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Film showing the funny side of a trans teen’s life is taking the world by storm

Film showing the funny side of a trans teen’s life is taking the world by storm

marcus film trans

A groups of teenagers with zero filmmaking experience made a movie about their lives. Now they’re getting noticed in Hollywood.

Marcus is a fun short film about a set of curious twins whose older brother – Marcus – has just come out as trans.

Twins, Bonnie and Benny, arm themselves with a camera and set about making a documentary about their brother. They follow him into the boys’ toilets at school, constantly misgender him but swear they’re not like their transphobic neighbour.

Marcus’ director, Rowan Quinn said they wanted to see the humour in the everyday interactions trans people have. The Australian short film was one of just 12 out of 800 entries to win an award at the Real To Reel Global Youth Film Festival.

The festival is run by the prestigious Los Angeles Film School.

‘We (the filmmakers) were sitting around at youth group talking about the annoying things cis (gnedered) people say,’ Quinn told Gay Star News.

‘We’re never in the media and when we are it’s always in a negative light, it’s always about a tragedy.

‘We look at ourselves and think ‘we’re average’. We’re average teenagers.’

Not only are trans stories often told by cis people, they’re told for cis people Quinn argued. It was important to the Marcus team who were aged between 13 and 19 at the time of filming that the film was easy for trans people to watch.

‘The film has a light hearted tone, it’s not going to be confronting but it still shows the shitty things that happen to trans people,’ Quinn said.

Marcus also stars some of the biggest names in Australia comedy including; Cal Wilson, Broden Kelly (Aunty Donna), Demi Lardner and Lori Bell.

Hollywood calls

Along with winning an award for their efforts, Quinn and editor Morgan Kearley have the chance to attend a young filmmakers masterclass at the LA Film School.

But getting over to LA for the budding auteurs has presented its own challenges. Quinn lives on a farm and works at a local service station, there’s no way he’d be able to afford a trip to Tinseltown.

‘Being in the middle of this awful marriage equality debate we really felt that asking these young queer kids to turn to their immediate families to fund a trip for a film about coming out as transgender in suburban Australia, would mean forcing them to have vulnerable and potentially challenging conversations,’ said Katherine Brandenberger, mom of the actor who played Marcus, Ashton Neighbour.

In the two weeks since the team set up a Pozible crowdfunding site to help get Quinn and Kearley to LA, they have managed to raise almost enough funds. Any extra donations will go towards turning Marcus into a six-episode web series.

They got some stellar celebrity endorsements during the fundraising campaign, including from comedian Sarah Silverman.

‘Having so many talented and admired funny people get behind their quirky little film has been extremely validating and encouraging for this group young people,’ Brandenberger said.

‘They have many more suburban queer teen storylines based on their combined experiences that they’d like to explore in future projects, so we are really hoping with smash the base target to get two of them to LA and raise some money to turn Marcus & Friends into a web series.’

To donate visit the Pozible page.