Rob Ulitski - 16th Dec 2019

Award-winning trans director, actor and activist Jake Graf puts a unique spin on Dickens' Ghost of Christmas Past in the video for The Star of Bethnal Green. 

Using the video as an opportunity to highlight the current pandemic of violence against trans people around the world, Graf weaves an emotional narrative depicting someone at Christmas watching a singer in a bar and feeling completely overwhelmed by both the performer and the performance, as if their entire life, identity, and purpose is revealed to them with each note of the song.

Affecting and poignant, the video is an important step forwards for trans visibility in mainstream media, and an inspired visual representation of the themes in the track. 

JAKE GRAF:

“As a trans man who grew up without any positive representations to aspire to, I know how important it is that we start seeing more trans visibility in the mainstream media. We have seen more and more allies to the community standing up and being counted but as our tiny trans community continues to be attacked and vilified we truly need all the support that we can get. In the last few years, trans murders have hit an all time high, with trans women in particular being targeted.

"This film combines the magic of Christmas with the powerful and hopeful story of an older trans woman being guided towards living as her authentic self. Older LGBTQ people are so often overlooked in cinema and the media that it felt like an important choice to depict such a rarely seen character."

BEAR'S DEN: 

“After meeting Jake and his amazing wife Hannah after our show last year we watched some of his work and were overwhelmed by how gifted he was and at how well he articulated the journey of a young transgender woman particularly in his film “Listen”. We’d talked to him at the time about how it would be great to find something to collaborate on, and were delighted when we approached him to make this video and he said yes!”

COLIN DAVID JACKSON (Actor) 

“It was an honour working on this project with Jake and the amazing cast and crew. It's fair to say that it has been a life changing moment in many ways, and feels truly humbling to create something that might positively change people's perceptions of what it means to be transgender."

JORDAN REVELL (Actor)

“This story is personal to me as a transgender woman experiencing the fear of coming out, being mocked and discriminated against by the majority on a daily basis. I'm perhaps one of the lucky ones who so far has managed to avoid threats, acts of violence and hate against me, but not all of our trans brothers and sisters are so fortunate, and with this story we show our solidarity and commemorate the 331 murdered trans people this year alone [Trans Re-spect Versus Transphoboia (TvT) Trans Murder Monitoring (TMM) research project update published 20th Nov 2019]. I hope this video inspires people to seek education and enlightenment on LGBTQ+ issues and in turn help us to work together for a more accepting and safe future for all.”

PRO Credits

Credits

DirectorJake Graf
ProducerAnthony Toma
Production CompanyToma Productions
1st ADLaura Prast
Director of PhotographyLorenzo Levrini
Focus PullerAnil Duru
2nd ACKato Murphy
GafferHelio Ribeiro 
Art DirectorLaura Little
Make-upStacey Fitsgerald
EditorGiorgio Galli
ColouristVlad Brarin
Lead actorColin Jackson, Jordan Revell
CommissionerHelen Sims
LabelCommunion Records
Other creditsMovi Operator - Jack Thompson-Roylance Spark - Oliver Craig Spark - Alex Magill Art Assistant - Frank Styles Make-Up Assistant - Ella Chadwick Runner - Reece Robinson Runner - Hannah Graf Runner - Alex Felstead Runner - Daniel Wheatley Development Consultant - Jessica Jones

Rob Ulitski - 16th Dec 2019

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