Dir Sydney Freeland / United States 2016 / 58 min
Her Story is a web series with a difference, and we’re screening the 6-part first season as one-hour session of funny, poignant, fresh and authentic revelation on the big screen. The show manages to address institutionalized transphobia (especially within the queer community) by telling a cracking story of love, friendship, ambition and the bright hope of new beginnings.
Two trans women in Los Angeles (Violet and Paige) have given up on love, when suddenly chance encounters give them hope. Violet is drawn to lesbian Allie, a reporter who approaches her for an interview, while career-driven Paige meets James, the first man she’s considered opening up to in years. Everyone has their secrets from the past.
Her Story is also remarkable in that it features predominantly LGBTQ women, on and off-screen. Co-written by Jen Richards and Laura Zak (who also star), directed by Sydney Freeland (Drunktown’s Finest), with cinematography by Bérénice Eveno, and produced by Katherine Fisher/Speed of Joy Productions.
Preceded by a panel discussion about trans representation including Victoria Gigante (actress and part of Stonewall's Trans Advisory Group), Mijke Drift (Transcreen Programmer) and Kuchenga Shenje (writer).
Victoria is an actress, make-up artist and backstage manager of the Philippine Theatre UK and also a member of Old Vic Community Company. She is one of the members of Stonewall Trans Advisory Group supporting the integration of trans equality across all of Stonewall campaigns and programmes. The group reflects a diverse range of trans voices and experiences, with members representing a range of ethnic backgrounds, religions, experiences and trans identities. She is a graduate of Sunderland University with a degree in Business and Management. Twitter: @GiganteUK
Mijke has studied choreography and philosophy, and is currently attached to Goldsmiths, writing on Nonnormative Ethics. Mijke has directed 'Escaping into Common Places' (Amsterdam, 2014) and 'A way of dying...' (Amsterdam, Berlin forthcoming). Recently Mijke has appeared in Frederik Müller's 'I was born to make you happy...' (Germany, 2015) and Neelu Bhuman's 'Love Letter/Prema Lekha' (London, 2015). Currently Neelu and Mijke are working on 'The Radically romantic Summer of Mango Blu and Blu Tac' (forthcoming). Mijke was part of the core team of TranScreen, Amsterdam Transgender Filmfestival 2013 edition, and was Jury Member of MIX, Copenhagen, 2014.
Ms Kuchenga Medyai Shenjé is a writer with a mission to centre the voices of those considered marginal. The founder of 'Write or Die Publications' she has professional knowledge of many industries including publishing, education, fashion and the creative arts. A proud socialist feminist, this Black transgender woman is an activist in the anti-racist movement, an advocate for transgender* and queer rights and a staunch critic of the prison industrial complex. A North London native, Kuchenga gained a degree in French from The University of Sussex and then went on to study creative writing at The Open University. She writes daily, dances weekly and lives a stone's throw from the Thames where she can often be found frolicking with her miniature schnauzer Nene.
Kay Fi'ain is a London based visual artist working in both analogue and digital mediums, with both moving and still images. He studied fine art practice and art history at Chelsea College of Art and Design. His work is primarily concerned with class, UK sub-cultures, modern folklore and urban tales. Past documentary work includes Through the Lens of Hip Hop - UK Women, Occupy the Here and Now, and Queer Collage and he is currently working on two narrative films exploring 'transitions'. Kay has been described as “the photographer for the queer and shameless".