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The Upcoming Film About Black Trans Activist Marsha P. Johnson Looks Absolutely Legendary


After protests over the erasure of trans women of color from Robert Emmerich’s Stonewall, expectations are high for the short film Happy Birthday, Marsha!, about trans activist Marsha P. Johnson. If the trailer’s any indication, this movie will slay!

Marsha features acclaimed Tangerine star Mya Taylor in the title role.


The trailer shows off a sumptuous, hyper-real 60’s aesthetic.


The film also features trans actresses Eve Lindley, Cherno Biko, and Rios O’Leary-Tagiuri.


There’s even a glimpse of Marsha P. Johnson herself in the trailer!


That’s right — it’s gonna be legendary.


BuzzFeed News caught up with filmmakers Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel, who showed us some wonderful exclusive images from the making of the movie.


Gossett told BuzzFeed News: “The pictures were all taken during the shooting of our ‘Hotel Dixie’ scene in which Marsha, Sylvia, Bambi and Andorra are hanging out in a hotel room they share.The scene is a flashback to 1965 when Sylvia is new to their scene and to sex work. Marsha is acting a as a sort of mentor to Sylvia.”


Commenting on the rich look of the film, Gossett notes: “We wanted the movie to reflect Marsha’s beauty. She wasn’t really fancy but she was fanciful, and when we talk about aesthetics it’s about the beauty of how she relates to other people.”


Wortzel adds: “Frequently people expect that if a film is political it’s not going to be beautiful. It was really important for us to make a film that was deeply political and personal in many ways but also gorgeous to look at.”

Happy Birthday Marsha is currently raising funds on Indiegogo, to make sure the film will be as amazing and beautiful as possible.

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