Program 04: Tamara
Directed by Elia K. Schneider
On December 6, 2015, Tamara Adrian made history by becoming the first transgender person ever to be elected to the Venezuelan National Assembly. Elia K. Schneider directs this intensely sensitive and tightly woven drama depicting the story of Tamara’s journey. Offering an honest and balanced insight, this excellent biopic examines some of the doubts, fears, sacrifices, and decisions that face many trans individuals as they attempt to forge their path to authenticity.
Luis Fernandez stars as Tamara Adrian, playing the role with a respectful and emotionally authentic conviction as Tamara comes to terms with her lifelong desire and transitions from Teo to Tamara. The story opens with Teo returning to Venezuela from Paris and the turn of events that lead him to remain in that rigidly patriarchal culture with clearly defined gender roles. As a result, he adopts a more traditional persona in order to land a job with a respectable law firm. As the years quickly pass, he seems to adapt to that life and soon meets the woman who will become his wife and the mother of his children, while he moves into a university position as an esteemed professor of law.
By all outward appearances he is living an enviable and happy life, but there are deeper yearnings in him that refuse to be ignored. As we follow his tentative moves into androgyny, Teo careens between the desire to rush ahead – despite his psychologist’s strict guidelines – and to hold back for fear of losing the wife and children who represent everything he loves. Lying at the heart of the film is Tamara’s struggle between the need for authenticity and what that may mean to her future life. Tamara handles this brilliantly while also offering an honest insight to those who have never experienced the disharmony of their gender.
Today, Tamara’s journey continues as she works within the Venezuelan Legislature to pass laws enabling trans folks to change their documentation to reflect their true names and gender, as well as for LGBTQ rights in general.
— Jennifer Morgan
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- NUEVO VISION AWARD – Santa Barbara International Film Festival
- JURY AWARD, Best Directing – Milan International Film Festival
- BEST DIRECTING Elia K. Schneider – Milan International Film Festival
- BEST ACTOR, Luis Fernandez – Milan International Film Festival
- BEST MUSIC, Osvaldo Montes – Milan International Film Festival
- AUDIENCE AWARD, Best Film – Milan International Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – International Film Festival of India (Goa)
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Wicked Queer Boston LGBT Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Cleveland International Film Festival