The Columbia Gorge International Film Festival in Vancouver, Washington has been underway since Wednesday, offering more than 300 independent films to the community. This weekend is a great opportunity to stop by if you’re in the area and see the documentary Trans/Formed, produced and directed by Cleo Valente.
Trans/Formed follows the lives of four transgender women in the Los Angeles area as they struggle to find acceptance in a society that is not always understanding of their identities. The women differ in their backgrounds and experiences, and discuss issues such as coming out as transgender, going through the transition process, what setbacks they have faced, and what they hope the future will bring. The film also highlights individuals and organizations such as Bienestar that work to provide services to this underrepresented population. Bienestar in particular is a grassroots, nonprofit group in south California that works to help GLBT members of Latino community.
The movie’s MySpace page describes its mission as hoping “to expose the truths, challenges, revelations, and faces of the transgender world.” Indeed, the transgender community is often ignored or misrepresented in media, and amidst all the recent gains in LGBT rights, transgender individuals still suffer incredible discrimination at both the individual and institutional levels.
The film is Ms. Valente’s debut feature documentary. She tells GLAAD that its making was “a labor of love,” and she hopes it will bring understanding and inspiration to its viewers.
Trans/Formed previously premiered to a sold-out audience in Los Angeles, and PRLog says it “reveals what other films refuse.” The screening at the Columbia Gorge International Film Festival is officially sponsored by Seattle’s LGBT Commission and will be shown at 8:30 PM this evening.