As springtime has most definitely arrived, so has Translations, the Seattle transgender film festival. Returning for its eighth year, Translations is a four-day festival starting Thursday produced by Three Dollar Bill Cinema.
“The impact of film is strong, because it allows people to understand individual experiences,” says Sam Berliner, the 2013 festival director. The Berkeley, California-based Berliner wrote and directed the short film Genderbusters which received the Translations audience award in 2011.
Translations has grown from a short film series to a full-fledged international festival said Jason Plourde, executive director of Three Dollar Bill Cinema and festival director of Translations when it first began. Today, the festival encompasses 30 films from all over the world, multiple discussion panels, and multimedia events. It is one of the only transgender film festivals in the world.
Organizers hope to reach out to family and friends and create an environment where anyone can experience good film and learn about the transgender community.
“We wanted to create a festival that anyone could attend, and also make transgender issues more visible to the general public,” Plourde said.
Melting Away closes the 2013 fest
The 2013 opening night event, Gender Failure, is a multimedia performance piece starring transgender artists Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon with accompanying animation from Seattle’s Clyde Petersen. The piece was recently performed in London and received high acclaims.
The festival’s opening night takes place at the Harvard Exit, with the remaining screenings and events to take place at Northwest Film Forum. Individual tickets are $10 for general admission, $8 for youth or seniors (except for the opening night film, which is $16/$14). A Festival Pass is $60 and gets you into everything. For tickets and more info, visit www.translations.strangertickets.com.
Thursday, May 9
7:15 pm: GENDER FAILURE
Directed by Ivan Coyote, Rae Spoon, and Clyde Peterson
Live multimedia live performance followed by opening night afterparty.
Two of Canada’s most treasured and celebrated trans artists, Ivan Coyote and Rae Spoon, present their acclaimed multimedia show “Gender Failure,” featuring animation and video elements from Seattle artist Clyde Petersen. Through visuals, words, sounds, and original music, “Gender Failure” explores and exposes the prolific pair’s failed attempts at fitting into the gender binary—and ultimately how the gender binary doesn’t add up.
Friday, May 10
7 pm: IT GETS BETTER
Directed by Tanwarin Sukkhapisit
Three intertwined story lines that grow increasingly tighter as the drama progresses. Gorgeous scenery, spectacular performances, and entertaining club routines complement the message behind the stark realities of relationships, family, and seeking acceptance: it does get better.
9:30 pm: SHE MALE SNAILS
Directed by Ester Martin Bergsmark
What began as a portrait of transgender author Eli Leven becomes a more stylized exploration, as Leven and director Bergsmark share memories of being caught between two genders, the desire for sexual identity, and the power of being able to express oneself through art. With shorts GOLD MOON, SHARP ARROW, and IN JERUSALEM.
Saturday, May 11
12:30 pm: TOO COLD OUT THERE WITHOUT YOU
Directed by Amy Gattie
Follow Rev. Christopher Fike as he navigates his transition and examines how his roles as a priest and parent have evolved. This documentary captures the existential crises of those close to Chris: a family and church trying to balance unconditional love with tumultuous reactions to profound change.
2:30 pm: TURNING
Directed by Charles Atlas
An examination of the critically acclaimed European touring collaboration of musician Antony Hegarty (of the renowned band Antony and the Johnsons) and videographer Charles Atlas, featuring 13 remarkable women, most of whom are transgender or queer. With short CRY BOY CRY.
4:30 pm: GENDER REVOLUTIONARIES: SHORT FILMS
From repurposed Annie tunes, to acts of kindness in unlikely places, to a real-life Australian queen of the desert, these genderqueer shorts pack a revolutionary punch.
Featuring LITTLE ORPHAN GENDER REVOLUTIONARY ANNIE, TOILET, DOS ALMAS, GENDERFREAL, and QUEEN OF THE DESERT.
7:30 pm: WILDERNESS
Directed by Wu Tsang
After the media caught wind of the immense popularity of a weekly dance/performance art party called Wildness (whose organizers include director Wu Tsang), a new hipster audience, police surveillance, and deportations threatened this long-established sanctuary. With short NATALIE.
Directed by Buck Angel
This steamy, cutting-edge documentary by self-proclaimed “politically incorrect” FTM porn star Buck Angel takes you into the romantic lives of a dozen FTM transmen and their partners, who explicitly reveal their bodies and frankly discuss their sexualities in relation to their transitions. With shorts THE CONFESSION OF FATHER JOHN THOMAS and FUCK/TALK.
Sunday, May 12
12:30 pm: GROWING TOGETHER: SHORT FILMS
Bring friends and allies to this collection of shorts that explore the tricky process of navigating families and cultures, being true to ourselves, and asking the question: by growing together, can we find common ground? Featuring: PAPA’S BOY, OSCILLARE, A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY, PERFORMING GIRL, AKIN, BLUE, and PERFECT IN MY IMPERFECTIONS
This panel, moderated by festival director Sam Berliner, takes a look at some of the ways sexuality in the transgender community has been represented in movies and discusses the accuracies and fallacies in that medium. Featuring panelists Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Kai Kohlsdorf, Ph.C., M.A., and Courtney Trouble.
4:30 pm: ROMEOS
Directed by Sabine Bernardi
This hit from SLGFF follows Lukas, a young transgender man, as he moves to Cologne to study and work in the big city. Director Sabine Bernardi uses sincerity and humor to turn this unconventional romance into a tale of love, friendship, and courage. With shorts I <3 BOYS and W AND Z.
7:30 pm: MELTING AWAY
Directed by Doron Eran
Closing Night Afterparty
When Assaf’s parents discover women’s clothing under the teen’s mattress, they kick him out of the house. Four years later, with Assaf’s father dying from cancer, his mother hires a private detective to find Assaf. Winner of the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature at the 2013 Seattle and Boston Jewish film festivals, this groundbreaking drama explores the depths of family ties and the meaning of forgiveness. With short BEYOUTIFUL.