Pope Francis’ term as Santo Papa has been a breath of fresh air for many people. His inclusive approach to leadership has paved the way for empowering the minority who are often vilified for their different ideals.
Among those who are usually misunderstood is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. Which is why many were surprised after Pope Francis expressed his willingness to welcome the LGBTQ community into the Church. “If they accept the Lord and have goodwill, who am I to judge them?” the Pope famously said in 2013. (Read: “God Loves You Like This,” Pope Francis Tells Gay Man)
Through the years, the Pope’s affirmation of diversity has opened up people’s minds to embracing everyone’s differences. It has also set the stage for varied efforts worldwide to promote a culture of love and acceptance to different people. Jake and Charice, a documentary film in the Philippines, has been one in these efforts.
Based on the life of Filipino transgender Jake Zyrus (formerly known as Charice Pempengco), Jake and Charice is a compelling film that has been making waves in international film scenes. In fact, it was recently nominated in the best arts programming category at this year’s International Emmy Awards! Winners will be announced on November 23. (Read: 4 Amazing Films By Venice Film Fest Best Director Lav Diaz)
Sadly, however, Jake and Charice has yet to receive a playdate in the Philippines. So, to take you out of your curiosity, here is everything we know about the film!
It Tells the Story of Charice to Jake.
From life as the world-renowned singer Charice to coming out as a transgender man now known as Jake Zyrus, the documentary follows the coming out journey of the Kapamilya singer and his transition to the transgender man he is today. It documented his life, challenges, his joys and sorrows, and the journey he took to finding his own voice. (Read: Murder Case Timeline: The Jennifer Laude 2014 Slay)
“It documents my journey—we went all the way back when I was young and showed how everything happened. It also focused on my transition as a trans man,” Jake says.
It First Premiered in Japan.
The documentary film was produced by the Tokyo-based NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) and Documentary Japan in association with NHK Enterprises, and co-produced by ABS-CBN. It premiered in Japan in November of 2019.
It Won an International Award.
Before its nomination at the Emmy Awards, Jake and Charice already bagged an international award. It first came to people’s attention after it won the Gold Camera Award in the US International Film and Video Festival.
The film festival has been recognizing creative excellence in corporate, education, entertainment, documentary, and student productions worldwide since it started in 1967. Jake and Charice entered the festival under the “Documentary: Social Issues” category.