SF Transgender Film Festival kicks off this week with seven programs offering nuanced depictions of LGBTQI+ life

SF Transgender Film Festival kicks off this week with seven programs offering nuanced depictions of LGBTQI+ life
Still taken from 'Nimzo' short film. | Photo: Courtesy of Adelina Anthony
By Matt - Published on November 09, 2021.

Now in its 24th year, the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival (STFF) will begin on November 11 — and will continue to hold its title as the longest-running transgender film festival in the world.

Founded in 1997, the SFTFF has been a cinematic staple for well over two decades. Throughout those years, the festival has operated under the idea that representational films promoting the visibility of transgender people are important to both challenge stereotypes of those communities, as well as introduce nuanced depictions of transgender life that can be adopted elsewhere in mainstream media. And this year’s digital collection of films — which are spread out through seven different online programs —  are no different in their overarching themes of inclusivity.


Starting on November 11 and running through November 14, SFTFF’s scheduled short films are dense with narrative. Global Media Lab-produced CODA dissects the relationship between dance and personal exploration, regardless of a person’s ability to move their body with skill. Sweetness — one of SFTFF’s longer short films this year at around five minutes long — delves into the life of Tara, a Black trans woman, as she goes about finding (and defining) her own sense of independence that exists outside of societal norms.  

Nimzo — with a cast of entirely trans talent — is another standout on this year’s film catalog; the 17-minute short film tells the story of a trans man of color that’s trying to fill his testosterone supply during the pandemic shortage, all while navigating newfound vulnerably, deaths in his life, and existential questions on what it means to be human outside of gender expectations.

SFTFF’s 2021 film schedule is also rife with Bay Area talent. Three of this year’s films — Before Bacchae Before, Dedicated To Those Who, and SEEK/AFTER — were helmed by SF-based directors, while another two, Shaving Shorn and Treelogy, feature directorial control from East Bay talent. 

No matter which program(s) you choose to watch during this year's SFTFF even, an hour spent viewing these films that are hosted by the world's first — and, subsequently, oldest — film festival dedicated to trans film is 60 minutes well spent. 

For more information on this year’s SFTFF, including ticket prices (which exist on a sliding scale starting at $0) for individual programs, visit sftff.org.