Born To Be

A Film by Tania Cypriano


BORN TO BE follows the work of Dr. Jess Ting at the groundbreaking Center for Trans-gender Medicine and Surgery in NYC—where, for the first time, all transgender and non-binary people have access to quality healthcare and surgery.
With extraordinary access, this feature-length documentary takes an intimate look at how one doctor’s work impacts the lives of his patients as well as how his journey from renowned plastic surgeon to pioneering gender-affirming surgeon has led to his own transformation.


  • Picture of Tania Cypriano © Tania Cypriano

    Tania Cypriano

    Tania Cypriano has been working between the United States and her native Brazil for more than twenty-five years. Her work has been shown around the world in places such as the MoMA, Jerusalem Film Festival, the Amsterdam Docu-mentary Film Festival, and the Berlin Int’l Film Festival. She has been honored with a retro-spective at the Robert Flaherty Seminar, and is a grant recipient of the NY State Council on the Arts, the NY Foundation for the Arts, the Soros Documentary Fund, the Jerome Foundation, Experimental Television, and many others. Strong themes in her documentaries have been health and the body in the context of individuals and communities. Her first documentary “Viva Eu!,” which won five international awards including Best Documentary at Joseph Papp’s Festival Latino in New York, is about the first man diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in Brazil. “Odô Yá! Life with AIDS” which won seven awards including a special jury prize at FESPACO in Burkina Faso, explores how Candomblé, an Afro-Brazilian religion, became a source of strength and power for a group of AIDS sufferers.

Awards + Festivals

  • 57th NEW YORK FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, New York, USA)September 28, 2019
  • 18th HAMPTONS INT'L FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, New York, USA)October 11, 2019
  • 11th OUTSHINE FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Fort Lauderdale Edition, Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA)October 19, 2019
  • 6th SEATTLE ASIAN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Seattle, USA)February 20, 2020
  • 44th CLEVELAND INT'L FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Cleveland, United States)vvvMarch 25, 2020
    SCOTTISH MENTAL HEALTH ARTS FESTIVAL 2020 (Official Selection, Glasgow, Scotland) May 17, 2020
  • 21st DOCAVIV - THE TEL AVIV INT'L DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Tel Aviv, Israel)May 23, 2020
  • 44th HONG KONG INT'L FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Honk Kong, Honk Kong)March 25, 2020
  • 31st WICKED QUEER - THE BOSTON LGBT FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Boston, USA)April 2, 2020
  • 4th OUT & LOUD - PUNE INT'L QUEER FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Pune, Maharashtra, India)April 10, 2020
  • 6th SANTA CRUZ INT'L FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Rio Gallegos, Argentina)April 17, 2020
  • 7th CONSTRUIR CINE - INT'L LABOR FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, Buenos Aires, Argentina)May 7, 2020
    SCOTTISH MENTAL HEALTH ARTS FESTIVAL 2020 (Official Selection, Glasgow, Scotland)May 17, 2020
  • 11th BRITISH INDEPENDENT FILM FESTIVAL (Official Selection, London, UK)June 27, 2020


Tania Cypriano
Michelle Koo Hayashi
Executive Producer
Susan Norget, Michelle Koo Hayashi, J.Winklereid, Molly M. Fowler
Director of Photography
Jeffrey Johnson
Brad Wickham
Christopher White, Scott Foley
Sound Design
Elliot Taylor
Troy Herion


Jess Ting
Mahogany Phillips
Garnet Rubio
Jordan Rubenstein
Shawn Frederik
Cashmere Vassor


Running Time
92:31 min
Shooting Format
RED 2K and 4K
Screening Format
DCP, BluRay, DVD, .mov, mp4 (HD)
Aspect Ratio
1.79:1 or 16:9
5.1 Surround



Markus Kaatsch
aug&ohr medien
Riemannstr. 21
10961 Berlin, Germany

+49 (0)30 61620068


Ben Schwartz
Submarine Entertainment
197 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
212 625 1410


Michelle Koo Hayashi
524 E 72nd Street APT 42 A
New York, NY 10021


Tania Cypriano
37 King Street #6A
New York, NY 10014