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REELING: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival

Tchindas | Documentary Centerpiece

Directed by Pablo García Pérez de Lara, Marc Serena

Spain / 2015 / 95 mins / Cape Verdean Creole with English subtitles


Tchinda is one of the most beloved women in Cape Verde, the small island chain off the western coast of Africa, especially after she came out as a transgender person in the local newspaper in 1998. Since then her name has become the term used by locals to refer to queer Cape Verdeans. In February, the month leading up to Carnival, the slow paced atmosphere of the island transforms into a frenzied hustle and bustle as thousands flock to the streets. Locals join forces to create something beautiful out of nothing as the entire island becomes a “little Brazil.” Director Marc Serena and Pablo Garcia Pérez de Lara’s camera closely follows Tchinda and her cohorts – a colorful, closely knit group of trans women and gay men as they take the lead in preparing themselves and their neighbors for the festivities. The glittery, fabulous result, a documentary winner at Outfest, is nothing less than an exhilarating variation on PARIS IS BURNING. This film is co-presented by Affinity Community Services and The Ubuntu Center of Chicago.