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‘Born to Be’ Trailer: Sensitive Documentary About Transgender Surgery Pioneer

Exclusive: Tanya Cypriano's fascinating film follows Dr. Jess Ting, head surgeon at Mt. Sinai’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery.

Kino Lorber

“Not every patient wants to have a surgical transition. Transition can take many forms,” says Dr. Jess Ting in the trailer for “Born to Be,” a poignant and finely tuned documentary about his work as head surgeon at Mt. Sinai’s Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery. Ting’s sensitive approach to the transgender population is just one reason he makes such a satisfying documentary subject — his sense of humor and background as a Juilliard-trained classical musician does the rest. Taking a page out of his book, filmmaker Tania Cypriano treats her tireless subject with utmost sensitivity. The film made its world premiere at the 2019 New York Film Festival, and was picked up for distribution by Kino Lorber earlier this month. IndieWire is debuting the trailer exclusively below.

From IndieWire’s B+ review out of NYFF last year: “‘Born to Be’ follows Dr. Ting as he makes his daily rounds, consulting patients on everything from top surgery and facial feminization to vaginoplasty and phalloplasty. While trans audiences may — and rightly so — be wary of a film that zeroes in so definitively on transitional surgery, it is precisely that laser focus that helps “Born to Be” avoid the many pitfalls for which trans films have been criticized. (Many trans films have irked the trans community by dwelling on the particulars of medical transition, continuing the long and painful history of the fascination with and objectification of the trans body.)”

“I’ve always admired Kino Lorber’s commitment to documentaries and LGBTQ history so I’m thrilled that they will be releasing ‘Born To Be’ to audiences at this most critical time,” Cypriano told Variety upon news of the Kino Lorber acquisition. “When a government is complicit in this by trying to eliminate protections from discrimination against LGBTQ people in health care services, it is also denying a basic civil and human right…transgender and non-binary people face hate and discrimination every day.”

Kino Lorber will release “Born to Be” in virtual cinemas nationwide through Kino Marquee starting Nov 18 and virtually in NYC with Film Forum and LA with Laemmle Theatres.

Check out the moving trailer exclusively on IndieWire below:

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