Current Time’s Form #087 mini-series on the lives of transgender Russians has been shortlisted for a prestigious television industry award at The Content Innovation Award competition in Cannes.
The three-part project, created by Current Time journalist Yekaterina Ponomaryova, is on the shortlist for Best Representation On Screen, a category that includes TV profiles of ethnic and racial minorities, the LGBTQ community, and disabled people.
“This is a big success for Yekaterina and for the entire TV channel,” commented Current Time Executive Editor for Feature Programming Kenan Aliyev.
Eureka Productions, MTV International, MTV Studios, Russia’s TV Channel Five, and World Productions/Sky Atlantic are the other nominees.
The award winner will be announced on October 13, on the eve of MIPCOM, the television industry’s annual world gathering in Cannes.
The Form #087 series takes its name from a form given out in Russia to individuals wishing to change their sex. The form confirms that a person’s gender identity does not correspond with his or her government-registered identity. After receiving this form, transgender Russians can begin hormonal therapy, change their gender information in official documents, and start a new life.
The Russians profiled in the Form #087 series have already begun to make these changes and describe how they are accepted by society, their friends, and their loved ones.
The series is the only of its kind. Russian law bans “gay propaganda” -- a term that many apply to any discussion of transgender issues.
Ponomaryova says her long acquaintance with a 31-year-old transgender male, Vincent, a good friend of her brother and sister-in-law, gave her the idea for the project.
“What I read in the media about transgenders is often about ‘freaks’ or about people suffering deeply from injustice. This never corresponded with how I knew Vincent to be,” she said.
The project’s first episode profiles Vincent, an LGBT-rights activist in Russia’s Urals region.
Ponomaryova is also the author of Person On The Map, a Current Time series about the lives of residents of Russia’s regions.
Current Time plans to continue the Forma #087 project in the near future.