Expired May 25, 2021 3:59 AM
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NO ORDINARY MAN is an incredible documentary on transgender history as shown through the story of musician Billy Tipton, a transmasculine jazz performer who was outed upon his death in 1989. Although the film does discuss Billy Tipton’s life in the style of a biographical documentary, the film uses Tipton as a case study to examine the larger topic of trans-related issues and trans health. Tipton tragically died as a result of a stomach ulcer after refusing to get medical treatment, and upon his death, his family makes the difficult and emotionally complicated realization that he most likely didn’t seek medical help due to fear of being outed, harmed, or persecuted for his gender identity.

Directors Aisling Chin-Yee & Chase Joynt craft an open conversation between trans-masculine folx as they share their life experiences, both in a discussion of queerness and their careers and interests. Almost everyone on screen, with the exception of Tipton’s family members, is trans, which gifts the viewer with an incredible range of stories in which some experiences are shared, and others are completely unique. The film does an excellent job of not only shining a spotlight on transgender individuals, but in opening up a conversation on the many roles trans people have in society. The film includes transgender people who are musicians, fathers, mothers, actors, historians, academics, among much more, as the filmmakers invite viewers to celebrate transness as a human experience not defined by sexuality. 

—Emily Eddy, Guest Festival Shorts Programmer, MdFF 2021

Content Consideration: Discussion of violence against transgender individuals, strong language

This screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers including co-director and writer, Aisling Chin-Yee and writer, Amos Mac moderated by artist and filmmaker, Jules Rosskam.

  • Year
  • Runtime
    80 minutes
  • Language
  • Country
  • Director
    Aisling Chin-Yee & Chase Joynt
  • Screenwriter
    Amos Mac & Aisling Chin-Yee
  • Producer
    Sarah Spring
  • Executive Producer
    Marc Côté, Lindsey Dryden
  • Cast
    Stephan Pennington, Billy Tipton, Hennessy Winkler
  • Cinematographer
    Léna Mill-Reuillard
  • Editor
    Aisling Chin-Yee
  • Sound Design
    Marie Pierre Grenier
  • Music
    Billy Tipton, Rich Aucoin