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Documentary on transgender to be screened in VN

A documentary featuring the tough journey of a transgender person trying to find an identity by two independent film makers is set to be screened in Vietnam.

A scene from the documentary Finding Phong.
A scene from the documentary Finding Phong.

Titled Đi Tìm Phong (Finding Phong), the documentary was made by Vietnamese-French couple Tran Phuong Thao and Swann Dubus in 2015, and has been screened at several international film festivals throughout the world including Amsterdam TranScreen Film Festival in Netherlands, Asian American Film Festival in America and Festival Désirs de Tours in France.

The work features the life story of Phong, who grew up in a small town in the centre of Vietnam as the youngest of six children.

Since he was a young boy, Phong felt like he was a girl in the wrong body.

It wasn’t until he moved to Hanoi to attend university at the age of 20 did Phong discover that he was not the only one in facing the predicament.

His dream to ’find himself’ by physically changing sex became a reality several years later.

The documentary follows Phong’s struggles during those years, with excerpts from his intimate video journal, along with his encounters with family, friends and doctors – all of whom must come to terms with the boy’s determination to become a girl.

The documentary won the highest prize at the Jean Rouch Film Festival in France. It was launched in France in February this year and was screened at cinemas till the end of July.

It will be screened at Galaxy Nguyen Du in HCM City on October 2 before being distributed to smaller cinemas by Blue Productions.

In November this year, Ateliers Varan, where director Thao works, will promote the documentary in Hanoi at the French Cultural Centre L’Espace.

Thao has an MA degree in journalism and communications from the Institute of Political Studies of Paris and an MA on documentary directing from the University of Poitieres in France.

Her first brain-child was Giấc Mơ Công Nhân (Workers’ Dream).