Second annual New York Transgender Film Festival set for September

The Cherry Grove Community House and Theater.
The Cherry Grove Community House and Theater.
Wikimedia Commons/Leah Fallica

The second annual New York Transgender Film Festival, which spotlights stories by and about transgender and non-binary individuals, is scheduled to take place Sept. 13 and 14 at the Cherry Grove Community House & Theater in Fire Island.

The festival, which coincides with Fire Island’s Trans Celebration Weekend from Sept. 13-15, was created by Parker Sargent in coordination with Cherry Grove Community Association in large part to bring overdue visibility to the trans community in the film industry, including work created by trans community members. Organizers stress that trans-related stories are treated like “additions” to some other LGBTQ-related film festivals.

The festival first kicked off last year with nearly a dozen films, though they were exclusively made up of short films ranging from six minutes to 30 minutes. The inaugural edition of the festival included titles such as “Shipping Them,” which portrays a non-binary main character, and “Transmission,” about a trans glam rocker struggling with self-acceptance. Other films included “Ordinary,” “Ro & Shrielle,” “Lipstick of the Brave,” “Break/Up,” “Marque and Hector,” “On the Floor,” “Art as Means of Breath,” “Going Away,” and “Trapped in the Booth.”

The festival venue, the Cherry Grove Community House & Theater, is known as the longest-running LGBTQ theater in America, according to organizers and the Arts Project of Cherry Grove.

“While many LGBTQ film festivals are opening up to transgender stories, we still see an imbalance in representation when it comes to projects that are created by and feature the trans+ community,” Sargent told Gay City News. “As a filmmaker and event producer, I’m excited to be part of this amazing festival, at a historically queer theater, in coordination with Trans Celebration Weekend, showcasing great works by my transgender and non-binary family.”

Filmmakers looking to compete in this year’s festival can submit entries via Film Freeway until the June 1 deadline.

The festival accepts films of any length and genre as long as it is made by, about, or of interest to transgender, intersectional, and queer people, according to the rules. Submissions will be screened and subsequently picked by members of the festival submissions screening committee. The final decision on winners will be made by no later than July 31 and winners will be notified by email. Films must be in English or have English subtitles and the copyright must be available. Films must be made no earlier than 2022.

The festival will hand out Jury and Audience awards for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Short.

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