TRANSlations Transgender Film Festival 2022: Short Film Picks

Translations 2022 returns with a hybrid festival of transgender, nonbinary, and gender-expansive films from around the world! An initiative of Three Dollar Bill Cinema, Translations features short films, feature films, and networking events which are available virtually from May 5-8, 2022 — plus an one-day in-person engagement at Northwest Film Forum on May 7. The following capsule reviews reflect notable shorts among their eight short film program offerings.

Please head over to the Three Dollar Bill Cinema site to view the entire festival program.

Translations Transgender Film Festival


17 Minutes with Nora

17 Minutes with Nora *

Imanol Ruiz de Lara, Spain, 2021
(“Bittersweet” Short Film Program)

As evidenced by its title, 17 Minutes with Nora showcases a slice of the daily drama experienced by one young adult — especially when the danger she faces in the streets suddenly affects her home life.


Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy *

Judith Corro, Panama, 2020
(“Reel Kids” & “BIPOC Track” Short Film Programs)

Birthday Boy is an out-of-body experience, creatively showing the disorientation and dysphoria when one is disrespectfully misgendered on one of the most significant days of their lives.


How to Not Date While Trans

How to Not Date While Trans *

Nyala Moon, United States, 2021
(“All the Hearts” & “BIPOC Track” Short Film Programs)

Fast-paced, punchy, and full of witty banter, How to Not Date While Trans takes viewers through the highs and lows of dating as a trans woman. Beyond the jokes, it also showcases the struggles and disappointments, through many a dating escapade.


Luv Me

Luv, Me

Nicolas Jara & Yen Dinh, United States, 2022
(“Bittersweet” & “BIPOC Track” Short Film Programs)

All bets are off in Luv, Me, when two Asian roommates battle because one decided to create a dating app profile for another. Attempts to make up over K-Dramas fall short, but unexpected conversations offer bridges towards reconciliation.



Mama Has a Mustache

Sally Rubin, United States, 2021
(“Blender” & “Reel Kids” Short Film Programs)

Executed in cut-and-paste style and with full playfulness, Mama Has a Mustache offers commentary on gender through the eyes of youth.


mother of pearl

mother of pearl

Moonyeka, United States, 2022
(“Eerie Ecstasy” & “BIPOC Track” Short Film Programs)

Nonbinary Seattle movement artist m00nyeka beckons one to “lower your defenses” in this revealing audio-visual exploration of glitter, pearls, rice, mesh, and all things sensually lustrous.


my body is a place, just like any other

my body is a place, just like any other *

Petra Totten, Unites States, 2021
(“Our Stories, Ourselves” & “BIPOC Track” Short Film Programs)

“this film is for everyone who understands trans* as something within, in all its fluid and evasive beauty,” reads the intro text of my body is a place, just like any other.all i can wish is to see this within yourself and see yourself reflected in some part of what is to follow.”

Featuring honest reflections and set against abstract naturalistic backgrounds of the Southwest, this 33-minute experimental exploration is illuminating, poetic, and full of multi-faceted portrayals of the transgender experience.


Punch Line

Punch Line *

Becky Cheatle, Ireland, 2022
(“Bittersweet” Short Film Program)

Dark moments can be the best fodder for comedy — and as the transgender comedian proves in Punch Line, a traumatic life circumstance can always be played off for laughs, even when it hurts.


Those Yet to Come

Weckuwapasihtit (Those Yet to Come) *

Geo Neptune & Brianna Smith, United States, 2022
(“Our Stories, Ourselves” & “BIPOC Track” Short Film Programs)

Young Peskotomuhkati people reclaim the practice of athasikuwi-pisun, or “tattoo-medicine,” which becomes a powerful reclamation of their Indigenous history and identity, even in the modern age.


The Yellow Wallpaper

The Yellow Wallpaper *

J. Kiernan O’Brien, United States, 2021
(“Eerie Ecstasy” Short Film Program)

More than meets the eye in The Yellow Wallpaper, where a transgender woman — freshly out of surgery and on vacation with her partner — begins to experience signs of an ominous potential future.


Translations Transgender Film Festival 2022 Trailer


Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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