First show: November 10

Thursday, Nov. 10th, Opening Night Feature @ 8:00pm


sffOne night Crishaun Reed “CeCe” McDonald was viciously attacked. In defending herself, a man was killed. After a coercive interrogation, CeCe was incarcerated in a men’s prison. An international campaign to free her followed and garnered significant support from media and activists, including actress and executive producer Laverne Cox, who uses her platform to explore the roles race, class, and gender played in CeCe’s case. CeCe emerges not only as a survivor, but as a leader and highlights the way CeCe and other trans people are leading a growing movement to critically interrogate and disassemble the prison industrial complex.

[director: Jacqueline (Jac) Gares, 2016, Documentary, 100 mins]


Friday, Nov. 11th, Transgender Shorts @ 8:00pm 

El Camino 

elcamWhen 16-year-old Jorge’s father Diego dies while serving time in a California prison, he and his mother Gabriela must race across the state to claim Diego’s body before prison authorities cremate the remains against their wishes. For Jorge, this is his last chance to say goodbye to his long-absent father. For Gabriela, this is her husband’s last chance to find redemption in the afterlife.

[director: Alexander L. Lee, 2015, Drama, 16 mins]

Whittier Boulevard

whittier-500x293The story of André, a transgender Latino teen whose father refuses to provide parental consent for his transition. André runs away from home embarking on a rock ‘n roll odyssey of new friends, muses and shifting allies along the historic boulevards of East Los Angeles.

[director: Michael Patrick Spillers, 2015, Drama, 17 mins]


dawn-500x333As dawn creeps across London, two lost outcasts meet, more afraid of themselves than each other. As the sun begins to rise, the pair are forced to look at themselves and face the harsh reality that life is sometimes what you make it, and that it takes more than the eyes to see inside a soul.

[director: Jake Graf, 2016, Drama, 14 mins]


Walk For Me

WalkForMeHassan Kendricks is set to make his Femme Queen debut in the shimmering lights of the Ballroom scene voguing as a girl named Hanna. Two worlds collide when Mom shows up and discovers Hassan’s secret life.

[director: Elegance Bratton, 2016, Drama, 12 mins]


Saturday, Nov. 12th, Transgender Shorts @ 7:oopm


mezzo-500x33325-year-old Breanna Sinclaire is an African American opera singer and the first openly transgender woman to graduate from a major conservatory. This short piece traces her earliest memories of self-discovery.

[director: Nicole Opper, 2016, Documentary, 14 mins]


Jimmy Does Dating 

jimmydoesdating_geinwon-3-500x282A comedy series about queer and trans dating and Jimmy’s adventures obsessing over crushes, Valentine Day mishaps, and navigating dating cis men.

[director: Gein Wong, 2016]


My Cake

mycake-500x282Combining dance, mime and pop music, “My Cake” is a response to the saying “You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” The film experiments with the themes of ambition, identity, society’s pressure, gender stereotypes and the obsession to control one’s self-image.

[director: Nuno Roque & Jethro Massey, 2015, Comedy, 3 mins]

Diane from the Moon

diane-500x333Shortly after a hurtful breakup, Diane, a transgender pagan priestess, finds refuge in Palm Springs. While engaged with her own inner demons, an enigmatic sociopath starts to stalk her.

[director: Hanna Ladoul & Marco La Via, 2016, Drama, 11 mins]

Dear Abigail 

dearabigail-500x500Abigail Price is brutally attacked and taken in by a stranger, Evelynn Primm. Once Ev finds out Abby is trans, she rejects her and Abby is then faced with a decision to prevent Ev from the same fate.

[director: Mari J. Petterson, 2016, Drama, 9 mins]




Drugs for Unicorns

drugs_for_unicorn_by_jaq_nguyen_victor-500x281One very sick unicorn is desperate for help. Has this magical creature caught the flu, a transphobic virus, or just an advanced case of neoliberal capitalism? Follow their journey to health… for it involves glitter and glee.

[director: Jaq Nguyen Victor, 2016, Drama/Comedy]



ryans-500x281In this romantic comedy, a trans woman goes on a blind date with a man who has the same name as her ex – will this a be total deal breaker or not?

[director: Rain Valdez & Natalie Heltzel, 2016, Comedy, 17 mins]


Chasing Love

chasing-love-by-chris-valente-500x333A young trans man lands on the reefs of yearning and courage while chasing love.

[director: Chris Valente, 2016]



Saturday, Nov. 12th, Transgender Shorts @ 9:30pm


vaseline-500x333Caught in a system of confinement, surveillance, and restriction, a faggot eludes the state by recalling his lover bathed in Vaseline.

[director: Malic Amalya & Nathan Hill, 2016, 7 mins, 16mm in BW]


The Bowels of the Universe (With Shining Knees)

bowels-500x281This short video uses elements of magical realism, flicker film, psychedelia, spoken word performance and soundscape to meditate on the nature of inner/outer space, astral travel, past/future divination, screen culture, and the self determined, gender variant body as technological apparatus. Text is inspired by Monique Wittig’s 1973 novel “The Lesbian Body,” where the author discusses the “grotesque” physical process of invading another’s body as an act of love.

[director: Madsen Minax, 2015, 3 mins]


transetherium-500x281A film about metamorphosis, in which the artist embodies a human-like creature enduring a tormented birth, who overcomes bondage from a world not made for them. The artist undergoes multiple forms of rope bondage and a progression of physical transformation–symbolizing both the emotional limitations and safety of remaining closeted. Drawing a parallel to the artist’s experience of deferring medical transition and the pain of becoming other.

[director: Aja Pop & Joseph]

I Don’t Know

idontknow-editDirector Penelope Spheeris’s examination of queer and transgender life in the early 1970’s and the friendship of two trans friends.

[director: Penelope Spheeris, 1972, 20 mins]


Parts and the Whole

Experimental short about the body, daily doldrums, fantasy and the deep sea.

[director: Ricky Lee]

Golden Golden 

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-2-06-14-pm-500x280When two broke 20-somethings from San Bernardino visit a Los Angeles fortuneteller, conjoined crystal balls and queer, pop song visions open up new spaces for desiring and becoming — across Asian, Black, and Latinx imaginaries.

[director: Erica Cho, 2016, Drama, 15 mins]


Sunday, Nov. 13th, Transgender Shorts @ 2:00pm

El Cisne (The Swan)

elcisneAfter a long period of absence, Stefany decides to go back home in Mexico to confront her parents about her gender identity.

[director: Daniel Chávez Ontiveros, 2016, Documentary]



The Things We Did and Didn’t Do

thethingswediddidntdo_photocredit1-500x280An exploration and an exercise in learning: learning how to be autonomous, learning how to make videos, learning how hormones affect life. Filmed during the filmmaker’s first months on testosterone, this film hopes to document the life of a person who is transmasculine, who is an ex-gay cowboy. This film posits traditional transition narratives are much more subtle than contemporary language and science can convey.

[director: Elizabeth Martin]


trans-sciWhat starts as a narrative short film about a boy graduating from college morphs into an autobiographical essay about coming out to yourself.

[director: Brit Fryer, 2015, Documentary, 8 mins]


I Am A Weapon

iamaweapon-500x286Part narrative, part documentary, part experimental collage, I Am A Weapon is both a documentation of the feelings of isolation that plague young transgender and non-binary people and an urgent reminder that we are the ones who keep each other alive. The film uses found footage, original footage, and text as a means of communicating with and responding to the past while also thinking ahead to the future.

[director: Sage Yockelson]

The Encounter

theencounter_photocredit-jpg-500x333Diana was born in the Chinese year of the water dog and Gabrielle was born in the year of the metal tiger. Diana is from Colombia and Gabrielle from Ecuador. Two very different people: but together they confront social prejudice, gender violence and their own fears, discovering that to be happy, no road is obvious.

[director: Diana Elizabeth Castellanos (Gabrielle Esteban)]

Why We March

whywemarch_preview_trailer_dboyer-500x281-2This is a preview trailer for a documentary about the history and meaning of San Francisco’s annual Trans March. Archival footage will be mixed with interviews of folks who go to the Trans March. The finished documentary titled “Why We March” will highlight the symbolism, the sounds, the people, the issues and the diversity of the Trans March in San Francisco.

[director: Dina Boyer]

The Women’s Bathroom Project

thewomensbathroomprojectstill2_daisyzhou-500x263A conversation is struck up in a restaurant bathroom.

[director: Zachary Clarence, 2016, Comedy/Drama, 6 mins]



Call and Response

callandresponse_anandkalra_2-500x281This film is a dialogue between multiple threads in the filmmaker’s life — family and friends, old world and new, brown and white, super straight and super queer. The film presents voices from interviews 5 transgender men alongside a voicemail from a grandmother discovered after she passed away. Positioning the interviews as a reply to the bewilderment of the voicemail, Call and Response challenges trans men to carry old-school integrity through a brave new world.

[director: Anand Jay Kalra, Documentary]

Ain’t I A Woman

aint-i-a-woman-by-kebo-drew-500x333This film celebrates the luminous enduring beauty of Black Femmes and Black transgender women.

[director: Kebo Drew, 2011, 9 mins]



Sunday, Nov. 13th, Closing Feature @ 4:00pm


nakom-500x281An intimate narrative from northern Ghana, NAKOM follows Iddrisu, a talented medical student who returns to his home village after his father’s sudden death. Faced with a debt that could destroy his family, Iddrisu has no choice but to turn their farm and fortunes around. Over the course of a growing season, Iddrisu confronts both the tragedy and beauty of village life, and must finally choose between two very different futures.

NAKOM premiered at the 2016 Berlinale, marking two historic firsts – the first fiction feature from Ghana ever to play the festival, and the first fiction feature directed by a trans woman ever to play the festival. TW Pittman is a TWOC and SF-native, and co-directed NAKOM with her longtime collaborator Kelly Daniela Norris.

[director: TW Pittman & Kelly Daniela Norris, 2016, Drama, 90 mins]


The San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (SFTFF) screens films that promote the visibility of transgender and gender variant people and challenge the mainstream media’s negative stereotypes of our communities.