ROXANNE is a film that aims to raise visibility and awareness of male-to-female transgender sex workers.
There are thought to be 15,000 transgender people in the UK. There are no official statistics, but it is thought that nearly every trans woman living in London has undertaken sex work at some point in their lives. This is because the huge cost of surgeries and hormones, plus the stigma surrounding the trans community that makes it difficult to get a 'regular' job whilst transitioning, mean it is often the easiest and quickest route to becoming a woman.
We believe this is a story that needs to be told. A story about one woman that echoes the stories of many, who are ignored and oppressed. In the last two years, three trans women were murdered in their London and Brighton homes. None of the cases were reported in a national press outlet - including the gay press. Transgendered people are often shunned even by the LGBT community that they are supposed to be a part of, not to mention wider society, where they are often attacked, abused and discriminated against. This needs to change. We hope our film with go a small way to raising the visibility of a group of people who are largely unheard in the UK.
ROXANNE follows a trans woman living in Soho who has been sex working for years. She has built walls around herself as protection, cutting herself off from everyone around her, and pushing everyone away.
Lily, a 12 year old girl who lives on her street, is abandoned by her mother and left to fend for herself. When Roxanne sees the girl in danger, she is finally forced to act; to reach out to help another person. The pair begin to form an unlikely bond, as Lily's precocious personality cuts through her defenses, and Roxanne begins to care about someone else for the first time, allowing her to believe in the possibility of a better life.
The film is an 18 minute short, however the script is also being developed into a feature film. We hope the short will help highlight the value of the story, and help the feature film get funding. We will shoot over 5 days in the summer on location, in Soho.
We decided to start a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for the film, to help raise awareness of the issue, and the fact that the film is being made, because we feel it is important that it gets seen. ROXANNE will be partially funded by a popular brand who have given us two thirds of our total budget, but need the rest to make the film happen.
The raised £10,000 will all go straight into the production of the film - towards camera and lighting hire, location costs, cast and crew fees, post production costs (editing, colour, music composition and visual effects) and distribution costs (festival submissions, DVD copies, screenings etc).
We plan to shoot on 35mm film, which, whilst more expensive than shooting on digital (due to high processing costs) will give the film an incredible texture and atmosphere that will add an extra layer of beauty that we feel this story deserves.
IF WE DON'T RAISE THE FULL AMOUNT, WE DON'T GET A PENNY! So please donate to this project and help us help a group who are underrepresented.
We need you.
PAUL FRANKL (Director/Writer)
Paul is a freelance director, and writer, based in London. He is passionate about telling ethically-driven stories, that attempt to raise visibility of those who are often marginalised. In 2012 Paul was selected as one of 5 winners from 700 international applicants for Bombay Sapphire's Imagination Series competition. The film he wrote premiered at Tribeca 2013. He has also directed music videos for artists including Mt. Wolf and Bright Light Bright Light.
Paul attended Queen Mary, University of London achieving a 1st class Bachelors degree in Comparative Literature and Film Studies. Here he received an Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, began the development of his directorial style and wrote his first fully realised scripts.
AKUA OBENG-FRIMPONG (Producer)
Akua is an American raised in the UK. She read Performance Studies at University College Northampton and followed her degree with training as an Arts Administrator. This led to a professional career in British Theatre.
Akua was the Administrative Director of Kazzum for 9 years, producing touring theatre, before stepping into film production. She’s earned credits as a production co-ordinator, production manager and producer on short films and has also collaborated on music videos and reality television.
Whilst establishing a track record in filmmaking, Akua is also Head of Business Development for the creative network, Zealous promoting an online collaboration platform to various strands of the creative industries.
MISS CAIRO (Roxanne)
Cairo is a performance artist, actor, dancer, singer, artist, and costume and wig maker, who was trained in physical theatre at East 15 Acting School. Identifying as genderqueer, Cairo makes a living performing as a drag queen on the club and burlesque scene throughout the UK. Her half-Egyptian heritage is an important part of her identity and along with her gender politics is an important part of her work, as she is growing as an advocate for race and gender representation.
MZZ KIMBERLEY (Theresa):
RINA YANG (Cinematographer):
ANA VIANA (Production Designer):
Risks and challenges
Filmmaking is a risky business, with possible delays in schedule due to unforeseen location, permit and kit problems (and many others). But with a talented creative crew and super organised production team, we feel the risks are minimised, and any problems or delays that do come up will be able to be handled efficiently, professionally and with speed.
Communication is the key to any successful shoot, that includes on set between crew, between the heads of department in preparation, and between us and you! We will ensure you are kept up to date with our whole production process, letting you know what is going on and when, so that everyone is on the same page and kept in the loop. We feel that open and honest communication is the best and fastest way to resolve and avoid any unwanted bumps in the road.
Please feel free to email with any queries you might have at email@example.com, and make sure you check us out on social media:Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)