The Best Work You May Never See: White Ribbon, Bensimon Byrne, Director Angie Bird Tell Short Life Story Of Transgender Woman


Robert Goldrich
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2023


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White Ribbon launches its newest campaign, Short Life Stories which follows the life of a transgender woman from her transition onward. Created by Toronto ad agency Bensimon Byrne, this campaign delves into her journey as she embraces her authentic self, a path for some that is often tragically disrupted and cut short by transphobia and gender-based violence.

This long-form PSA--a fictional story inspired by real events--introduces us to Vivian Azmi who discovered her true self over many years. And then upon knowing who she is, Vivian ends up losing her life just two years later. This life cut short is a call to action in response to the rising hate, discrimination and violence against the transgender communities. White Ribbon’s primary objective, as a dedicated ally to the transgender communities, is to facilitate constructive dialogue that diminishes transphobia, promotes healthy masculinities and allyship, and, in turn, works towards the prevention reduction of all forms of gender-based violence in today’s society.

Directed by Angie Bird via Toronto-based production house Westside Studio, the spot launches during Transgender Awareness Week (November 13 - 19), leading into support for both Transgender Day of Remembrance (November 20) and 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (November 25 – December 10). Short Life Stories aims to raise awareness of the critical need to dismantle transphobia by showcasing the brevity of transgender lives in a film celebrating their journey from the day they transition and truly begin to live their authentic lives.

“With this film, we tried to show the joy that is possible within the transgender community,” said Joseph Bonnici, chief creative officer for Bensimon Byrne’s parent company, Tadiem. “The joy that can come from acceptance. The joy that can come from allyship. But often this acceptance is cruelly taken away and their basic human rights denied. The transgender community needs as much empathy and support as possible right now and that’s what we hope to create with this film.”


Client White Ribbon Humberto Carolo, executive director; Louise Moyer, sr. program manager; David Garzon, director of marketing & communications. Agency Bensimon Byrne, Toronto Joseph Bonnici, chief creative officer (Tadiem, Bensimon Byrne’s parent company); Debbie Chan, executive creative director; David Mueller, creative director, writer; Ana Segurajauregui Sanchez, associate creative director, writer; Nina Hang, art director, writer; Katie Link, producer; Rebecca Milner, associate director of social content. Production Company Westside Studio, Toronto Angie Bird, director; Amanda Morrison, exec producer; Michelle Woodward, producer; Daniel Grant, DP. Editorial School Editing Izzy Ehrlich, editor; Zhenya Dolzikov, assistant; Yumi Suyama, postproduction producer. Color Grade AlterEgo Eric Whipp, colorist; Spencer Butt, producer. Postproduction Fort York Melissa Vasiliev, online artist; Valerie Moss, online producer. Sound Design Oso Audio Music Licensing Oso Audio Track: “Praise You” (cover)--Hannah Grace; Daenen Bramberger, Harry Knazan, creative directors; Lauren Dobbie, Jane Heath, producers.

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