This anthology of stories from trans and queer writers and directors uses its structure to convey a stylised approach to representation. The main characters of each vignette are provided with superpowers to help them convey their fantasies about combating cisgender oppression in its many forms, from the everyday issues of school bullying and relationship problems to wider goals of influencing the President. Whilst these aims are admirable in terms of providing previously marginalised voices within specifically minority trans and queer communities with opportunities to express themselves, the overall execution leaves much to be desired.

In particular, the technical aspects betray the evident low budget of the overall project, with the conveyance of the superpowers varying from reasonable hand-drawn animation to unconvincing CG effects that undermine their intended impact. The cinematography and sound design is also somewhat basic, resembling more an amateur YouTube video than a professional production.

However, what really harms the film is the inconsistent quality of the acting and writing within the individual segments. Performances vary from the impressively naturalistic, such as those of the main actors of the segments Natma, Asura and Shayla, to the stilted performances of the supporting cast, such as the actors in Nova, who perform as if they have only read the script for the first time. The writing also veers in quality from effectively conveying the use of fantastical powers to combat marginalisation to expositing with little subtlety the main themes of acceptance and understanding.  The awkward inclusions of occasional world-building and random comedy also don’t help, with the compressed running time of each segment not allowing for enough space to sufficiently flesh out these aspects.

The intentions behind Transfinite are to be commended, as there certainly does need to be greater representation afforded to trans and queer perspectives in film. However, the overall lack of consistency in the writing, technical elements and performances sadly undermine the film’s overall message of the need for more acceptance of trans and queer communities.

Transfinite will be screened alongside a selection of Black and queer short films as part of Sqifflix 2020 from Thu 24 Jun to Sun 28 Jun 2020.