Born to Be

Director: Tania Cypriano Run Time: 92 min.

Starring: Garnet Rubio, Jess Ting, Leiomy Maldonado

Presented in the Virtual Screening Room in partnership with Kino Marquee.

“Moving and fascinatingly forward-looking… What the Mount Sinai center represents is a paradigm shift, if not a revolution. [It] shows us what the future will look like.”

Owen Gleiberman, Variety

About the film: 

Official Selection of Cleveland and New York Film Festivals and winner of Best Documentary Feature at Nashville Film Festival. A 2019 recipient of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the New York Foundation for the Arts’ inaugural “Made in NY” Women’s Film, TV and Theatre Fund.

Born to Be follows the work of Dr. Jess Ting at the groundbreaking Mount Sinai Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery in New York City—where, for the first time ever, all transgender and gender non-conforming people have access to quality gender-affirming health and surgical care.

With extraordinary access, this feature-length documentary takes an intimate look at how Dr. Ting’s work impacts the lives of his patients as well as how his journey from renowned plastic surgeon to pioneering gender-affirming surgeon has led to his own transformation.

Giving voices to those who refuse to conform to gender norms and stereotypes, the film addresses the nuances and complexities of gender, exploring key issues around the breadth of gender identity and expression among human beings.

About the filmmaker:

Director Tania Cypriano has been working between the United States and her native Brazil for more than twenty-five years. Her work has been shown at MoMA, the Jerusalem Film Festival, the Amsterdam Documentary Film Festival, and the Berlin International Film Festival. Her first documentary, the award-winning short film Viva Eu! (1989), is a tribute to the man who was one of the first people to be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Brazil.

After being contacted by Dr. Ting, producer Michelle Koo Hayashi raised seed funding and recruited Cypriano and cinematographer Jeff Johnson.

Cypriano’s groundbreaking documentaries champion health care as a human right. But as she told Sophie Willard for Women And Hollywood, “We still have a long way to go in order to assure a positive future for the next generation.”

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MAJOR SUPPORT
Ohio Arts Council
Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Columbus Foundation
Campus Partners
WITH HELP FROM
G&J Pepsi
WOSU Public Media

Trailer