Film Features

Paul Castro Jr. Talks About the Importance of Trans Representation

The Garden Left Behind takes representation seriously.

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Aren't you tired of stories about cisgender white men? Don't you want to see movies made by and about people with unique perspectives?

Representation in art is one of the most powerful ways to normalize the vast number of identities human beings inhabit, and supporting this kind of art can be a powerful act of resistance. An important work that tells one of these vital stories is Award-Winning US-based Brazilian Refugee Filmmaker Flavio Alves' new feature film debut, The Garden Left Behind.

This touching film, "traces the relationship between Tina, a young, Latina, trans woman and Eliana, her grandmother, as they navigate Tina's transition and struggle to build a life for themselves as undocumented immigrants in New York City. This film is incredibly important and relevant to today's society, because it provides us with an intimate and realistic portrayal of the trans experience living in America, from activism and advocacy, to personal relationships with family, lovers and friends." It's garnered official support from GLAAD, the world's largest LGBTQ organization.

Not only does The Garden Left Behind tell the story of a transgender individual, its production team included 50 transgender film makers, indicating the genuine commitment the whole team had to creating opportunities and representation for trans individuals on and off camera. To add even more to the special nature of this film, The Garden Left Behind is the first movie in history to be partially funded by selling donated items on EBAY, receiving over $100,000 from donated item sales.

Popdust's own Brent Butler sat down with Paul Castro Jr., one of the actors in the film, to discuss the The Garden Left Behind and his role as Manny, as well as his upcoming movie Madonna and the Breakfast Club which is currently available for preorder on iTunes and Amazon.


The Garden Left Behind will be making its world premiere at SXSW in March 2019.

Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.


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