Metro Weekly

Editor’s Pick: The TRANSlations Film Festival Is A Virtual Treasure Trove

The TRANSlations film festival is devoted to showcasing films by, for, and about trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.

TRANSlations: Pronouns in Bio
TRANSlations: Pronouns in Bio

The 17th annual TRANSlations Film Festival will take place this weekend in Seattle.

Fortunately, organizers have made it so that most of the films screening at this year’s in-person festival are also available for streaming virtually from anywhere in the U.S.

Produced by Three Dollar Bill Cinema, TRANSlations is billed as one of only two film festivals in the U.S. — and one of only a few in the world — solely devoted to showcasing films by, for, and about trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people.

This year’s lineup includes six feature-length films and eight shorts programs available virtually, plus a handful of additional programs, a mix of virtual watch parties, games, and live recordings.

The lineup includes entries from a dozen countries including the U.S., and comes at a time when anti-LGBTQ elected officials in half of the 50 states are hard at work trying to pass bills curtailing the rights of trans people, particularly those of trans athletes and youth.

“It is integral that we see ourselves and those who share our joys and struggles reflected on screen and behind the camera,” says TRANSlations Lead Programmer StormMiguel Florez. “I hope our audiences feel emboldened and connected through the power of trans and non-binary cinema.”

At least one film in the virtual TRANSlations lineup screened last fall at D.C.’s Reel Affirmations — Nicola Mai’s Caer, an innovative and illuminating semi-documentary about trans Latin women in present-day New York, particularly those willingly employed as sex workers.

On the flipside of that is Framing Agnes, the latest from director Chase Joynt, which is just now starting to hit the festival circuit after its recent Sundance debut.

The film features an all-star cast including Angelica Ross (Pose), Jen Richards (Disclosure), Zackary Drucker (Transparent), and Silas Howard (Tales of the City), helping to shed light on a little-known slice of real-life and scientific research, specifically the story of a pioneering transgender woman who participated in gender health research at UCLA in the 1960s.

Also on tap is a special retrospective screening of By Hook or By Crook, the landmark trans buddy film from 2001 directed by Harry Dodge and Silas Howard. All screenings will be offered with subtitles or captions to maximize accessibility.

Streaming starts on Thursday, May 5. All streams started by Sunday, May 8, will remain available for viewing until May 13. Tickets for individual film streams are $5 to $30, while festival passes are $30 to $100. Visit www.threedollarbillcinema.org.

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