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ALL ABOUT MY FATHER

Norway / Denmark, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Northern Lights)

Director: Even Benestad

Voted Best Documentary at the 2002 Berlin Film Festival, All About My Father is a highly personal film about Esben Benestad, a well respected doctor - who also happens to be a transvestite - from a small, very close-minded Christian town in Norway. The film was directed by the one person most likely to convey the story with truth, warmth, humour and irony: Even Benestad, his son.

"Contrary to my father's idea that this film would promote him as a colourful character who uses all his time to combat conservative bureaucracy," states the director, "I wanted to make a portrait of him where his transvestism and strong self-realisation forms the basis of the film. I could not compromise - personal confrontation was paramount in making this a genuine film."

And genuine he is. Benestad's documentary is a candid, moving work exploring the two extremes of his dynamic dad's life as medico, author and politician juxtaposed with his identity as the exotic Esther Pirelli, sexual therapist and occasional actress.

Evan Benestad (Grimstad, Norway, 1974) studied cinematography at the Oslo Film and Television Academy and has been working behind the camera since 1997. In addition to five short films, Benestad has made a number of short documentaries for Norwegian television. All About My Father is his first feature length work.

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