This evening marks the start of Three Dollar Bill Cinema’s expansive and expanded Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival. The festival, now 10 days long, is even being billed as the world’s largest transgender film festival. In addition to the extra length, organizers have also added extra activities, helping to shape the festival as more than just a place to see films, but also to gather and connect with other members of the queer and trans community.

Frankly, it’s hard to look through the festival schedule without seeing something worth attending or watching. But, for those who can’t commit to attending 10 days worth of films and activities, we’ve put together a Totally Unofficial Guide of our picks.

Thursday, May 4

Free CeCe!
7pm / Egyptian Theatre
$11 Ga / $8 Members

This documentary confronts the epidemic of violence against and incarceration of transgender women of color, spotlighting CeCe McDonald, an African-American transwoman who survived an attack and served time in a men’s prison. Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black) explores the roles that race, class, and gender played in CeCe’s case, which incited a nationwide “Free CeCe” protest movement. CeCe McDonald and director Jacqueline Gares will be attendance, and the Opening Night Party will take place after the film.

CONTAINS VULGAR LANGUAGE, IDENTITY-BASED ABUSE, IMPLIED & GRAPHIC VIOLENCE

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Sunday, May 7

Just A Normal Person
4pm / Northwest Film Forum
$11 Ga / $8 Members

This is the Seattle premiere of this candid documentary that follows Sam, a boy who began transitioning at a young age with the support of his mother and twin sister, from age 6 to 22. The film exposes the pains and pitfalls of bullies, adolescence, and feeling different, and the victories in Sam becoming his authentic self.

CONTAINS VULGAR LANGUAGE, IMPLIED VIOLENCE, DRUG USE, DEPICTION OR DISCUSSION OF SUICIDE & SELF-HARM

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Monday, May 8

No Dumb Questions: How To Be A Trans Ally
4:30pm and 6pm / Capitol Hill Public Library
Free

If you’re new to transgender concepts or looking to learn more about being a good ally, check out this screening of the Sundance award-winning documentary No Dumb Questions (Best Short Film, SLGFF 2002), an accessible and lighthearted film that profiles three sisters, ages 6, 9, and 11, struggling to understand why and how their Uncle Bill is becoming their Aunt Barbara. Following the screening, stick around for an introduction to what it means to be transgender and an open discussion with festival director Sam Berliner. Bring all your questions, and come away with a working vocabulary, more understanding of gender-nonconforming folks, and how to be supportive.

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Thursday, May 11

Criminal Queers
6:30pm / Henry Art Gallery
$5 GA

When their friend Lucy (a trans woman of color) is wrongfully put in jail, Yoshi and Joy take it upon themselves to break her out. This queer critique of the prison-industrial complex by Chris Vargas, featuring cameos by Angela Davis, Miss Major, and CeCe McDonald, yearns for a world free of prisons, where the strict confines of gender and sexuality would crumble as well. Criminal Queers is co-presented with the Henry Art Gallery, in conjunction with the exhibition MOTHA and Chris E. Vargas present: Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects.

CONTAINS NON-EXPLICIT SEXUAL SITUATIONS, DEPICTION OR DISCUSSION OF RAPE, IMPLIED VIOLENCE

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Saturday, May 13

Real Boy
7:00pm / Northwest Film Forum
$11 Ga / $8 Members

This affecting documentary about transgender teen and aspiring musician Bennett Wallace comes from queer director Shaleece Haas. With a soundtrack that features Bennett and Joe’s original songs, Real Boy offers deeply emotional glimpses into coming of age, revealing not only heartache and uncertainty but also the ultimate joy that comes with irrevocable change and the realization of one’s truest self.

CONTAINS IDENTITY-BASED ABUSE, VULGAR LANGUAGE, DEPICTION OR DISCUSSION OF SELF-HARM, DRUG USE, BRIEF NUDITY

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Sunday, May 14

Die Beautiful
7:00pm / Northwest Film Forum
$11 Ga / $8 Members

This closing night film tells the story of Trisha’s, whose only request is that upon death she be dressed as a different celebrity every night of her wake. This film from the Philippines, in Filipino (Tagalog) with English subtitles, takes the audience deeper into a complex history of unspoken regrets, touching on each relationship she fostered while she was alive, including a caring connection with her adopted daughter. Looming transphobia won’t stop this chosen family from laughing and loving, even after Trisha’s last breath. Stick around after the film for the Closing Night Party.

CONTAINS VULGAR LANGUAGE, IDENTITY-BASED ABUSE, & GRAPHIC VIOLENCE

 

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