Award of Merit – Ablution (USA)

Title: Ablution
Runtime: 6 min
Country: USA
Director: Colette Copeland 
Placement: Award of Merit
Competition: June, 2023

Synopsis: This idea came to me in a dream two years ago during covid. What was unusual about this dream, was the level of detail that I remembered, including the entire synopsis and scene by scene shot list. I woke up and wrote down the dream verbatim. Initially, I resisted making the project, since I was conflicted about whether it was my story to tell. After reading the novel De-Transition, Baby by Torrey Peters about a young trans woman who transitions back into being a man, because he felt so unsafe and vulnerable as a woman, I felt compelled to bring the dream to life.

In researching violence against transgender or non-binary conforming people, I found the statistics alarming. Of the 51 reported murders of transgender or non-binary conforming people last year, 43 were transgender women and 40 were P.O.C. (persons of color). Many violent deaths go unreported.

In researching teen suicide, transgender teens have a much higher rate of suicide. The statistics show that 8.6% of cis teens attempt suicide, while 25-30% transgender teens attempt suicide.

Ablution is dedicated to my trans students (former, current and future) who have shared with me their trials with acceptance, their experiences with discrimination and hate, as well as their struggles with anxiety and depression. My wish is for them to live in a world free from hate and prejudice, free to be their true selves