“Amazing and wonderful.”
That’s how film director Gwen Haworth describes her reaction to winning both the People’s Choice Award for Most Popular Canadian Film and the Women in Film & Television Vancouver Artistic Merit Award for her autobiographical documentary She’s A Boy I Knew at the recently concluded Vancouver International Film Festival.
“I couldn’t think of two better jurors to receive recognition from,” says Haworth, a transsexual woman, whose film empathetically but forthrightly navigates her transitioning journey and its impact not only on herself but family, friends and partners.
While Haworth notes there weren’t any trans-positive films she could reference as a support when embarking on her own transitioning process, she says in the last few years she has begun to see a lot of films, especially from allies, that are family-inclusive, and address in “a proactive manner” how families deal with gender and sexual identity issues.
“You see the challenges that arise, and at the same time, the love and support and we, as a community, need to see a lot more of that,” contends Haworth who also hopes to see a lot more trans self-representation.
“Self-representation is really key to self-empowerment. We need to hear from ourselves because then people realize they can have more control of what happens, and not just be impacted by the society around them,” she explains.
The buzz and awareness She’s A Boy I Knew is generating has led to a demand for its screening in other film festivals in Canada and around the world, including Montreal, Madrid, Amsterdam and Cleveland, Ohio.