Aurora Brachman’s short film Joychild focuses on an 8 year old who comes out as transgender to their mother


Aurora Brachman’s documentary short Joychild shares a story of an 8 year old who comes out as transgender. In this honest portrait of growing up gender expansive, filmmaker Aurora Brachman beautifully captures the hesitancy, fear and relief at revealing one’s innermost thoughts, as well as the unconditional love of a mother. This LGBTQI+ film has screened at a variety of prestigious film festivals such as 2020 Outfest, 2020 NFFTY  where it won an Audience Award & received a Best Documentary Honorable Mention and 2021 New York International Children’s Film Festival where it was judged by Sofia Coppola and Mark Osborne (Kung Fu Panda, The Little Prince), receiving a Jury Special Mention. Joychild will be screening at this year’s Oscar-qualifying Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and it will also be released by The New Yorker as part of their Documentary Video Series in June.

A young child tells their mother, “I’m not a girl”, for the first time. 

Director/Producer/Editor/Cinematographer Aurora Brachman is drawn to stories about intimacy and relationships between families and communities. Her most recent film, Club Quarantine, about a virtual queer dance party, premiered on the New York Times Op-Docs. She is a recent graduate of the MFA program in Documentary Film at Stanford University and a 2020 Sundance Ignite Fellow. She is also the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship in Filmmaking to the Pacific Island nation of Kiribati.  Her work has screened at numerous festivals including Sundance, True/False, and Hot Docs. Aurora primarily makes work about the experiences of Black, brown, and Queer people and is committed to collaborative and ethical storytelling. 

Sound and Production assistant Sydney Bowie Linden is also a documentary director, cinematographer, and Fulbright Scholar. Her most recent short The Space Between made its debut as part of the New Yorker Documentary Video Series.  

The music in this short film is composed by Composer Elijah Lee.

Joychild will be screening at Seattle Transgender Film Festival from May 6th – May 9th, Milwaukee International Film Festival from May 6th – May 20th, SFDocFest from May 31-June 15 and Frameline: the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival from June 10th – June 27th. This film will also be released by The New Yorker as part of their Documentary Video Series in June and will be available to watch on their website.


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