The acclaimed documentary Orlando, My Political Biography secured a North American home with Sideshow and Janus Films following its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival. Directed by Paul B. Preciado, Orlando offers a cinematic response to Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel of the same name that sees its character swap sexes and experience the double standards that society places upon women. The film has been hailed as a masterpiece for trans filmmaking as Preciado casts 26 trans and non-binary actors of different generations to inhabit Woolf’s beloved character. The film is produced by Yaël Fogiel, Laetitia Gonzalez, Annie Ohayon-Dekel, and Farid Rezkhallah.
“We were blown away by Orlando, My Political Biography, a funny, smart, visually stunning film that is at once playful and deadly serious, a landmark film that will be of lasting cultural importance, both for its formal inventiveness and for the way it engages with trans identity,” said Janus Films’ partner Peter Becker in a statement. “The energy of liberation and poetry that enlivens this film, combined with the incredible evidence of the richness, variety, and vitality of trans life it presents, is truly exhilarating.”
The film will receive a theatrical release after it makes a tour of the North American festival circuit. The deal was negotiated by The Party Film Sales on behalf of the filmmakers with Sideshow and Janus Films. Sales were also announced for Picturehouse (UK & Ireland), L’Atalante (Spain), Fandango (Italy), Gutek Films (Poland) and Nitrato (Portugal).
Orlando won four prizes at the Berlinale following its premiere in the boundary-pushing Encounters programme where it received a Special Jury Award. The film also won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary, Tagesspiegel Reader’s Jury Award, and received a Special Jury Mention for Best Documentary. Reviewing the film for POV, Ezra Winton called it “a perfect merging of political theory, rebellious collective will, and radical imagination.”