2017 Digital Storytelling Contest, Long Form, 3rd prize

The Convention

The Convention is a cinematic and visceral look at the annual Esprit Conference, which takes place in a logging town of Northern Washington.

Now in its 25th year, the Esprit Conference draws transgender women in their 50's, 60's, and 70's together for a week of camaraderie, mutual support, expression, and shared experience. For the attendees—many of whom are not “out” to their wives, children, places of employment or friends—this week may be the only week of the year that they are able to express their true selves. As such, it is deeply celebratory in its nature, but also fraught with pain and fear.

While the past years have seen an increase of transgender stories, the older women of this film represent an ignored minority. For them, the stakes are extremely high. To come out in these later years means they may lose family, homes, jobs, and their social fabric. For the transgender women of this generation, being passable may never happen. Regardless, they choose to step out boldly into a world that is not always ready to accept who they truly are, even if only for a week.

Production team

    Producer, Director, Cinematographer: Jessica Dimmock
    Cinematographer: Christopher LaMarca
    Editor: Ian Olds
    Composer: Adam Forkner