New York Film Festival

Tania Cypriano – Born to Be #NYFF2019

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10 min. and 31 sec.

“You have to be willing to lose everything to be who you are”

Play Podcast
10 min. and 31 sec.
  1. PODCAST | Samantha Sartori interviews Tania Cypriano, director of the film Born to Be.

To listen to the interview, click on the ► icon on the right, just above the picture

We meet Tania Cypriano soon after the world premier of Born to Be at the 57th New York Film Festival. We talk about the making of Born to Be, how she chose the stories to add in the movie and the amazing reaction of the audience with a standing ovation for the movie and to welcome the protagonists of this remarkable documentary which we all hope will inspire new generations of medical students. Dr. Ting is a gifted musician, he was a student at The Juilliard School but he started medical school to honor the expectations of his family. He was a brilliant medical student, first in his class, a surgeon who decided to dedicate his life to help people to be who they are. He is a pioneer and he started the first Fellowship Program in the United States in Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. “Not every patient wants to have a surgical transition. Transition can take many forms. You might just change your hair color, your makeup, the way you dress, your name, your gender marker. You don’t have to have surgery. I see a subset of the transgender population. Only those patients who desire transitional surgery.” – Dr. Ting.

Born to Be: Soon after New York state passed a 2015 law that health insurance should cover transgender-related care and services, director Tania Cypriano and producer Michelle Hayashi began bringing their cameras behind the scenes at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, where this remarkable documentary captures the emotional and physical journey of surgical transitioning. Lending equal narrative weight to the experiences of the center’s groundbreaking surgeon Dr. Jess Ting and those of his diverse group of patients, Born to Be perfectly balances compassionate personal storytelling and fly-on-the-wall vérité. It’s a film of astonishing access—most importantly into the lives, joys, and fears of the people at its center.

To discover more about the film, click here on the Film Festival website, or here on the film website.

  • Reporter
    Samantha Sartori
  • Guest
    Tania Cypriano
  • Interviewee role
  • Film title
    Born to Be
  • Festival section
    Spotlight on Documentary
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