This Friday, the 2nd Edition of Trans* Fest kicks off in Stockholm, Sweden. The three day festival boasts an impressive and inclusive line-up of trans* films, as well as panel discussion and performances. The festival will close on Sunday, November 20th, marking this year’s Trans* Day of Remembrance. We sat down with Alex Fridunger, long time trans* activist co-founder of Trans* Fest Stockholm to find out what makes this year’s Program so exciting.
Here’s five things you need to know about this weekend’s Trans*Fest Stockholm:
- It’s a festival for trans* people, by trans* people!
Trans* Fest Stockholm is open to everyone, but its focus is on creating a platform for trans* activism.
“We want to create positive and empowering spaces for trans* and gender diverse people, as well as their allies through art and culture.” Fridunger explains, “By doing that we hope to further support and strengthen the trans* community.”
- It’s more than just movies!
Last year, the festival was just one day of screenings. This year, under the new name Trans* Fest Stockholm, the program has been expanded to a 3 day event including films, panel discussion, parties and even a brunch.
The panel this year will discuss Representation of Trans* & Gender-Diverse Young People in Film with Yolanda Bohm (RFSL Ungdom), Jon Ely, Eli Hellström Persson, & Christoffer Äledahl.
The Opening Party will have live performances as well as local DJ sets.
Films this year will include numerous shorts including the Emmy Nominated “HerStory“ and the full-length film “MAJOR!“ chronicling the “life & campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder & activist fighting for the rights of trans* women of color for over 40 years.”
Fridunger also gave us some of their picks: “I recommend all of the films! And the party! But if I have to pick a few films I’d say the short films “We’ve Been Around”. Our screenings and panel talk, “The Next Generation”, with young trans* people is a must. My personal favorite would be the film “Tchindas” from Cape Verde.
- It’s free!
Unlike most festivals, Trans* Fest Stockholm is entirely free of charge. You still need to register for screenings, though.
”For us,” explains Fridunger, “creating as accessible an event as possible is crucial.” One of the best ways to do that is removing financial barriers. “We want to keep organizing free events, making it accessible for young people, people who are seeking asylum or are unemployed. “
The organizers have relied on numerous co-operations in order to maintain free entry, while also employing free spaces offered by others in the community.
- It’s growing super fast!
Trans* Film Fest Stockholm began only last year. At the time, it was a one-day event with some 150 participants. By the launch of their spring event, that number had swelled to 550. As the second edition nears, hopes are high that the number of visitors will only increase.
“We’ve had visitors from other Nordic countries and we hope to become more international as we grow and establish ourselves. We’re hoping for a big turnout this year. We already have a waiting list for the tickets to the first evening’s event.”
- They’ll be back for 2017!
The Trans* Fest committee is already looking to next years. The first event will take place around Trans* Day of Visibility on March 31st. Next year will also see a festival leading up to Trans* Day of Remembrance 2017 in November. Other events throughout the year and one during the famous Stockholm Pride are in the works.
“We are a very grass-root based organization and that’s what we want to be. This means that can keep decision-making local, among organizers and participants. In the future, we can make the festival into whatever want it to become.”
You can register for any of the Trans* Fest Stockholm’s events here.
Please consider donating to keep the festival free for all