Produced and Co-Directed by Dr. Alexia Kosmider, TransJourney is a film about gender confirmation and acceptance. Similar to going on a journey to explore an unknown territory, TransJourney explores three women’s personal journeys and the ways that their lives have become intertwined, and made stronger, because of each other.
The documentary chronicles an older identified transgendered woman and surrogate “aunt” of Annabelle, a younger transgendered woman who recently underwent gender confirmation surgery. Four years ago Annabelle, who was identified as a male at birth, came out to her family and friends as female and began her transition towards life as a woman. The documentary delves into Annabelle’s new world, and gains insight into how Sandra (Annabelle's mom) copes with this life-altering event and strives to remain an integral part of her daughter's new world, 3,000 miles away.
TransJourney speaks to all of our desires to receive affirmation and to explore new borders whether it’s with existing family members or with new acquaintances whom we embrace in our life. Kosmider believes that the documentary will enable all individuals to see themselves and others differently, and will inspire many not to be afraid to be themselves, whatever they choose to be. The transgender world remains mostly invisible to larger society and even to some members of the LGBT community. TransJourney voices transgender people’s hopes, desires and, fears, while looking deeply into their worlds, demystifying their lives, and more importantly, bringing dignity to their experiences.
Kosmider released an update this past Tuesday regarding the progress with the filming of TransJourney. The following is the official update:
"It has been a busy but very exhilarating year for us. In August 2013, Sandra, myself, and our URI Film Studies Intern, David, packed up Sandie’s van and headed down Interstate 95 to begin the first leg of our journey. About twenty minutes into the trip, we experienced a tire blow-out near Attleboro, MA. The tire was replaced, but we were 6 hours behind our driving schedule; unfortunately, we arrived in Perrysburg, Ohio, our first destination, at 4:00 A.M. For rest of the trip we had to drive late into the night since we had reserved hotel rooms to stay in along our route. Sandra and David, however, took to the road like experienced truck drivers; we clocked sometimes 11 hours days on the road."
"On day 2 of the road trip, we stopped in Sandie’s and Annabelle’s hometown, Bolingbrook, a suburb of Chicago. We found Sandra’s old house where Annabelle had grown up as Doug, a young boy."
"We continued our trek, switching drivers, filling up for gas, filming the countryside as we drove along the highway. We arrived in Seattle on August 5th and picked up Blue Wade, our Co-Director at the airport, and met Michael Welty, the Director of Photography who’s based in the Seattle area. We had our first film crew meeting, checked and sorted out camera, lighting, and audio equipment; we were ready the next day for our first shoot."
"It was a grueling schedule; sometimes we had scheduled 3 shoots in one day. But we had an amazing film crew and they never complained even when we trekked through the Cedar River filming Shannon fly-fishing. We filmed Sandra and Shannon shopping in Seattle’s colorful and bustling Pike’s Place Market, and Annabelle and her girlfriend, Lara, having a romantic dinner at Ristorante Doria, an Italian restaurant located in Seattle’s University District. In 10 days we had finished our shooting schedule."
"Looking back at the filming of TransJourney, some events were simply tragic and at times, felt overwhelming: In November 2012, Deb, my former partner, passed away; she was instrumental in getting the documentary off to its start. And then in October 2013, Shannon died of health complications. Other things were surprising and unexpected that we were able to capture in the film: Annabelle’s frank discussion with her mother about her desire to be a woman but keeping this a secret from her family for so many years. Other important moments were captured in the filming of TransJourney—and one is a powerful moment, especially of Annabelle, but you’ll have to view the film to know what transpired in the lives of these 3 women."
"The film footage is now on external drives and we have an editor, Shawn Quirk, the Programming Director of the Rhode Island International Festival, editing our trailer. Shawn’s a promising young editor and is very enthusiastic about the documentary. The trailer will be ready soon and you’ll be able to get the first peek at the powerful interlocking lives of 3 brave women." - Dr. Alexia Kosmider Co-Director and Producer of TransJourney
Shifting Visions Films anticipates having the film completed by Spring of 2014, and premiering the film at the Boston LGBTQ Film Festival in May of 2014. Yesterday the studio released their official TransJourney film trailer.
* Portions of this article, including the description of the documentory film, were taken from the Official Shifting Visions Films website, as well as the Official TransJourney facebook page and Kickstarter page as well.
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