This delicate debut feature by Anahita Ghazvinizadeh follows J (Rhys Fehrenbacher), a shy suburban Chicago teenager who uses the pronoun “they.” J is exploring their gender identity while taking hormone blockers to postpone puberty. After two years of medications and therapy, J must decide whether to transition. They builds to a crucial weekend when J’s sister arrives with her partner, Araz, leading to a boisterous gathering with Araz’s extended Iranian family.
“Though Ghazvinizadeh’s voice is wholly her own, Abbas Kiarostami’s influence is all over They. And if you’re going to borrow from someone, one of the most singular filmmakers of the last 50 years isn’t a bad place to start.” —IndieWire
“By remaining deliberately enigmatic, They winds up nearly passing alongside the unique and very special character that lies at its heart.” —Hollywood Reporter
“A mature and moving study of childhood, growth, and identity.” —Screen International
About the Filmmaker
Born in Iran, writer/director Anahita Ghazvinizadeh was a 2013–15 artist in the MFAH Glassell School of Art Core Residency Program. They premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2017, and appeared at the Chicago International Film Festival, Chéries-Chéris Film Festival (Paris), Deauville Film Festival (France), San Diego Asian Film Festival, Haifa Film Festival (Israel), Film Festival Cologne (Germany), Torino Film Festival (Italy), and the Busan International Film Festival (South Korea).