Documentary on Lost Pennsylvania Trans History To Premiere at World’s Largest LGBTQ+ Film Festival

Pittsburgh Director Hansen Bursic’s Film 'Trans Heaven Pennsylvania' Will Have Its World Premiere During Pride Month on June 24 at the Frameline

Award-winning queer filmmaker Hansen Bursic’s newest documentary film, Trans Heaven, Pennsylvania, will be having its world premiere at Frameline The San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival, the oldest and largest LGBTQ+ film festival in the world. 

The short film tells the lost history of when hundreds of transgender women and self-identified cross dressers took over the small Pennsylvania town of New Hope for massive parties in the early 2010s. Along with interviews with organizers and attendees, the film utilizes animation sequences to recreate the legendary gay bar The Raven, which recently was demolished, expanding on its established history of being one of the few safe places for LGBTQ+ people in the region for nearly five decades.

The film was made as part of New York City-based production studio Traverse32‘s Creative Hope Initiative, a new incubator for emerging queer and trans filmmakers that tasked the selected artists to each make a documentary on New Hope’s LGBTQ+ history. Through the incubator, Bursic was paired with two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Ben Proudfoot who helped mentor the team throughout filmmaking. 

“This film is a love letter to the joyful resistance of the Raven Girls who braved a new path in small town Pennsylvania,” said Bursic, who grew up in Pittsburgh and is currently based between there and Los Angeles. “Especially now during Pride Month, I am thrilled to uplift this chapter of our state’s trans history.”

The film will screen as part of Queer Places, Spaces, & Shorts on June 24th at 9pm PST at San Francisco’s oldest queer bar, The Stud, and then have a second screening June 26th at 1 pm at The Roxie Theater. The film will also stream online through Frameline’s Digital Screening Room for California residents between June 24 and June 30. The film does not yet have any screenings set for Pennsylvania.

QBurgh is your source for LGBTQ news and community resources in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Be sure to subscribe to our weekly newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Want to write for us?