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World's Longest Running Trans Film Fest Returns to San Francisco & Screens Online

JTHill film still

Now in its 24th year, the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival is still breaking new ground. Watch the festival trailer here. With a pay-what-you-can sliding scale everyone can participate!

The world’s first and longest running transgender film festival is now playing online. Launched in 1997 the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival it has been led by artistic director Shawna Virago, since 2003 and has continued to lead the way and reflect the unique contributions of by transgender and gender-nonconforming filmmakers, highlighting innovative, experimental, and outside-the-box films.

Now in its 24th year, SFTFF runs online from November 11-14, with a rich offering of seven new short film programs and 42 films, featuring a range of genres from documentaries and politics to animation, dance, music, romance, coming-of-age tales, and thrillers.

Watch the festival trailer here:


“This year’s festival features powerful and vibrant film works that showcase trans and gender-non-conforming communities’ resilience and strength along with their street smarts, sass, sexuality, friendship, humor, and courage,” Virago said in a statement to the press. “It’s deeply personal and imperative to tell our trans stories — the stories that mainstream media platforms aren’t interested in telling — and share our filmmakers’ creative visions with audiences worldwide, making these films accessible from the comfort of home.”

Below are some of the films being screened.


Firebird film still


Firebird, a short directed by Aaron Bevan Bailey and Beth Buxton is inspired by Slavic folklore, about the a mythical peacock-like bird with flaming feathers that is both feared and revered, a blessing and a curse.

Little Sky film still


Little Sky, directed by Jess X. Snow is a Canadian short that follows Chinese American drag sensation, Sky, who is haunted by childhood memories, and returns to their hometown to confront their estranged father.

JTHill film still


JTHIII, a short directed by Alan Amaya, follows Kyler O’Neal who is in a state of limbo, grieving the relationship and the image of heteronormative bliss. Luka Fisher and Celeste X emerge from a magical dimension to combine forces and bring Kyler back to her power in a feminist resurrection ritual.


Fallacy film still


In Fallacy, a short film directed by Atlas Woods-Smith, a trans man must work through his own insecurities to pursue the man of his dreams.

The festival’s full line-up with a film guide and information about the filmmakers, is available online at All programs are offered on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale and are closed-captioned for Deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences.

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