New Documentary to Show Trans Life "Through Her Eyes"
London's Lily Padma and her hardworking team of trans individuals are busy raising funds for their short film, "Through Her Eyes" about a day in the life of a young transgender woman. The documentary is to be the first in a series of short films about the LGBT experience.
"The initial idea came from my own life and experiences of abuse and discrimination. Each year I meet more and more young trans men and women, and it always saddens me knowing that they will have to face the same problems that I have," said Padma. "For quite some time [we] wondered how to tackle the issue, and how we could contribute to the growing movement and push for trans and LGBT equality... and inspire empathy and understanding, through film."
Padma said that her all-LGBT team has a large number of trans people, who are working to make the documentary a success. For now, Padma is trying to raise funds for the project, which is currently in pre-production.
This spring, she ran the "Lily's Chocolate Anti Bullying Campaign," which raised nearly £1,000. Padma said that although most of the funding for the project was initially sourced privately, they had since raised nearly 300 percent of that initial amount.
"This greater level of funds is a huge help, as it widens the scope of the project: we can reach more people, link with more organizations and groups and have a much larger impact than before," said Padma.
Part of that reach involves social networking. The chocolate campaign's social networking had a reach of more than 120,000 people. And since then, Padma has worked on a host of smaller projects and campaigns, including producing a series of short videos for Brunel University explaining mental health issues. Joining her is a dedicated team, including aspiring filmmaker Izzy Kuar, trans filmmaker Korey Livingstone and aspiring trans actress Kaitlyn Franco.
"Social networking is a blessing for campaigns like this," said Padma. "On our restricted budget it allows us to still be able to reach a wide audience, through nothing more than hard work and being social! The LGBT and trans community has really rallied around this project, and helped us to spread the word and get our message out."
The team hopes that the film will offer people a better understanding of what it is like to be transgender. If it is a success, they will look toward producing different versions for other sexual and gender minorities, with the end result being a collection of films that people can watch and learn from.
"For most people the experience and feelings associated with being transgender are something they find quite hard to relate to -- it’s not something they have ever had to deal with or work through themselves," said Padma. "We really believe that through greater empathy and understanding, we will create a more tolerant society."
They plan to finish the film by Dec. 20, with the first screenings to begin in the spring and summer of 2014. Because of the scale and budget, they are unable to predict exact distribution at this point, but Padma said that they would present it at film festivals and in venues worldwide. Then they will place it on its own website, coupled with trans resources and information.
For more information, watch the YouTube video below: