Transkids

Transkids

A film by Hilla Medalia

Noam, 16, was born as a girl to a religious family in a settlement in Samariah and studied at an all-girl religious school; Ofri, 16, always was the cool girl who played soccer with the boys, but inside he always knew he was a boy. Romy, 16, was born as a boy to a secular family but as soon as she started playing with dolls, her parents signed her up to a religious school. Liron, 17, grew up hiding behind different costumes, including a phase of heavy makeup, and shiny dresses, before he was ready to face his true self.

‘Transkids’ is the result of four years of intimate and deep documentation of four teenagers and their families, shedding a brand new light on the personal and social impacts and implications of youth gender re-assigning - a subject which has been and still is controversial and delicate world wide, and even more so in Israel.

‘Transkids’ sheds light on the personal and social effects of youth gender reassignment in present-day Israel. It examines the challenges faced by adolescents and their families during the complex yet delicate process of gender transitioning, which entails many fateful and irreversible courses of action. Adolescence years are commonly, and naturally charged. The gender transformation is not the only challenge in these teenagers lives; common issues, events, and dilemmas that apply to most teenagers are always in the background.

‘Transkids’ follows four Israeli teenagers who go through transition in a militaristic society in which teenagers go to the army right after highschool, and religion plays a very strong role in people's identity and is not separated from the state.

We follow the four protagonists as they deal with typical teen drama through the lens of transgender youth. We examine how each family deals with the dilemmas and difficulties of adolescence when adding the significant and challenging aspect of gender dysphoria.


The Protagonists:

Transkids

Noam, 16, was born to a religious family in a settlement in the Occupied West Bank and studied at a religious all-girls school. After being hospitalized following a suicide attempt, Noam realizes he needs to come out and become the Noam he feels he is. Despite the obvious challenges of being part of a religious community, his family is quite accepting. Noam’s father perceives beeing transgender as a sort of birth defect that needs to be fixed by gender transitioning. He is supportive of his son but doesn't hide the fact that he misses his daughter. Noam had a complex relationship with religion. Now, as a religious man he feels closer to God than he ever did as a woman. He and his family face dilemmas related to the religious view on transgenders and the reaction of their closed community.


Transkids

Ofri, 16, was always considered the tomboy who played football with the boys, but inside he always knew he was actually a boy. It was only after graduating 7th grade that he came out to a friend. Ofri’s mother saw a text exchange between them and found out what her son has been secretly dealing with. She was surprised, as she always assumed her daughter was a lesbian. Ofri feels that coming out of the closet as transgender is an ongoing process that he has to repeated every time he meets someone new, but feels very comfortable defining himself not as female or male- but as transgender. He is very active in his boy scout troop and has been invited to speak at Parliament to share his experiences with Israeli legislators. When Ofri receives a letter from the military addressed to him as female, he decides he wants to enlist in the army as a combat soldier.


Transkids

Romy, 16, grew up as a boy in a religious school. Her mother, Ilanit, thought that by sending him to a strict educational institution it would help her son become ‘normal’ and abandon his feminine tendencies. Now, Romy is taking her first steps in the world of modeling and reality television, and has become a social media influencer. But behind the glamorous photographs lies a painful story - her father, who is incarcerated with a life sentence, has not met with her since walking out on the family when she was still a little boy. Romy’s father, and his side of the family have made no effort to reach out and connect with her since her transition.


Transkids

Liron, 17, was born in a suburb of Tel Aviv. When he decided to go ahead with the transition process, he took the courageous and unusual decision to undergo fertility preservation before starting the irreversible hormone treatment, making him the youngest transgender boy in Israel to undergo egg extraction. Liron is a sensitive yet super cool guy. He is very close to his mother, grandma, and his girlfriend, who supports him throughout the process. Liron challenges societal conventions when he decides that he will not enlist in the army as all Israelis at his age do.


Creative Team:

HILLA MEDALIA, Director & Producer
Peabody Award-winning filmmaker and producer has received three Emmy® nominations. Her projects have garnered critical acclaim and screened internationally in theaters and on television including HBO, MTV, BBC and ARTE. Her range of titles include ‘ Leftover Women’ 2019 (Tribeca, ARTE), ‘The Oslo Diaries’ 2018 (Sundance, HBO, ARTE), ‘Muhi’ 2017 (IDFA, HotDocs), 'Censored Voices', 2015 (Sundance, Berlinale), 'The Go Go Boys' 2014 (Cannes), 'Web Junkie' 2014 (Sundance, POV, BBC), 'Dancing in Jaffa' 2013 (Tribeca, IFC).

Hilla has been awarded the Paris Human Rights Festival Jury Award, Golden Warsaw Phoenix, as well as the jury award at FIPA and more.

She is a regular lecturer at The NY Film Academy, NYU, EWA (European Women’s Audiovisual Network) and the New Fund for Cinema’s Women Greenhouse on the subject of production, directing and crowdfunding. Hilla is a mentor for the NFCT’s Business Card Program for Emerging Filmmakers, at Ex-Oriente production lab and Dok Incubator. She acts as lector and judge at film festivals and forums, Hilla is a board member of The Israeli Director's Guild and the Israeli film Academy and a member of the American Academy of Film and Television.

Hilla holds an M.A. from Southern Illinois University.

RONNY MERDINGER, Producer
Film and television producer with extensive, diverse experience producing projects worldwide. After graduating New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a film & television degree, Merdinger joined the production team of HBO’s cultural phenomenon Sex and The City.  She went on to manage productions for BBC, HBO, NBC, Relativity Media, Paramount Pictures, Comedy Central, Warner Bros., Showtime and Fox.   Due to the wide range of productions she helmed, including commercials, both narrative and documentary shorts and features, scripted episodic television, and music videos, Merdinger was able to build a unique type and level of experience.  Her vast body of work includes Beyonce’s BET award-winning music video, Love on Top; Sundance smash, Half Nelson, for which Ryan Gosling was nominated for an Academy Award; and John Oliver - Live on Stage: Terrifying Times.  Merdinger also produced HBO’s critical darling and Emmy award-winning comedy series, Flight of the Conchords.

EREZ LAUFER, Editor
Editor/Director Erez Laufer has been working the the documentary world in the last 30 years internationally. He has worked on numerous projects with renowned filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker, including on the Oscar nominated ‘The War Room’ for Best Documentary (1993). He co-edited Laura Poitras Oscar nominated ‘My Country, My Country’ (2006). His latest film ‘Rabin in His Own Words’ won the award for Best Documentary at Haifa International Film Festival 2015. His film ‘Mike Brant, Laisse-Moi T'aimer’ was awarded the 2002 Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary, and had its international premiere at the Directors Fortnight, Cannes Film Festival 2003. Erez was also involved with numerous international documentary film projects such as STEPS’, ‘Why Democracy?’ and many more. He mentors in workshops around the world as Ex-Orient, Green House, IDFA summer school and Archidoc at Le Femis Paris. Erez is also part of Rough Cut Services.

About the Film

103 minutes
Hebrew, with subtitles in Hebrew & English

Director: Hilla Medalia
Producers: Ronny Merdinger, Hilla Medalia
Editors: Miri Laufer, Erez Laufer
Director of Photography: Avner Shahaf

The film was produced in association with Yes Docu and Mifal Hapais.

Transkids

 

Order

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Email: laufern@netvision.net.il
Fax: 972-3-5291726
Mail: Shlomo Hamelech 93 #5, Tel-Aviv 6451228

Pricing

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