The film has garnered rave reviews from across the United States and the world filming in both Copenhagen and Paris in October. A Self-Made Man is told through the poignant personal story and important life work of Tony Ferraiolo, a transgender youth advocate. We watch Tony guide kids as young as 8, and their parents, through the confusing journey of defining themselves, when their physical appearance conflicts with how they view themselves. To learn more about how you can see this film, please click here.
Provincetown Film Festival – 6/20/2013
A SELF-MADE MAN takes a candid look at what it means to be transgender, told through an intimate portrait of trans youth advocate Tony Ferraiolo. Inspired by his own experiences, Tony works with transgender children as young as 8 years old, who have the same feelings of disconnect that he had and examines the complicated dynamics of transitioning from multiple perspectives.
Frameline37 – 6/26/13
At a crucial turning point, Tony Ferraiolo’s inner voice said, “Create yourself.” This credo saved his life and continues to save many others. Born female, Tony identified as a boy and grew up bullied and isolated. Unhappy and angry as a lesbian, Tony eventually realized he was actually a trans guy. Terrified of coming out again, this time as trans, Tony was intent on taking his life. Instead, he bravely heeded his own inner guidance and started his transition process. Tony wanted to be a happy artist, a tattooed guy who loves people, and so he set out to be just that. Tony’s self-transformation has prepared him uniquely to serve as a youth advocate for trans and gender-variant kids and their families. At this time of quickening in transgender awareness, younger and younger kids are declaring their gender identities, and families are struggling to adjust. One of Tony’s support groups is an art group for gender-variant kids as young as eight. He’s preparing trans teens to mentor peers as they make their own unique journeys along the gender spectrum. Filmmaker Lori Petchers highlights A Self-Made Man who is an endearing and inspiring guiding light for whole families to move forward together with love, empowerment, and compassion. — Carol Harada
Rhode Island International Film Festival -8/8/2013
A Self- Made Man is the story of transgender youth advocate Tony Ferraiolo. Inspired by his own experiences, Tony works with transgender children as young as 8 years old, who have the same feelings of disconnect that he had. He guides them through the challenges that they face, and provides a safe place for the kids to be who they feel they really are. Tony encourages them that they can “create themselves,” as he did. It is a scary time for both kids and their parents as they make the transition journey from one gender to the other. This is a film about someone who helps them get there safely.
MIX Copenhagen -10/13/13
Via et intimt portræt af Tony Ferraiolo, fortaler for transbørn og -unge, udforsker Self-Made Man, hvad det vil sige at være transkønnet. Tony, der selv er transkønnet, arbejder med transkønnede børn helt ned til 8-årsalderen. Med udgangspunkt i egne erfaringer guider han børnene og deres forældre gennem en periode i deres liv, præget af kontrasten mellem det køn, børnene oplever sig som, og det køn, omgivelserne forventer af dem. Self-Made Man undersøger med humor og ærlighed dette komplekse emne fra flere perspektiver, og lader de transkønnede børn og unge selv komme til orde.
Margaret Mead Film Festival – 10/20/13
This moving documentary examines the social and psychological dynamics of being transgender through an intimate portrait of trans youth advocate Tony Ferraiolo. Tony guides children as young at eight and their parents through the confusing journey of defining themselves when their physical appearance conflicts with their self-image. Even as he struggles to come to terms with the complexities of his own life as transgender person, he labors to offer safety and assurance to families immersed in an often frightening transition. A Self-Made Man navigates the issues Tony and his charges face with a tone both candid and compassionate—much like it’s protagonist himself.
Paris International Lesbian & Feminist Film Festival – 10/31/3013
Tony Ferraiolo ? C’est le héros de « A Self-Made Man », un documentaire réalisé par Lori Petchers en 2013. Mais Tony c’est aussi et surtout une femme devenue homme sur le tard. C’est en regardant un reportage sur les trans qu’il a pris pleinement conscience de ce qu’il était et que le déclic a opéré. Evidemment, c’est un peu plus compliqué que ça. « On ne naît pas homme » et on ne devient pas trans du jour au lendemain. Tony a toujours su qu’il était un garçon « à l’intérieur » : « I’ve always always always felt like a boy ». Inutile de préciser que le chemin qu’il a parcouru jusqu’ici n’a pas été simple et parsemé de tentatives de suicides. Avant de se déclarer trans, Tony a passé de nombreuses années dans la peau d’une lesbienne. Un masque lourd à porter. C’était une lesbienne « intouchable », qui ne permettait pas à ses partenaires d’effleurer ses attributs féminins.
« What do you do when your inside doesn’t match your outside ? ». Ouais, alors comment tu fais ? Nan mais concrètement comment tu t’y prends ? A qui tu te confies ? Comment tu fais pour ne pas fuir ? Pour ne pas en finir ? C’est à ces questions que personne n’ose vraiment répondre que Tony a décidé de faire face. Pour la simple et bonne raison qu’il est passé par là et qu’il ne souhaite à personne d’utiliser le même chemin que lui.
Previously screened at the following film festivals