Back to All Events

Call Her Ganda

  • Maysles Cinema 343 Lenox Avenue New York, NY, 10027 United States (map)

Sunday, December 2nd, 2:00pm
Back In Theaters — One Time Only!
PJ Raval, 2018, 98 min

When 26-year old Filipina transgender woman and alleged sex worker, Jennifer Laude, is found dead with her head plunged into a motel room toilet, the perpetrator is quickly identified as 19-year-old U.S. marine Joseph Scott Pemberton. A military recruit in an unfamiliar land, Pemberton was on “liberty leave” when he solicited Jennifer at a disco. On discovering that Jennifer was transgender, he brutally murdered her, leaving her to be found by her friend and the motel receptionist.

Amidst a media storm and police inquiry, as Jennifer’s family copes with their loss, three women intimately invested in the case, pursue justice—taking on hardened histories of U.S. imperial rule that have allowed previous American perpetrators to evade consequence: An activist attorney, Virgie Suarez, who labors to reveal the truth of Jennifer’s death from inside the courtroom—in the face of strategic silences and sly legal maneuvers from Pemberton’s defense team. A transgender investigative journalist, Meredith Talusan, who determines to bring international attention to the case, writing sharp, in-the-fray essays for VICE, The Guardian and Buzzfeed. And Jennifer’s normally reserved mother, Julita, who finds herself at the affective center of a political uprising, inciting fellow protesters with a tenacious voice she never knew existed.

A modern David and Goliath story, Call Her Ganda follows a cast of willful women as they take on some of the most powerful institutions in the world. Fusing personal tragedy, human rights activism and the little known history, and complex aftermath, of U.S. imperial rule in the Philippines, Call Her Ganda forges a visually daring and profoundly humanistic geopolitical investigative exposé.

Call Her Ganda was an official selection of the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival, 2018 San Francisco International LGBTQ Festival, 2018 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Festival and 2018 Hot Docs Film Festival

Q&A with director PJ Raval to follow screening.

AMPAS and IDA MEMBERS are admitted free upon presenting membership card.

This program is part of:

Films by Firelight: A Documentary Film Series In Harlem

(Oct 2018-June 2019)

Films by Firelight was created by Firelight Media to introduce our Harlem community to a diverse range of documentary films that have been directed and produced by the talented filmmakers we work with as part of our flagship program, the Documentary Lab.

We created the DocLab in 2008 to offer artist support to talented first-time filmmakers from underrepresented backgrounds. The program extends the work of our co-founder and master documentarian, Stanley Nelson. Our goal is to ensure that the next generation of non-fiction filmmakers representing diverse identities can flourish.

Films by Firelight takes place in Harlem’s beloved large and small film exhibition venues throughout the community. This series focuses on the rich and singular canon of non-fiction film generated from the Documentary Lab along with some classic films, and newer work from Stanley Nelson’s vault. Films are accompanied by lively and frank discussions with the filmmakers, subjects, stakeholders and artists. Films by Firelight is programmed by Jessica Green.

This program is co-hosted by Gabriela New York and Sige!

GABRIELA New York (formerly known as Filipinas for Rights and Empowerment [FiRE]) is a mass-based women’s organization serving New York City and its surrounding areas. We connect the Filipino diaspora to the women’s struggle in the Philippines. We are women of Philippine descent, including those who are migrants, immigrants and US-born. We recognize Filipino women of mixed heritage and adoptees. GABRIELA New York is a LGBTQIGNC-(Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning, Intersex and Gender Non-Comforming) friendly organization that is inclusive of transgender people of Philippine descent.

Sige! (a Tagalog word meaning “Go ahead!”) is a grassroots community organization based in NYC made for and organized by LGBTQ Filipinos who aim to create a culture of collective support and empower its members to fight for their rights, protection, and liberation. Sige! tackles major issues faced by LGBTQ Filipinos including: discrimination at home and in the workplace; immigration; and access to affordable and culturally competent healthcare.

call ganda logo.jpg
call her ganda logos 2.jpg
Earlier Event: November 30
Francophone Shorts in Harlem Program
Later Event: December 7
Making The Five Heartbeats