In honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, Shout! Studios on June 1 will give home viewers the chance to watch The Sound of Identity, a groundbreaking feature documentary from director James Kicklighter (Angel of Anywhere) that profiles opera star Lucia Lucas’ historic performance at the Tulsa Opera.
The documentary will be available digitally and on demand from Shout! Factory.
Lucas is a transgender baritone who grew up in Sacramento. She studied horn and voice at California State University at Sacramento and did graduate work at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. She moved to Germany in 2009 as Lucas Harbour. She decided to transition in November 2013, started taking estrogen and antiandrogens in July 2014 and underwent facial feminization surgery in September. In 2016, she had her gender reassignment surgery.
Winner of the 2020 Outshine Film Festival’s prestigious Programmers Award of Excellence, the documentary captures Lucia Lucas on the cusp of international stardom, profiling the moment in an artist’s career when everything could fall apart or come together. Showcasing the collaborative process between Lucas and her mentor, prolific and renowned composer Tobias Picker, Mozart’s Don Giovanni comes to life as Lucas takes the spotlight and all the pressures that come with it. Taking place at the height of her career, Lucas provides fresh insights into her transition, the professional risk she is taking, and what it means for those who follow.
The Sound of Identity is a production from the Emmy Award-winning team of Russ Kirkpatrick and Andy Kinslow and is executive produced by Golden Globe winner and Academy Award-nominated Josh Bachove.
Warner Bros. late June 10 issued a statement pertaining to comments “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling made last weekend about transgender identity. In a series of posts on social media, Rowling said women should be identified by their biological sex rather than gender identity.
“If sex isn’t real, there’s no same-sex attraction,” Rowling wrote on her website. “If sex isn’t real, the lived reality of women globally is erased. I know and love trans people, but erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn’t hate to speak the truth.”
Rowling’s comments produced pushback on social media from the LGBTQ community and supporters claiming the author was advocating against her own message of inclusivity and empathy found in many “Harry Potter” books.
“Potter” stars Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe, in addition to “Fantastic Beasts” star Eddie Redmayne took to social media in support of the transgender community.
“Transgender women are women,” Radcliffe wrote on a post. “Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter …”
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Warner said the events in the past several weeks affirmed its resolve as a company to confront difficult societal issues — including fostering a diverse and inclusive culture.
“We deeply value the work of our storytellers who give so much of themselves in sharing their creations with us all,” the studio said in a statement. “We recognize our responsibility to foster empathy and advocate understanding of all communities and all people, particularly those we work with and those we reach through our content.”
For Warner, the controversy comes as Rowling is writing the script for Fantastic Beasts 3 and other projects near and dear to the studio’s bottom line. The “Potter” movie franchise has resulted in more than $6.5 billion at the global box office, in addition to millions more in home entertainment sales.