Anthology Film Archives


April 25 – May 1

“The Cinema of Gender Transgression: Trans Film” is an extensive, ongoing series exploring the ways in which cinema has intersected with the experiences, struggles, and ideas of transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming lives and communities. Organized with the participation of a variety of guest curators, the series showcases contemporary films and videos that explore concepts related to gender transgression as well as films that have had historical resonance within and beyond these communities.

Transgender and gender-nonconforming issues hold a more prominent place in the national conversation today than ever before, though gender transgression and the experiences of these individuals have always existed. This series aims to call attention to those films that dared to question gender norms in periods when even to broach the topic was considered controversial, and to provide a platform for the contemporary socio-political concerns of trans filmmakers and artists challenging the gender binary today.

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, this chapter of “The Cinema of Gender Transgression” sheds light on those who have been left out of LGBTQ liberation narratives. In part to redress these omissions, we are thrilled to showcase the legacy of Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson in Tourmaline and Sasha Wortzel’s HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARSHA!, the pre-Stonewall activism uncovered by Susan Stryker and Victor Silverman in THE SCREAMING QUEENS: THE RIOT AT COMPTON’S CAFETERIA, and the courageous lives of senior trans women in Jessica Dimmock & Christopher LaMarca’s THE PEARL.

“The Cinema of Gender Transgression” is curated in collaboration with Joey Carducci and Madsen Minax. Throughout the series, guest curators contribute programs as well; this chapter features two programs guest curated and presented by renowned writer and theorist Jack Halberstam, who will open the series with Sergio Toledo’s VERA, and close with Allan Moyle’s classic TIMES SQUARE. Malic Amalya will also appear in person to present a dynamic program of short experimental films titled INFRARED: COLOR THEORY, initially presented by San Francisco Cinematheque in celebration of the designation of the Compton’s Transgender District.

Special thanks to Malic Amalya, Jack Halberstam, Steve Polta, Oliver Sage, San Francisco Cinematheque, Susan Stryker, and Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore.

Special support provided by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Support has also been provided by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation.

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