A still from So Pretty, the closing night film of Northwest Film Forum and Three Dollar Bill Cinemas Translations: Seattle Transgender Online Film Festival.
A still from So Pretty, the closing night film of Northwest Film Forum and Three Dollar Bill Cinema's online Translations film festival. Courtesy of Northwest Film Forum
Fear not, for film festivals will certainly be a part of the post-coronavirus future, whenever it comes. At least, I'm hopeful that they will be after seeing Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival pivot to online-only. Put on by Northwest Film Forum and Three Dollar Bill Cinema, the festival will feature films and talks by, for, and about transgender, non-binary, and gender-diverse people. The films will be available to watch from the comfort of your own home beginning Thursday and ending Sunday.

Simply log onto NWFF's website, pass along your donation, and you'll be sent a link and password an hour before your film of choice starts. Passwords expire at the end of the film so don't be late! I'm really liking how NWFF is adapting their theater model to a structure that works in a time of social-distancing. This set-up sure beats "fan pods" and increased police presences in entertainment venues.

Here are three of my top picks for this weekend:

Lingua Franca
USA | Philippines, 89 min, Dir. Isabel Sandoval
Thurs, May 7 at 7pm

Translations opens with Lingua Franca. Isabel Sandoval—who also wrote, directed, produced, and edited the film—stars as Olivia, an undocumented Filipina living in New York. Olivia works as a caregiver to Olga, an elderly Russian-Jewish woman, and uses the money to pay her boyfriend under the table to marry her so she can get her green card. But when he backs out, Olivia finds herself getting involved with Olga's grandson Alex. He's attractive and troubled (of course), but doesn't realize she's trans. The film follows her as she juggles this burgeoning romance with Alex with the instability of her immigration status. Sandoval will also give an intro to the film before the screening.

Finland, 54 min, Dir. Susani Mahadura
Sat, May 9 at 12pm
This hour-long documentary is centered on Kelet, a 20-year-old Finnish-Somali trans woman living in Helsinki who has dreams of modeling for Vogue and becoming a superstar. Coming about after director Susani Mahadura saw her perform in a ball, the film follows Kelet over a period of two years as she navigates life, her family, and the ball scene in the Nordic city. This is also the North American premiere of the film—don't miss!

So Pretty
USA | France, 83 min, Dir. Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli
Sun, May 10 at 7pm
The festival closes with So Pretty, a film based on the gay German novel So Schön by Ronald M. Schernikau, adapted by director Jessie Jeffrey Dunn Rovinelli to a cast of "feminine people of many genders in 2018, New York City." Centered around a group of trans and genderqueer friends and activists, the film follows them "on nights out, political actions, and walking discussions of translation and transition." Mixing digital and 16mm film, So Pretty oscillates between fiction and a documentary-like feel. The closing night showing is the first night of a weeklong run, so you'll have a chance to see it again if you so please.