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By Ondi Timoner | May 12, 2014

Mala Mala, the electrifying new documentary on a LGBT and drag community of performers in Puerto Rico, is showcased in this roundtable conversation with performers and filmmakers, Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini. Featuring the artists who make up the focus of the film, as well as stories of their experience as cross-dressing and transgendered artists in Puerto Rico, we look at the film and trailer in this interview direct from the Tribeca Film Festival premiere on BYOD.

Watch new episodes of BYOD live each week on Wednesdays at 3pm EST on TheLip.TV, or tune in for the archived replay starting here on the following Thursday.

BYOD is hosted by Ondi Timoner, director of “DIG!,” “JOIN US” and “WE LIVE IN PUBLIC,” and has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance twice. Each week the show explores a different documentary filmmaker or aspect of filmmaking, with special guests and a live Q&A– diving deep into creative process and the business realities of producing and distributing films. Ondi shares her insider views, opinions, and personal stories, welcoming audience participation. BYOD aims to entertain, inform, and elevate documentaries in general by bringing attention to films and film makers that deserve exposure.

In a celebration of the trans community in Puerto Rico, the fissure between internal and external is an ever-present battle. A unique exploration of self-discovery and activism, featuring a diverse collection of subjects that include LGBT advocates, business owners, sex workers, and a boisterous group of drag performers who call themselves The Doll House, Mala Mala portrays a fight for personal and community acceptance paved with triumphant highs and devastating lows. Through riveting cinematography that encapsulates the candy-colored, vivacious personalities as well as their frequently dark personal experiences, directors Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles dynamically present the passion and hardships reflective of this distinctively binary human experience.

Dan Sickles has produced and directed films, music videos, and commercials for clients from New York to Tokyo, with screenings ranging from Yale University’s campus to the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival. An actor as well, Dan is also starring as Moritz in an upcoming film adaptation of Spring Awakening due out in 2015. Mala Mala is his feature-length directorial debut. Antonio Santini is a director, writer, and digital artist in New York City. His films have premiered at several international film festivals including festivals in Croatia, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, Texas and at the Anthology Film Archives in New York.

Antonio Santini s a Puerto Rican director, writer, and digital artist. Since his Internet theory and subculture studies at NYU Gallatin, Antonio has spent his summers in Brooklyn making movies and his winters in Puerto Rico storyboarding his upcoming feature film, Lolita Forever. His films have screened at 9 festivals internationally.

00:01 Welcoming MALA MALA with Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles + Cast.
04:45 A courageous cast and surplus of footage.
07:05 Deciding to share the story in a film.
09:15 Drag and the decision to focus on the artistic side rather than self-destruction.
13:02 A very special dress.
14:28 Journey of the lovely cast.
18:15 The film opening and black market hormones.
21:15 Gender identity and legislation.
22:25 MALA MALA, and Spanish lessons from the cast.
25:15 Hopes for the documentary.
28:08 MALA MALA, trailer.


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