VANCOUVER — The documentary Call Her Ganda impressed the audience during its screening at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.
They were all praises for award-winning filmmaker PJ Raval, who chronicled the struggles of three women — Jennifer Laude’s mom, an activist lawyer and a transgender journalist, to get justice for the transwoman’s death.
“It’s an incredibly compelling film that really not only talks about like how transwomen are treated and seen in the Philippines, but also what the effect of American military presence has on the lands of the Philippines,” said Anoushka Ratnarajah.
Raval submitted the movie to the festival because he wanted it shown in places where there is a strong and active LGBTQ+ and Filipino community.
Pinoy Pride Vancouver, who is at the forefront of LGBTQ issues for kababayans in Vancouver, has partnered with the film festival during the screening of the movie.
Raval knows firsthand how it is to be a minority and marginalized, having grown up in a conservative area in California.
But he was surprised to find out how accepting Pinoys are of the gay community in the Philippines.
“I think the LGBTQ+ community is so ingrained in the fabric of the Philippines, in the cultural fabric, that I just think it really quite amazing.”
Raval hopes that documentaries like this will ensure actions for the greater protection of the transgender community.