A Great Year for Trans Films


In most years, it’s a challenge for the Wicked Queer Festival to program trans films for two reasons: there are so few of them, and many of them tend to overly focus on the physical aspects of transition.


Not this year.


This year’s films have trans folks doing more than transitioning: they’re traveling the world, following their hearts, fighting for justice, running for office, loving and being loved, fighting fires, and standing up for themselves and one other.


Apricot Groves

Friday, March 31 / 7pm

Paramount at ARTSEmerson

Aram, an Iranian-Armenian trans man living in the U.S. since childhood, returns to Armenia to meet his girlfriend’s conservative family. Over the course of the day-long journey, Aram’s brother helps him prepare for the meeting, while also coming to terms with Aram’s transition. Written and directed by Pouria Heidary Oureh, this quiet and introspective film beautifully illustrates the bittersweetness of reconnecting with a culture that may not be accepting of who you have become. (description courtesy Outfest: Fusion Film Festival)


Free Cece!

Saturday, April 1 / 7pm

Museum of Fine Arts

On her way to the store with a group of friends, Chrishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald was attacked. While defending her life, a man was killed. After a coercive interrogation, CeCe was incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota. An international campaign to free CeCe garnered significant support from media and activists, including actress and executive producer Laverne Cox. Cox used this platform to explore the roles race, class and gender played in CeCe’s case. CeCe emerged not only as a survivor, but also as a leader.

Documentarian Jac Gares pushed past everyday narratives of victimhood that surround the lives of transgender people, to spotlight the way CeCe and other trans people are leading a growing movement to critically interrogate and disassemble the prison industrial complex. (Desc. courtesy of the L.A. Film Festival.)

Subject Cece McDonald and Director Jac Gares will join us for a Q&A and a reception after the film.



Monday, April 3 / 6:30pm

Fenway Community Health Center

In February 2015, the Village Voice heralded the arrival of “New York’s Bravest” – Brooke Guinan, the first openly transgender firefighter in New York City. As a third-generation firefighter, Brooke has a passion for heroism that runs in her blood. Her father George is a respected lieutenant and 9/11 survivor with a 35-year legacy in the FDNY. People always asked Brooke if she would follow in her father’s footsteps. But when Brooke transitions from male to female in her father’s workplace, it poses not only a challenge to a macho profession, but also to the customs of the people she cares about the most – her traditional family.



Friday, April 7 / 7:30pm

Paramount at ARTSEmerson

The film is based on the true story of Tamara Adrián, the first trans person elected to national office in Venezuela. The film follows her transition as she comes out as a woman, while maintaining her career as a prominent lawyer with a wife and two small children.


Trans Short Films

Saturday, April 8 / 4pm

Paramount at ARTSEmerson

From fairtyales to documentaries, from all over the world, from old to young to in-between, from coming out to staying in love, from the subtle to the absurd, this program of short films captures many of the facets of contemporary trans life.


Out Run

Sunday, April 9 / 1pm

Paramount at ARTSEmerson

As leader of the world’s only LGBT political party, Bemz Benedito dreams of being the first transgender woman in the Philippine Congress. But in a predominantly Catholic nation, rallying for LGBT representation in the halls of Congress is not an easy feat. Bemz and her eclectic team of queer political warriors must rethink traditional campaign strategies to amass support from unlikely places.


These and 38 other films and shorts programs will play across several venues. Check out the full lineup.