Program 06: Pulse
Directed by Stevie Cruz-Martin
If you had the chance to transplant your mind into a new body, would you? What if you could make yourself more desirable to the boys at school? What if you could change genders?
Meet Olly. He’s a closeted gay teenager living with osteoporosis, which makes walking difficult and sometimes painful. He’s well liked by his peers, but has been completely passed over in the romance department. Mom is a bit overbearing, but is very supportive as he navigates social and medical struggles. While in the hospital recovering from yet another surgery he learns that he qualifies for a newly-legal body transplant and decides to take the plunge. But to everyone’s surprise, he announces that he has requested a transplant into a female body.
Meet Olivia. Fresh off her body transplant, she’s eager to get started on her life as a girl. With a little help from her friends, she soon finds herself at a party being hit on by one of the guys that Olly had secretly pined after before the surgery. Feeling attractive and confident for the first time, she aggressively pursues her first sexual encounter and quickly discovers that not everyone’s intentions are chivalrous.
Pulse is unlike anything that you’ve seen before, putting a new spin on themes of gender, sexuality, body image, and self-love. The film is written by its lead actor, Daniel Monks, who uses his own insecurities as inspiration, making it an intensely intimate character study. Once Olly has become Olivia, the film seamlessly swaps back and forth between the character’s male and female actors, allowing us to experience both the facade that she presents to the world and the anxieties that lurk beneath the surface. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind movie experience.
— Stephen K. Weisenreder
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- BUSAN BANK AWARD – Busan Int’l Film Festival (South Korea)
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Sydney Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Melbourne Queer Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Roze Filmdagen Amsterdam LGBTQ Film Festival