SQIFF 2023: Shorts programme shows highs and lows of trans parents

3 mins read

The Scottish Queer International Film Festival (SQIFF) returned to the Macrobert Arts Centre last night with a series of short films focusing on trans parents.

Programme Coordination Indigo Korres carefully picked the three films herself, and they made for a harmonious and emotional selection.

Flash Flood (2017, Dir. Al Mackay)

First up was the 2017 animation Flash Flood. Whilst not strictly about parenting, it was an effective introduction to the programme.

Three trans people’s stories are told via voiceover and are interwoven with the animated characters facing a life-threatening flood.

Image Credit: Flash Flood

The simplicity of the line-art style was complemented by the innovative use of sound – the deafening waves of the flood give way to calming music.

The film closes with all three characters finding each other and sitting above the aftermath of the destruction. It’s an important reminder of how essential community and togetherness are for trans people. Even in the darkest times (especially in the darkest times), we seek out and support one another.

Transgender Parents (2013, Dir. Rémy Huberdeau)

Rémy Huberdeau’s documentary Transgender Parents was a meatier story, taking up most of the programme’s runtime. It follows a wide variety of trans people who are parents and how their transition impacted them and their children.

Image Credit: Transgender Parents

The film portrays its trans cast as simply just people – something mainstream media appears desperate to make us forget. They share the same joys and struggles that all parents do. Their stories are deeply human and touching – one moment you’re laughing out loud, and the next brings a tear to your eye.

Whether it’s chuckling at trans man Hershel’s interactions with his son, or Stefonknee’s heartbreaking story of losing her family when she came out, this film will make you feel a whole spectrum of emotions.

M(OTHER)HOOD (2022, Dir. Bea Goddard)

The programme closed with fly-on-the-wall documentary M(OTHER)HOOD. Whilst handling similar subject matter to Transgender Parents, filmmaker Bea Goddard focuses on just one family in the lead up to single parent Jack’s top surgery operation.

Image Credit: M(OTHER)HOOD

Jack’s four children are hilarious, and it feels like such a privilege to have this intimate perspective on their relationships. For 17 precious minutes, we are part of the family, aided by Goddard’s use of tight close-ups.

M(OTHER)HOOD was an excellent choice to finish the programme. Despite hardship, Jack’s story is ultimately one of joy – he gets his life-changing surgery and is surrounded by so much love.

If you missed the Stirling screening, you can still catch the programme in Glasgow, Hawick, Dundee and Stornoway.

Featured Image Credit: Transgender Parents

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Film, media and journalism student. I like writing about my inability to eat gluten.

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