The Los Angeles Transgender Film Festival was founded in 2009 as an out-growth of the Trans/Giving art collective, which put on trans* performance arts events throughout southern California from 2003-2010.
In its first year, the Trans/Giving Film Festival screened short comedies, documentaries, experimental and art films to a near-capacity crowd in Los Angeles. The short films program was then taken on the road as the Traveling Trans/Giving Film Festival, screening at several colleges and universities around Southern California.
In 2010 the festival expanded to one full day of film screenings in Hollywood along with live performances and a fair for craft vendors, and included a tour of thirteen colleges, community organizations and the national Creating Change conference.
The 2011 festival
expanded once again to include three days with five screenings at venues across Los Angeles, an awards show, and 11 stops on our tour.
Jury Award for Best Short Film: Meliza Bañales & J. Aguilar, Getting Off
Audience Award for Best Short Film: Jeff Roy, Rites of Passage
Trans Luminary award: Andrea James & Calpernia Addams, Deep Stealth Productions
The 2012 LA Transgender Film Festival featured three days of film screenings in Echo Park, Hollywood, and West Los Angeles, with three feature films and twenty-four short films from six different countries, a workshop on how to get your independent film financed and produced, as well as two parties
. The 2012 festival tour traveled to 13 cities worldwide including stops in the Middle East and Australia.
We also began a partnership with Gender Justice LA who became our fiscal sponsors, allowing the festival to do more extensive fundraising including our Mad Hatter Tea Party
, and beginning a Membership program.
Jury Award for Best Short Film - Rhys Ernst, The Thing
Audience Award for Best Short Film - Rebecca Louisell, Genderfreak
Trans Luminary Award - Silas Howard
In 2013 we partnered with Trans Pride LA to present our festival at the annual weekend-long event at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, as well as four stops on our annual tour. Festival Founder Kalil Cohen won the "Local LGBT Heroes"
Award from KCET for his work in organizing the volunteer-run festival, which he did in collaboration with co-founder Ofelia Del Corazon.
In 2014 we had our sixth annual film festival at the West Hollywood Library, in collaboration with the City of West Hollywood. Our final tour screening took place at Trans Pride LA in the summer. It was a bittersweet end to six years of trans activism and community transformation through sharing our artistic expressions with audiences in Los Angeles and around the world.
*we mean trans as in transgender, transsexual, transvestite, as in crossdressers, drag kings and queens, studs, and all those who identify as contributing to gender fabulousness.