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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Transgender Film Festival Celebrates Its 14th Year

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 12:00 PM

The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival returns for its 14th consecutive year. The festival will run from Nov. 12-15 at the venerable Roxie Theater, and will include a special screening of Major!, a documentary about the life and work of the legendary trans community activist and leader Miss Major Griffin-Gracy at the Castro Theater. The Major! screening will commence at the Castro on Friday, Nov.13 at 7:30 p.m. Griffin-Gracy and filmmaker Annalise Ophelian will appear in person at the Castro. 

"I'm looking forward to having an event in the Castro, and hopefully it will spread from the theater to the bars," Griffin-Gracy told SF Weekly, speaking with her usual candor. "I've been kicked out of four bars up there." 

Griffin-Gracy noted that the very air in the Castro is transphobic. "Hopefully this will change it," she said. "This will be like a spray of Febreze for that neighborhood. This is a wonderful thing to finally have happen for the community at large. The hope is that it closes one door and window, that it knocks down a wall."

click to enlarge Annalise Ophelian's Major! - ANNALISE OPHELIAN
  • Annalise Ophelian
  • Annalise Ophelian's Major!

Shawna Virago
, the festival's artistic director, spoke to SF Weekly about the importance of this event. "We are the world's first and longest running transgender film festival," she said. "When I think back to when we started, I could never have imagined the public scope transgender issues are receiving. Mainstream media is very narrow when it shows transgender experience — there is no place for experimental transgender experience in mainstream media or Hollywood."

Virago pointed out that the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival "keeps the torch burning for a full range of transgender and gender-variant film."

click to enlarge Technical Difficulties of Intimacy, part of the Transgender Film Festival line-up. - JOEL MOFFETT
  • Joel Moffett
  • Technical Difficulties of Intimacy, part of the Transgender Film Festival line-up.

Virago added that all genders are welcome to attend, and hopes that people will support her efforts and the efforts of the filmmakers. The trans community is definitely a community in need and deserving of support, as they face unemployment rates that are consistently higher than 50 percent. There has also been a huge spike in the murders of transwomen of color. 

"Despite the high media profile of a few transgender people, we have a long way to go for full equality and justice," Virago said. 

Ticket and schedule information for the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival can be found at the festival's website. 
Further updates can be found at the Festival's Facebook page.       

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