Soy Sasha

As part of our Projector section, the International LGBTIQ+ Film Festival Asterisco has made a selection of three short films from its latest edition.

The trans presence has been gaining ground on the Argentine and Latin American big screen, mainly through documentaries that portray different travesti and trans experiences in the region. For the most part, those who investigate these themes are filmmakers who are outside the industrial forms of production and who understand the documentary as a genre located on the margins of the most legitimized forms of filmmaking and circulation. Moreover, when documentaries use the short film format, the marginality in terms of hegemonic forms of production is even greater. Therefore, the use of short films is preferred in order to present with greater emancipation the values of a system that is oppressive with bodies, ways of life, sexualities and genders; but also repressive with social class and other intersections that are often framed or suppressed when addressing films with trans people or themes that really question the policies of exclusion and extermination.

In the Panamanian short Soy Sasha [I am Sasha] by Yineth López, as well as in the Argentinean shorts Una casa que no tiene techo [A house without a roof] by Celeste Onaindia and Todos Tipos Trans by Sabino Jerónimo Gazzaniga, marginal forms of production appear, but also portraits that evade the hegemonic forms of trans representations. With this, the differences that end up suspending the assimilation of the trans in culturally designed forms from cissexist perspectives and without a dialogue with the different territories to which each person belongs are exploded, avoiding that documentary model that disarticulates the social power of travestis and trans lives with spectacularization.

There is a tendency towards communal and intimate dialogue in each short film that creates a social dimension of trans experiences where the problems and expression of cissexism can be addressed in parallel with those of structural racism while merging the poetic forms of language with the need for the self-determination of bodies. All this is as important for Asterisco as it is for an LGBTIQ+ festival in terms of the multiplicity of the approach proposed by each short film as the search to leave national cinema to understand cinema in a more regional way, in dialogue with different territories and experiences in order to leave the pre-established maps. The audiovisual breaks those frontiers that make us live precarious lives.

Text by Andrea Guzmán y Diego Trerotola.

Soy Sasha
Direction, script, production: Yineth López
Editing and sound: Ivan Jaripio
Cast: Sasha Katrini and Heidi López
Country: Panamá
Length: 4:58 min

Although it was considered one of the most violent places in Panama, Sasha Katrina never thought of moving away from Curundú, which today is one of the poorest settlements in the country, but also the place where she was born, where she works as a hairdresser and where her beloved community lives. Director Yineth López—who with this short film won the Concurso de Microfilmaciones de la Universidad de Panamá and the Festival Visible—was born in the same neighborhood and has been interested in bringing audiovisual language to her neighborhood by participating in initiatives such as the “Curundú Film Tent”, where she involved neighbors with film and other cultural manifestations. In her short film Soy Sasha, with an instinctive, loving look for the neighborhood and those who inhabit it, finding beauty in her surroundings, at the same time as a denunciation of her abandonment, Yineth López portrays Sasha, a trans woman who grew up in a violent environment and in a situation of poverty, but who, with her own tenacity and with the support of her community, has not let discrimination affect her to become a beauty queen. Sasha is the queen of queens.



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