Big News: My Interview with Famous Ladyboy Independent Filmmaker, Tannia Sukkapisit!

ImageThanks to some friend-of-friend contacts (and a little Facebooking), I’ve scored an interview with Tanwarin “Tannia” Sukkapisit, the TG/ladyboy-identified independent filmmaker whose famous film Insects in the Backyard (2010) was banned by the Thai governmentInsect in the Backyard was banned for “morality” reasons (i.e. penis shot, allegedly), but made rounds and accolades on the international independent cinema scene.

I am really excited. Tannia’s work is quite amazing and her story is bound to be fascinating. My interview with her is also set to become a feature article for the debut issue of AsiaLIFE: Bangkok, coming out in August/September! SO, DOUBLE PLUS GOOD.

Check out the trailer for Insects in the Backyard:

Is Thai society open about gays and katoeys? Most people believe so. We’re not arrested on the streets. Our rights aren’t limited, and we can live fairly happily. But if you ask me if katoeys are accepted as part of the mainstream ‘we’ of society, I don’t think so. We’re still ‘the others’, the insects in the backyard.

— Tannia, Bangkok Post, 2010

ALSO, for those US/English speaking readers, the English film title of one of her other great works, It Gets Better, should be particularly poignant.

All of Tannia’s films tackle tough issues of gender, sexuality, and often feature either herself or other ladyboy characters as serious dramatic stars.

So stay tuned! The interview is scheduled for July 5, 2012. My plan is to talk cinema, kathoey/ladyboys, growing up in Thailand, aspirations, and intersections of gender, sexuality, and artistic expression with this awesome fellow filmmaker.

Special thanks to: Nadia, Jira, Sy, and Parinda for helping me out in this endeavor. Full credit will be given when credit is due.


About Vivienne Chen

Vivienne Chen is a freelance journalist, blogger, fiction/poetry writer, English and Gender studies major at Princeton University, and activist for sexual freedom and LGBT equality. She is also a member of the University Press Club, and blogs at

Posted on July 3, 2012, in Info. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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