FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Dante Alencastre
Phone: 310 661 0388
NEW FILM CAPTURES ‘THE FIRE INSIDE’ TRANSGENDER PERU
Moving stories of lives transformed through resolve and activism
LOS ANGELES, CA / April 10, 2012
A new film by documentary filmmaker Dante Alencastre, has just been completed. El Fuego Dentro (The Fire Inside) revisits, after five years, the lives of a group of extraordinary Peruvian transgender women who were introduced in his previous award-winning film in 2007, En El Fuego (In the Fire).
The film provides a rare opportunity to sit down with these individuals in their homes and workplaces across Lima and catch up with not only their activist accomplishments in progress, but also see how this work has ignited their personal growth. We see how they have met the challenge of life within an unsupportive and dangerous , but slowly evolving, Peruvian culture. We see their fiery resolve to be who they are and demand the respect and legal protection that they know they deserve. While extraordinary individuals, they are also inspiringly everyday people- hair stylists, telephone managers, and clinic workers – who fight back for themselves and join together for their community.
Though transgender visibility is increasing worldwide, few documentaries have focused on trans people of Latin America. Unlike many transgender-related documentaries, this film intentionally sets its specific focus, not on gender transitioning, but on giving voice and visibility to Peruvian transgender lives through collectively-shared issues, challenges and responses that frame and impact the rest of their lives.
These activists provide truly inspiring examples, not just for other transgender communities, but for all grassroots activists worldwide, demonstrating what can be accomplished even in a particularly unyielding culture as this.
El Fuego Dentro is about the interaction and intersection of gender identity, political activism and personal growth. These stories will continue to provide the spark for group discussions of these issues in educational institutions, social service agencies and support group settings. As a project, El Fuego Dentro has generated interest from film festivals and activist groups from Lima to West Hollywood as well as an official endorsement from the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco.
“I see the mosaic of personal stories that were entrusted to me as gifts and I am determined to respectfully provide visibility for them. I realize that my films are a tool for creating change, a tool for conversation, and ultimately, a tool for inspiring other people to take action in their communities.”
Dante Alencastre, Director, En El Fuego and El Fuego Dentro.
“Dante’s films, documenting the plight of transpeople in Lima, Peru are truly groundbreaking. They show how much remains to be done before the work is over.”
Don Kilhefner, Jungian Psychologist, co-founder of Los Angeles’ Gay and Lesbian Center and gay liberation pioneer
“You did an amazing job in telling the story [with En El Fuego]. I was so moved by hearing the voices and was struck by the strength in each of the transwomen’s voices. It is terrible what they have all been through and what they live with everyday. It really put my life in perspective and gave me a new inspiration for the work that I am doing.”
Dru Levasseur, Transgender Attorney, Lambda Legal, New York City.
“This is an important and moving film [En El Fuego], and I was surprised by how much was packed into such a short time. The quick cuts from one person to another at the start, each with a different way of self-identifying, was an extremely effective way of pointing out the diversity of the trans people in the film — within their unification to struggle against the oppression they face. Be sure to see this movie if you get a chance.”
Jacob Hale, Professor, Department of Philosophy at California State University, Northridge
“I was lucky enough to catch a screening of En El Fuego at the Silvia Rivera Project in conjunction with Transgender Justice of New York. The films compassion and honesty were inspiring. Although dealing with serious subjects – such as brutality, violence, lack of political and civil rights, and sex work- the film wasn’t heavy. It delivered its message of “fighting in the dark for rights” without pulling the audience into despair. Instead, the film made me want to go out and do something. I believe any community can relate to the film’s themes of self-identity, acceptance, and building community in the face of tremendous oppression. I highly recommend En El Fuego whether you know nothing about transgender people or spend most of your time working for transgender rights ( or anything between ).”
Kyla Bender-Baird, former Vaid Fellow with the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, M.S. Women’s Studies, master’s thesis on transgender employment discrimination
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For more information or to schedule an interview with Dante Alencastre or a film screening, please contact him at : firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Link: El Fuego Dentro ( The Fire Inside ), 2012
Facebook Link: En El Fuego ( In the Fire ), 2007