Director and photographer Braden Summers has released a short film celebrating the resilience, joy and perseverance of the trans community, entirely shot in a single frame and one take.
Called Frame of Mind: Elevate, it's inspired by the systemic injustices and social microaggressions that trans people face when expressing their gender identity and hopes to help eradicate bigotry.
Featuring a trans heroine on her four-minute elevator ride in a busy New York City apartment building, the film explores the wide spectrum of human behaviour that trans people experience every day. By featuring the characters' visible reactions as they ride the elevator alongside the heroine, we're led to confront our own interpretations of the protagonist and how their feelings might compare to those of the characters in the film.
"Through the casts' variety, we may see ourselves and experience a reflection of our actions, helping us better confront our own biases, diminish ignorance and champion our ability to treat others equally for the betterment of all," says Summers. "This understanding may spark inspiration to help change hearts and minds for an equal and beautiful experience of social justice."
He adds: "Representation matters, I learned that first hand, as gay imagery took on a new tone in commercial media, public acceptance evolved. The pattern is repeating itself with the transgender community. I have met, photographed, interviewed, and been inspired by incredible trans men and women, and I am very aware of the oppression their community experiences on a regular basis. Too many die each year for being who they are. I wanted to create art that could help others build empathy for this community and avoid aggression."
Before Summers created the film, he held a think tank with himself, a writer, and four men and women from the trans community to ensure that the messaging was as authentic as possible. "I wanted it to be real, not a projection as a gay man of what it might be to be trans," he explains. " I hope others will feel empathy, humanity and respect."