Man Made

Director: T Cooper
2018 | USA | 93m
GENRE: Black/African American | Documentary | Female-to-Male | Gender | Sports | Transgender
SECTION: Documentary Features
Expected Guests: Director, T Cooper, Subject, Dominic Chilko, Co-Writer/Co-Producer Allison Glock-Cooper, Editor, Charlene Fisk


Four men strive for victory in this intimate documentary about men’s relationships to body and self as they prepare for the Trans FitCon Bodybuilding Competition—the only all-transgender bodybuilding competition in the world.

Forty-year-old lightweight Mason, with his perfectly sculpted legs, is the most accomplished and established of the competitors. Middleweight 23-year-old Rese is struggling to balance his housing insecurity and raising a child with an unaccepting family. At age 34, Kennie is just starting to come out as trans in his Arkansas hometown and finds that his physical transition is impacting his relationship with his lesbian girlfriend DJ. And 26-year-old Dominic Chilko is in a whirlwind of a year following last year’s third place finish: getting his top surgery, struggling in his relationship, and seeking out his birth mother.

As the men meet each other at the big event and action ramps up, a former winner describes what it takes to win; definition, symmetry, and mass are all vital to victory. But so is stage presence—confidence. This is the element that director T Cooper truly captures. The cameras are there for all of the moments that truly define a person: Rese picking up his son at school, the day Dominic meets his birth mother for the first time, and the little moments between Kennie and DJ that so aptly demonstrate how partnership can change when we change. This is the heart of victory and the heart of the film.



San Francisco Transgender Film Festival / tm4m (trans men 4 men)

  • Premiere Status: Bay Area