TILDE festival program highlights

TILDE is a Melbourne-based film festival focused on Trans and Gender Diverse filmmakers, and held 3-5 May this year. Here are some films to look out for.
Black Trans Miracle. Image: Andy Johnston/ TILDE

Established in 2014, TILDE is a community-led, international film festival based in Melbourne, and one of only a handful of trans and gender diverse (TGD) film festivals in Australia.

In 2024, TILDE celebrates its tenth anniversary, presenting a program with the theme of ‘Trans Collectivism’ – breaking the stigma around ‘being the only trans and gender expansive person in the room’, and championing individuality and connection with one another in a safe and supportive environment. 

TILDE will host seven sessions across three days, from 3 – 5 May, to honour the work of established and emerging trans and gender diverse (TGD) artists. Audiences can expect a program of films spanning genres of comedy, romance and drama.

‘Listen carefully and you’ll hear filmmakers say getting a film made is a miracle,’ said TILDE CEO Ro Bright. ‘TILDE is a multi-faceted festival filled with these miracles, showcasing our ever-expanding community, and sharing our humanity through our stories.’

Here are some picks of the festival, which happens this weekend in Melbourne.

Select picks of the TILDE festival:

House Of Alexander 2021. Image: Supplied
>House of Alexander 2021. Image: supplied

The Beauty of Being Deaf

USA, 2021, 3 mins
Experimental Short
Director: Chella Man
Captioned 

An underwater celebration of hearing loss. Artist, director, and author Chella Man presents a meditation on identity and language. ‘Shooting this piece required both the cast and production’s full hearts as we waded into our vulnerabilities. This ease was translated into the final film. We carried that rawness with us. I am forever grateful and proud of the healing and connections that were created this day.’ – Chella Man 

The Alexander Ball

Australia, 2022, 30 mins
DirectorJessica Magro
Documentary
Mature (M) 
Captioned 

The Alexander Ball is an observational documentary extravaganza celebrating Samoan-Maori-Australian trans woman of colour, Ella Ganza, and the Meanjin (Brisbane) ballroom scene, as the community prepares for one of biggest ballroom events of the year: The Alexander Ball. This is Australia’s first look into the hypnotizing world of Ballroom through an observational documentary extravaganza, following the exhilarating journey of Samoan-Māori-Australian trans woman of colour, Ella Ganza, the Mother of House of Alexander.

Read: The Alexander Ball on SBS – watch and learn

Black Trans Miracle 

Australia, 2023, 18 mins 
Drama
Director: Tinaye Nyathi
Unclassified (U)
Captioned 
WORLD PREMIERE

Lindani, a neurotic young trans man, embarks on a journey to collect a cake for his partner’s birthday after an encounter with a stranger forces him to wrestle with his own identity, putting him at odds with his own desire for connection.

Man Into Woman: The Transsexual Experience 

Australia, 1983, 80 mins
Documentary
Director: John Ruane
Contains suicide themes. 

Man into Woman is the first documentary made about Australian trans lives. Given only a limited release in 1983, this surprisingly intimate and rarely seen film features trans icons such as Carmen Rupe, Roberta Perkins, Chanelle St Laurent and Noelena Tame. Man Into Woman contains suicide themes. 

Dog Movie

USA, 2024, 55 mins
Comedy
Director: Henry Hanson
Unclassified (U)
Captioned 
INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE

A passive-aggressive tenderqueer couple sends their household into a quiet tailspin when they adopt an elderly dog with the same name as the unemployed couch surfer they just can’t seem to confront.

The Robbers

Austria, 2023, 15 mins
Director: Isa Schieche
Drama
Parental Guidance (PG)
In German with English subtitles
Captioned 
VICTORIAN PREMIERE

Three trans women meet in a country house to plan a robbery. The trick of the heist is that, in order to create a false trail, they disguise themselves as men. While they share everyday life as a well-established team and lovers, they practise speaking in a deep voice, walking manly and behaving in a masculine manner. In this process, they reach their emotional and physical limits and repeatedly fail to imitate male connoted behaviour.

Dismantle Me

UK, 2023, 13 mins
Drama
Director: Max Disgrace
Unclassified (U)
Captioned 
AUSTRALIAN PREMIERE

A comical proposition turns into an arousing powerplay when a smoldering-hot trans woman helps a heartbroken trans man tidy his messy bedroom. Associate-produced by Lilly Wachowski, Dismantle Me is a dark comedy-romance by trans people of colour, and created with a majority transgender and non-binary cast and crew. Made in collaboration with Trans+ On Screen.


TILDE film festival runs from 3-5 May 2024. For the full program, head to the TILDE website.

Silvi Vann-Wall is a journalist, podcaster, and filmmaker. They joined ScreenHub as Film Content Lead in 2022. Twitter: @SilviReports