Neustadt JAAMM Festival (Jewish Arts, Authors, Movies and Music)

Transkids & A Message from Noam (Transkids)

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Available December 4, 2020 2:00 AM UTC
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Co-presented by the JCC Denver's LGBTQIA+ Committee.


TRANSKIDS is the result of four years of intimate and deep documentation of four teenagers and their families, shedding a brand new light on the personal and social impacts and implications of youth gender re-assigning - a subject which has been and still is controversial and delicate world wide, and even more so in Israel.


TRANSKIDS sheds light on the personal and social effects of youth gender reassignment in present-day Israel. It examines the challenges faced by adolescents and their families during the complex yet delicate process of gender transitioning, which entails many fateful and irreversible courses of action. Adolescence years are commonly, and naturally charged. The gender transformation is not the only challenge in these teenagers lives; common issues, events, and dilemmas that apply to most teenagers are always in the background.


TRANSKIDS follows four Israeli teenagers as they deal with typical teen drama through the lens of transgender youth. We examine how each family deals with the dilemmas and difficulties of adolescence when adding the significant and challenging aspect of gender dysphoria. Our four protagonists go through transition in a militaristic society in which teenagers go to the army right after high school, and religion plays a very strong role in people's identity and is not separated from the state.


The Protagonists:

  • Noam, 16, was born to a religious family in a settlement in the Occupied West Bank and studied at a religious all-girls school. After being hospitalized following a suicide attempt, Noam realizes he needs to come out and become the Noam he feels he is. Despite the obvious challenges of being part of a religious community, his family is quite accepting. Noam’s father perceives beeing transgender as a sort of birth defect that needs to be fixed by gender transitioning. He is supportive of his son but doesn't hide the fact that he misses his daughter. Noam had a complex relationship with religion. Now, as a religious man he feels closer to God than he ever did as a woman. He and his family face dilemmas related to the religious view on transgenders and the reaction of their closed community.
  • Ofri, 16, was always considered the tomboy who played football with the boys, but inside he always knew he was actually a boy. It was only after graduating 7th grade that he came out to a friend. Ofri’s mother saw a text exchange between them and found out what her son has been secretly dealing with. She was surprised, as she always assumed her daughter was a lesbian. Ofri feels that coming out of the closet as transgender is an ongoing process that he has to repeated every time he meets someone new, but feels very comfortable defining himself not as female or male- but as transgender. He is very active in his boy scout troop and has been invited to speak at Parliament to share his experiences with Israeli legislators. When Ofri receives a letter from the military addressed to him as female, he decides he wants to enlist in the army as a combat soldier.
  • Romy, 16, grew up as a boy in a religious school. Her mother, Ilanit, thought that by sending him to a strict educational institution it would help her son become ‘normal’ and abandon his feminine tendencies. Now, Romy is taking her first steps in the world of modeling and reality television, and has become a social media influencer. But behind the glamorous photographs lies a painful story - her father, who is incarcerated with a life sentence, has not met with her since walking out on the family when she was still a little boy. Romy’s father, and his side of the family have made no effort to reach out and connect with her since her transition.
  • Liron, 17, was born in a suburb of Tel Aviv. When he decided to go ahead with the transition process, he took the courageous and unusual decision to undergo fertility preservation before starting the irreversible hormone treatment, making him the youngest transgender boy in Israel to undergo egg extraction. Liron is a sensitive yet super cool guy. He is very close to his mother, grandma, and his girlfriend, who supports him throughout the process. Liron challenges societal conventions when he decides that he will not enlist in the army as all Israelis at his age do.

TRANSKIDS follows four Israeli teenagers as they deal with typical teen drama through the lens of transgender youth.

  • Year
    2019
  • Runtime
    103 minutes
  • Language
    Hebrew, English
  • Country
    Israel
  • Director
    Hilla Medalia
  • Screenwriter
    Hilla Medalia
  • Producer
    Hilla Medalia, Ronny Merdinger
  • Cast
    Romy Abergel, Noam Kaniel, Liron Matzas, Ofri Shemesh
  • Cinematographer
    Avner Shahaf
  • Editor
    Erez Laufer, Miri Laufer
  • Composer
    Ran Bagno