Mar 15 2015
CINEMAROSA, the monthly Queer film series of New York City returns to the Queens Museum with a special presentation of the program "Genderings" featuring the works of local and national filmmakers who focus their lens on the lives and experiences of transgender and gender-non-confirming people in the United States.
CINEMAROSA's premiere screening program for 2015 includes the presentation of award winning documentaries Growing Old Gracefully: The Transgender Experience directed by Minessota based filmmaker Joe Ippolito, Trans Lives Matter! Justice for Islan Nettles directed by New York based Nigerian filmmaker Seyi Adebanjo, Joselyn directed by Diana Bejarano, and I Am (Hear) directed by Olympia Perez with producer husband Sasha Alexander, and the special presentation of the animated documentary Dating Sucks: A Genderqueer Misadventure directed by Sam Berliner.
After the screening, join us for a Q&A session with the filmmakers and Hector Canonge, director of CINEMAROSA.
About the Films
Growing Old Gracefully: The Transgender Experience (Joe Ippolito USA, 2014, 37 min)
Documentary that looks at the experiences of aging trans and gender non-conforming people. For the first time in history, cohorts of trans/GnC people are entering their 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. As a result of this, aging trans and GnC people are starting to confront a range of issues, such as health care concerns, housing/legal issues and financial struggles, within a culture that remains largely transphobic. Additionally, GOG explores areas where aging, sexism, racism, classism and transphobia intersect and captures the history of the modern day transgender movement. Throughout the film, trans activists, practitioners, researchers and experts are interviewed and the life stories of three trans identified individuals profiled in greater detail.
When You Look at Me (Diana Bejarano USA, 2014, 7 min)
A documentary about two Latina trans women and ther personal struggle to have their voice heard. Bejarano's work is a portrait of strength, courage, dreams, and sadly, of the injustices and discrimination against transgender people. Through Joselyn's and Arely's stories, audiences learn about the realities of discrimination, racism and transphobia. The film will help people understand differences, stop judgment, and accept people for who they really are. This film was made possible thanks to the support of GLOBE the LGBTQ Justice Organization at Make the Road NY.
Trans Lives Matter! Justice for Islan Nettles (Seyi Adebanjo USA, 2013, 6 min)
A powerful and intensely moving document of a community vigil for transgender woman of color Islan Nettles, her spirit and life. Islan was 21 when she was murdered. Her vigil at Jackie Robinson Park in Harlem, steps away from where she had been murdered, brought a community together showing love and support for her and her family. By capturing the personal story of Islan's tragic end, the documentary makes a political statement denouncing the increasing attacks to the Queer community, in particular transpeople of color, and gender-non-conforming people, their victimization, and continued oppression.
Dating Sucks: A Genderqueer Misadventure (Sam Berliner USA, 2013, 12 min)
Award winner animated documentary web-series about the successes, failures, and incredible confusion trying to date as a genderqueer/trans person. Dating Sucks, while focusing on a sub-sub culture in the Queer community, is universally relatable because at its heart; it is a search for love and oneself. By recognizing our similarities, Berliner's work brings hope that all people can find common ground for acceptance and understanding.
I Am (Hear) (Olympia Perez USA, 2014, 14 min)
An intimate experimental narrative exploring the role media has in shaping the depiction of black trans-women. The short film introduces us to Ares, a black transwoman who is committed to take control of her life and her future. A first person narrative where director, Olympia Perez takes us on part of her journey, shifting and reframing black transpower and love by creating media that speaks out about transphobia and racism. The short film, produced with Sasha Alexander, was made with the intent to reframe the way we view and value black transpeople in the world.
About the Filmmakers
Seyi Adebanjo is a Queer gender-non-conforming Nigerian and MFA media artist. Seyi's work is the intersection of art, media, imagination, ritual and politics. Seyi has been an artist in resident with Allgo and exhibited at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Seyi has been a Queer/Art/Mentorship, The Laundromat Project, Maysles Institute, IFP and City Lore Documentary Fellow. Seyi's powerful short Trans Lives Matter! Justice for Islan Nettles has screened on PBS Channel 13 and at more than 17 festivals globally including: Official Selection of the 28th BFI Flare London LGBT Film Festival, Black Star Film Festival, San Francisco Transgender Film Festival, and the Sydney Transgender International Film Festival. Other screenings include CineSLAM Vermont LGBT Short Film Festival, Brooklyn Film Festival, Reel Sister of the Diaspora Film Festival, The Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival, and the Walker Art Center.
Diana Bejarano is a Colombian born photographer and visual artist whose documentary work focuses on the exploration of social conditions of people in many cities in the Americas. Through intimate portraits, and candid camera work, Bejarano manages to unfold personal stories in a universal context. Her recent work in documentary filmmaking "When You Look at Me" has been showing by community art programs. She holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Fashion Institute of Technology of the State university of New York. Her work has been published in the Financial Times Magazine and was selected to represent Latin America Fotografia in AI-AP 2.
Sam Berliner is a San Francisco Bay Area-based filmmaker and animator best known for his engaging and accessible films about gender non-conformity. His award-winning short films, Dating Sucks: A Genderqueer Misadventure, Genderbusters and Perception have screened at over 100 film festivals around the world. When not actively making films, Sam is the festival director of Translations: the Seattle Transgender Film Festival. He also leads workshops and gives presentations about gender at various organizations and schools. Sam graduated in 2005 from Smith College with a BA in Film & Theatre and earned an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University in 2013.
Joe Ippolito is the founder and executive director of Gender Reel, a non profit media arts initiative committed to providing an art space that is inclusive of people from all background and experiences. Joe is also a Doctor of Psychology, clinician, researcher, writer, educator, filmmaker and activist. Joe is currently a Faculty Member at Metropolitan State, clinician for Allina Health Systems and Founder & Chair of Gender Reel. Joe transitioned his gender from female-to-male 14-years ago and has been organizing and advocating for the transgender community ever since. Over the years, he has been on the forefront of the transgender movement, chairing positions with such organizers and groups as The Philadelphia Trans-health Conference and The American Psychological Association. Joe recently co-authored a chapter in the new book, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, and started working on his next documentary film (a Gender Reel Production) exploring trans male culture and invisibility. He currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Olympia Perez was born in Maryland, and raised in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. She is a full time student, healer, artist, poet and an educator. She is a trans warrior who currently works in the public health field working to dismantle the failed ideologies that don’t serve her Trans community. She is the Content Director of Black Trans Media.
Sasha Alexander is a trans-racially adopted, mixed race black/south asian, educator, facilitator, multi-media artist, healer, and community organizer. Sasha is the Founder of Black Trans Media, a project addressing the intersections of racism and transphobia by amplifying the narratives of black trans people creating media/arts/organizing for justice. Over the last 15 years Sasha has built and collaborated with local and national youth empowerment, social justice, and media organizations working for gender, economic, and racial justice. Sasha is the Membership Director at Sylvia Rivera Law Project.
About the Film Series
CINEMAROSA is a monthly, independent, film program created in 2004 by interdisciplinary artist, and cultural entrepreneur, Hector Canonge. CINEMAROSA's mission is to promote, and present Queer independent films and videos by local, national, and international filmmakers. The monthly program encourages discussion forums among guests and participant filmmakers in order to create a cultural cinematic hub around LGBTQ issues and concerns. CINEMAROSA has been recognized as the leading independent LGBTQ film program in NYC featuring works that best reflect the diverse experiences and lives of LGBTQ peoples around the world. CINEMAROSA has co-produced events such as Queerin' Queens, Rosalicious, and Gayleria in New York City; E. V. A (School for Alternative Filmmaking) in Corona, Queens, and the monthly literary reading inQbator at Word Up: Community Bookstore in Washington Heights, Manhattan. In 2011, CINEMAROSA received a Proclamation by the City of New York, through the office of Jackson Heights Councilman Daniel Dromm. The monthly free screening program has featured local, national and international filmmakers whose works best reflect the diversity of lives in experiences in the LGBT community.
The screening of Trans Lives Matter! Justice for Islan Nettles ! is made possible by Black Trans Media. Black Trans Media organizes at intersection of trans and black identities reframing the value and worth of black trans peoples through media, education, and community building. The screening of Growing Old Gracefully: The Transgender Experience is made possible by Gender Reel Productions.