This edition of London Shorts take a closer look at a world too often judged too quickly. Roxanne is an attractive transgender sex worker who lives and works in Soho. Lilly is a young girl who has run away from home and found herself at Roxanne's door. Against the odds these two form an endearing relationship.
Paul Frankl's Roxanne is a true feel-good film: original, empathic and human.
Unlike most films with transgender characters, Frankl's film isn't interested in the obvious issues but more in telling a story that everyone can relate to. Says Frankl:
I've also always been personally very interested in the idea of gender, and how gender is constructed, so when I started writing scripts at university I wanted to explore a character like Roxanne. It was also important to me not to focus the film around Roxanne's gender or her career — too many films about trans sex workers only focus on their transition, or their sex working (they're often also unhappy drug addicts), so I wanted to present her as a very relatable person and explore her humanity rather than recreate the same old stereotypes.
Roxanne was shot on location in Soho. "We had a few near-altercations with some homeless people, and some actual sex workers who didn't like us filming near them, but luckily with a great production manager we managed to calm them down and continue! We got quite a big crowd watching us shoot for the Soho square scene, but otherwise we were pretty much largely ignored.
To see other London Shorts click here.