Program 13: Man Made
Directed by T Cooper
Structured around preparations for Trans FitCon, Man Made follows four diverse men as they train for the world’s only trans-specific bodybuilding tournament. Writer/director/producer T. Cooper documents the story with great sensitivity and respect for their journeys as athletes and men in transition.
It’s often tempting for the general population to focus on a single narrative of the trans experience, but in following his subjects – often into extremely intimate and vulnerable aspects of their lives – Cooper disrupts that temptation and portrays these men as solidly individual.
Mason is an archetypical bodybuilder, focused on his objectives with the single-minded determination of an elite athlete. Kennie is just beginning his transition and struggles with aspects of coming out in the rural south. At the same time, he’s dealing with the effects of hormone therapy and how the flurry of physical and emotional changes affect his current romantic relationship. Dominic undergoes top surgery, and we witness the anticipation, anxiety, and final exuberance as the dressings are removed and he sees his post-operative chest for the first time. He’s “chomping at the bit” to resume his weight training and can’t wait to return to the gym. Rese is currently homeless and concerned about where to find his next meal while doing his best to continue training. As a trans man of color, he confronts multiple layers of marginalization that are compounded by shelters refusing to admit him since they don’t know whether to place him with the men or with the women. Eventually the men all come together as competitors in the event.
The world of bodybuilding is sometimes mocked, criticized, and condemned by those outside of the sport, but Man Made isn’t so much about bodybuilding as it is about building the lives of four very different men and the role that their chosen sport plays in defining one facet of who they are.
— Jennifer Morgan
AWARDS & ACCOLADES
- JURY AWARD, BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – Atlanta Film Festival
- JURY AWARD, BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival
- JURY AWARD, FOX INCLUSION FEATURE FILM AWARD – Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival
- AUDIENCE AWARD, BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Frameline San Francisco Int’l LGBTQ Film Festival
- OFFICIAL SELECTION – Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival
We welcome Dom Giovon as our special guest. Dom will be available for Q&A following the screening.
Dom Giovon aka lil one is a transmale rapper/bodybuilder based out of St. Paul Minnesota. Adopted at a young age, he spent years trying to find himself. But once he did, the rest is history. He is now an advocate, public speaker, and performer around the twin cities along with touring with the documentary, Man Made. There is so much more to come for this young man so just wait and see!