazzling. Aided by exorbitant costumes and plenty of twerking, her performances are onslaughts of electro against Brazil’s white heteronormative gender order and the machismo of the country’s funk scene.
Private moments and archival home videos reveal her gentler side; we begin to realize that Linn uses radical nudity as a means to undermine accepted gender roles. Dramatized radio interviews reveal how she powerfully espouses her convictions about feminism and her transsexuality. She’d rather be a woman with a penis, whose gender identity is not bound by her genitalia, but is in a permanent state of flux.
This year’s QDoc Film Festival takes place May 17 – 20 at The Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon. Visit www.qdocfilmfest.com for more information.