A Trans Story
A Trans Story is a feature-length documentary film about Jo and Allie, a transgender couple on the path of transitioning. The film invites the audience to witness their journey over the course of four years—from legal name changes to marriage, the start of hormone therapy to significant surgeries.
Mission StatementThis year, lawmakers across the country have proposed an unprecedented number of anti-trans measures. This film documents the lives of Allie and Jo, a traditional married couple who happen to be transgender. Their story is just one of many and we, as allied and LGBTQ creators, proudly stand by them.
About The Project
A Trans Story is a feature-length documentary film about a transgender couple who find strength in one another to individually transition while their family and friends reflect on the challenges of full acceptance and their own personal transformations as allies.
The film invites the audience to witness their journey over the course of four years—from legal name changes to marriage, the start of hormone therapy, to significant surgeries. Although these important events lift up the narrative, A Trans Story also reveals intimate moments of an ordinary family at their home in Sunnyside, Queens, New York.
Alongside their family and friends, the couple provide raw interviews about their pasts, their present, and their hope for the future. But Jo and Allie aren’t the only ones transitioning; everyone in this film is experiencing a transformation of their own.
Jo is a founder and CEO of several successful tech startups and a parent of three children. Allie is a beloved college biology professor and an active step-mom. Although their current lives are full of love and warmth, both faced dire challenges growing up.
Jo and Allie both come from strict religious backgrounds. In order to survive, they repressed their true selves. Heavy doubts and near-crushing hurdles complicated their paths to transitioning. They needed a nurturing environment to explore their identities, so they searched and searched for their places in this world. And just when they thought hope was lost, they found each other.
Transitioning can be life-giving. After years of struggle, hormone therapy, and multiple medical procedures, Jo and Allie are finally home.
But what is feminine and what is masculine? How does a person’s perception shift when transitioning? Do people treat you differently when you tick another gender box? How do family and friends transform as they witness their loved ones transition?
Dozens of states have introduced over 100 anti-trans bills this year, and this film explores critical issues surrounding gender identity. Transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary people continue to suffer not only at the hands of the decision-makers but also by people who simply don’t understand. We hope A Trans Story will reach those who are open to learning more. Maybe even save a life.
Matylda met Jo when she was editing a project for one of his companies. Once the project was complete, they stayed in touch over social media. When she noticed Jo and his beautiful partner Allie beginning their transitions, she knew this was a powerful story that needed a platform. But her respect for them was so great that she hesitated approaching the couple. This wasn't about the opportunity to capture a topical issue on film; it was a pull to share an inspiring and necessary story with the world. After weeks of deliberation, she had a dream that a documentary was the way forward, so she messaged Jo the next morning and to her surprise he said yes! Allie was game too.
With Jo and Allie's blessing, Matylda and Marcin, her partner in life and film, started their documentary journey. Four years later, here we are. M&M (as they are affectionally called) approached Ed and Katie of Punch Card Films, a 100% queer-owned production company, to guide them in post-production and beyond. Punch Card then pitched the project to Paul, the ultimate marketing pro. Without hesitation, Paul signed up to join us in our campaign charge.
We are a true team. And we're honored to present A Trans Story to you.
We could all use more shoes, but what the film really needs rests in the post-production realm. When you support this campaign, you will deliver A Trans Story one step closer to the screen!
Post-production is a complex process, not to mention expensive. This stage in the game is more than just editing. Post-pro calls for color grading, sound design and mixing, music composition, rights and clearances, motion design, graphic design, the creation of marketing materials, media storage and insurance, legal services, grant application fees, as well as miscellaneous expenses and subsequent taxes. And that's just to complete the film! We hope that you will join us in championing A Trans Story.
And while we open our arms to monetary contributions, if you can't give, please know that spreading the word and sharing our Seed & Spark page is invaluable!
IT'S AS SIMPLE AS COPYING AND PASTING:
Please support A Trans Story! Learn more about the documentary and the ways you can help here: https://seedandspark.com/fund/a-trans-story
And check back often for updates on our progress, new incentives, and upcoming events! ALL ARE WELCOME!
Contact [email protected] with questions. Thank you.
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About This Team
MATYLDA KAWKA (she/her/hers), DIRECTOR & EDITOR
Born in Poland, now a resident of Brooklyn, Matylda Kawka is an award-winning film director and editor and active member of the Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective. She began making films when she was just 16 years old, focusing on short documentaries. She graduated from the University of Poznan, specializing in gender studies, then attended the Polish National Film School in Łódź. After graduation, Matylda helmed several documentary projects and wrote and directed five narrative short films. Her short, Forever Mine, screened at major international film festivals, including Cannes. Matylda has been working on A Trans Story for four years and she's eager to share this film with the world.
MARCIN KAPRON (he/him/his), PRODUCER & CINEMATOGRAPHER
Marcin Kapron is a Polish-born, American cinematographer living in NYC. He's filmed over 50 short-form projects, six feature-length documentaries and five feature-length fiction films. His passion for visual storytelling takes Marcin around the world. He's shot in medieval castles, the belly of the Amazonian Jungle, at the Large Hadron Collider on the Franco-Swiss border, and even on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Emotions and characters sit at the core of Marcin's work, and he always aims to help a director realize their vision by creating images that not only compliment the narrative but also elevate the story to new heights.
ED HELLMAN (they/them/theirs), PRODUCER, PARTNER @ PUNCH CARD FILMS
Ed is an award-winning, non-binary trans filmmaker and music video director. Their videos have premiered on Vevo, The Fader, Blackbook Media, and Impose Magazine. Their style is distinctive: quirky, dark, tastefully irreverent, often punctuated with bright colors and rich, contrasting shadows. Ed is is the co-founder of Punch Card Films, a 100% queer-owned, full service production company in NYC. They recently spoke on a trans experience panel as part of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s Trans Day of Visibility event.
KATIE STAAB (she/her/hers), PRODUCER, PARTNER @ PUNCH CARD FILMS
Katie is a seasoned writer, director, and producer in New York City. She's worked with the large and the small—from CBS Interactive and Time Inc. Studios to budding startups and a host of independent media makers. Clients also include mammoths Hearst Digital Media, Scripps Networks Interactive, Bravo, New York Post, and MGM Resorts, among many others. Katie is the other half of Punch Card Films. She recently spoke at the Celebrate Pride: LGBTQIA+ Virtual Vendor Fair sponsored by Northwestern Mutual and the app, LYLA. She was incredible.
PAUL DEKAMS (he/him/his), MARKETING CONSULTANT & CAMPAIGN MANAGER
Paul DeKams is a marketing expert, writer, producer, artist, as well as an amateur whiskey and beer connoisseur. (He doesn’t know all the fancy terms, but he can tell ya what tastes good!) Paul has written and produced two films and spent the past 15 years working in post-production and advertising at one of the leading post studios in North America, Nice Shoes. Paul is a marketing maestro, helping post-production artists and producers market their talents and promote their amazing work. He got his start interning at Sesame Workshop, which means he can no doubt tell you how to get to Sesame Street...for a price. Paul loves bringing people together to collaborate, share art, tell stories, and play a game or two. The real fun, though, is seeing what comes from these connections.