The ground-breaking documentary about trans bodybuilders enjoyed its worldwide on VOD, Thursday, November 7th, 2019 via Journeyman Pictures, the multiple-award-winning “Man Made” follows the extraordinary lives of four transgender men as they prepare to compete at TransFitCon, the only all trans-bodybuilding competition in the world – held in Atlanta, GA. What precedes this triumphant moment are a set of personal and diverse journeys taken on the path to self-identity and empowerment. According to the film’s press release, “’Man Made’” intertwines the nuances of manhood; the drive for social justice; and the competitive desire to forge our own paths and be our personal best.”
The film takes us into the heart of transgender male (FTM) culture, revealing unexpected truths about gender, masculinity, humanity and love. It’s a character-driven, intimate, and riveting verité-style competition film, but also a unique social justice narrative. It speaks to the ways in which we all choose to define and reshape ourselves, both figuratively and literally.
“Man Made” was directed with an intimate and authentic vision by trans-filmmaker T Cooper, who is also an acclaimed novelist, television writer, journalist and LGBT activist.
Cooper says, “I believe that this film is more vital than ever. Even though I am not a bodybuilder, I know what it means to envision and then actually take steps to build the body – and life – that you want. So, in some ways, this is my story. But it is also the story of anybody who has done what it takes to become the person s/he is meant to be.”
Executive producer Téa Leoni says, “’Man Made’ is striking, and simply feels like nothing I’ve seen in storytelling around transgender lives, either documentary or narrative. Simply put: you see this film, and it changes you.”
The documentary world premiered in 2018 at over 75 festivals around the world, winning critical and audience acclaim. Out Magazine called the film “an assured crowd-pleaser, made with great love and insight.” The New Yorker said, “Man Made upends the traditional documentary gaze… [and] resists the urge to turn the bodybuilders’ stories into narratives of simple, complete self-actualization; instead, it offers a testament to individual moments of joy-transformative in themselves.”
Festival awards include Best Documentary Jury Award, Atlanta Film Festival; Best Documentary Audience Award, Outfest Los Angeles and NewFest NYC; and Best Documentary Jury Award at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.
You can read the Los Angeles Blade review of “Man Made” here.