Belfast Film Festival

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Tchindas

Directed by Marc Serena & Pablo García Pérez de Lara

Within a small, tropical Cape Verdean Island, the beloved Tchinda is hard at work preparing for a Carnival she hopes will capture the town’s imagination.

Tchinda is openly transgender and deeply respected. Her choices, direction and vision centralise a collection of people that few beyond the island know to exist. ‘Tchindas’ reveals a hidden landscape tucked far away from the world we know, where trans inclusion and teamwork make up the fundamental structure of a truly magical community and culture. Glue, glitter and feathers are at a premium

in ‘Tchindas’, a beautifully shot vérité chronicle of the all- consuming Carnival preparations.

Tchinda is an elder stateswoman of sorts, having come out publicly in 1998, at a time when, as she tells some of her younger friends, “all homosexuals were in the closet.” A revered resident of a working-class corner of the city of Mindelo — “Tchinda rules, end of story,” one man says.

Filmmakers Marc Serena and Pablo García Pérez de Lara have crafted a lush, perceptive documentary that at times feels akin to a fairytale.