I booked this film a few hours before it screened, dashed out my room only to find I had been locked out. Had to dash over to reception and ask to use another key. Evenutally got that all sorted out and ran to the bustop (10 mins down the road). I got to the cinema in ok time and got a coffee to calm me down. All that was worth seeing this film.
It was the only film to have a very passionate intro from the producer who said she has been waiting so long to introduce the film at the festival. She was proud and excited to be there which was great to see.
The film was about Charlie, a 14-year-old boy who loves football and is a talented player. He has been courted by a top club but is unsure whether to take it up, even though this is something his father really wants for him. Charlie is transgender and doesn't what to do. When she eventually tells the truth to her parents, her father who she was close with, becomes distant and openly doesn't support her choice, while her mother and sister do everything they can to help ease her into her new life, even finding her a girl's football team to join. But there are always obstacles to overcome that Charlie and her family have to face.
The film explores what Charlie goes through him/herself and the effects these changes have on his/her family, friends and stretches further to his/her coach and teammates. There is a brilliantly heartfelt and painful speech that Charlie gives when she is in a therapy session when she is asked if she really wants this and she explains that everyone sees 'this Charlie' when really, that isn't who she is and they all have their own idea who she is but really she is just Charlie. Harry Gilby who plays Charlie is superb throughout and really embodies the emotional and difficulties of being a transgender child. The character appears as natural and unstylized in his hands.
For a topical and still very delicate subject, director Rebekah Fortune asks the hard questions and the effect a transition like this will effect those closest to you. Charlie's father (Scot Williams) is also given the harder task of not being able to accept his son now daughter's decision to seek help and become her true self. He also has an emotional speech where his say he does love his child and has a right to be angry, therefore showing a fair point of view. Intolerance of this subject will not win the day and films like this will help. I also appreciated the fact that several people in the film, including the family take time to actually read up about being transgender, hopefully encouraging others to do the same.
An emotional punch for a Saturday afternoon and I really hope this film gets to go places and gets a decent release. I am also pleased to say that the film won the Audience Awards at Edinburgh Film Festival.