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Lost In The Crowd

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Contact: Susi Graf   
Starring: Kimy Hartman, Patricia Field, Willi Ninja
Director: Susi Graf
Writer: Susi Graf
Producer: Eva Graf, Kathy Rey Samels, Susi Graf
Runtime: 70 min

Director: Susi Graf

A Documentary about transgendered, homeless youth in New York City.

LOST IN THE CROWD follows a group of transgendered youths living rough in the streets of New York City. Shot over six years, this ground breaking documentary reveals not only the many trials they must face in their fight to survive in a society that is hostile to their very existence but also the dreams and desires that keep them going in the face of such harsh reality.

Behind the hustle of New York City’s streets, there is a world that few care to see and even less dare to enter, for the life of a homeless person is fraught with constant danger, especially for those who are transgendered.

Nobody knows this better than Clayton who runs an outreach program that aids young homeless people in the city. Driving up the West side Highway, he gives us a tour of this punishing nether world where daily survival is a constant challenge and life is a kind of brutal boot camp from which there is little chance of escape.

Often cast out by their own families, these young people gravitate to a subculture that embraces them and allows them to reinvent themselves. Many dream of being fashion divas and we explore the world of ‘voguing,’ which are balls organized by transgendered people that mimic and parody big fashion events.

Willi Ninja, the now deceased, self-styled ‘mother’ of the House of Ninja, explains his relationship with young transgendered homeless people. Having lived an indigent lifestyle himself for many years, he was discovered by Patricia Field, the fashion designer and costume designer of Sex and the City and was also featured in the film, as well as in Paris is Burning, a documentary about the voguing scene by Jennifer Livingston. He is a role model, a success story that these kids wish to emulate.

However for the vast majority of young, homeless transgendered the big break in the fashion world never materializes and as youth and health deteriorate reality sets in and they face tough choices.

Kimy is a young transgender homeless from Utah who has trouble because of his
criminal past. His mother gave him up when he was an infant and he was adopted by a powerful Washington lobbyist. He ran away from home and hitchhiked to New York. He makes money as a prostitute but dreams of becoming a fashion designer.

Jazmine used to be homeless after running away from her family in Puerto Rico to reunite with her heroin addicted father who signed her over to ACS (American
Children Services.) She supported herself through prostitution and managed to get a Bachelor’s degree and became a social worker. She is proud that she has managed to defy transgender stereotypes.

Adrian was adopted with his two biological brothers into a very religious family by a mother who already had eleven children. In and out of hospitals because of HIV/AIDS, he is torn between trying to comply with his religious beliefs and his transgender lifestyle.

Outreach worker Clayton drives around at night with social workers, attempting to help young homeless to find food and shelter. With a past in group homes and also being HIV positive himself, he knows well what many of these young people have been through. He shows us what peer outreach workers experience during their night shifts.

The stories of the young people are intercut with footage from nights on the street with the outreach vehicle and the social workers and representatives of other organizations trying to help the homeless.
  Copyright: Dash Entertainment, Inc.
Genre: Documentary
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