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Presented by Netflix

On Saturday, November 5, 2016, Lana Wachowski (co-creator of The Matrix franchise and the hit Netflix series Sense8), Karin Winslow, and Chicago House’s TransLife Center Advisory Board will host the third annual TransReelization film benefit, which features the Chicago premiere of the film FREE CeCe!

Thanks to the incredible generosity demonstrated and overwhelming attendance at last year’s event, we have expanded TransReelization to two venues- we'll screen FREE CeCe! at The Music Box Theatre in the afternoon and in the evening, we're offering  a fundraising After Party at Kinowerks, the private movie studio of the Wachowski siblings, for those purchasing VIP tickets.

Want a chance to win a signed copy of Hamilton, a night for you and your friends at the private, state-of-the-art movie theatre within Kinowerks Studio, or a painting by The Matrix director/producer Lilly Wachowski? Bid in our silent auction at

Proceeds from TransReelization benefit The TransLife Center, which provides comprehensive housing, employment, legal and healthcare services to transgender individuals. 

Special thanks to our sponsors Netflix, The Novy Family, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Gilead, ConAgra Foods, Aon, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Pierce Family Foundation, and Revolution Brewing! 

TransReelization Home

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From 2-4pm, join us for The Music Box Matinee at The Music Box Theatre (3733 N. Southport Ave). General admission ticket includes:

  • - Chicago premiere of FREE CeCe!
  • - An introduction to the film by the filmmakers
  • - An award ceremony following the film

About Free Cece!: On her way to the store with a group of friends, CeCe McDonald fell victim to a brutal and malicious hate crime. Despite defending herself from a transphobic attack, CeCe was incarcerated in a men’s prison in Minnesota. FREE CeCe! is a deep investigation into the realities of being a trans woman of color in a time when they are disproportionately targeted for hate crimes, lack access to employment and healthcare, and are at a much higher risk of attempting suicide. Transgender women who survive hate attacks are six times more likely to experience physical violence when interacting with police than are other LGB survivors.

“The thing that stood out the most to me was that CeCe was a survivor, and the way she survived was that she said to herself, ‘My life has value,’” Jac Gares, director of the film, said. “[For black trans women], that’s not a story we often hear in the headlines.”

Produced by and co-starring Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black), FREE CeCe! is at the center of a national movement for equal rights for a community that has long been excluded from fundamental considerations of social justice.  By urging attention towards the equal treatment of trans women of color, TransReelization hopes to continue the conversation among Chicagoans of how to take care of one another regardless of race, class, gender identity or sexual orientation.

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The Premium package includes all details for General Admission, plus:

  • - Early seating
  • - A complimentary combo (popcorn + soda fountain drink and/or Revolution beer)
  • - Free parking in an adjacent lot
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VIP ticket holders receive access to all benefits of Premium ticket holders plus a special invite to an exclusive VIP After Party at Kinowerks (5645 N Ravenswood Ave). These tickets are limited and will sell out. Please get yours early. 

From 5:30pm-10pm, immediately following Chicago Premiere of Free Cece! at the Music Box Theatre, the private movie studio of the Wachowski siblings will open its doors for a unique event that includes:

  • - A rare, behind-the-scenes private tour of Kinowerks, which is filled with props, mementos, and awards from their storied career in film.
  • - An exclusive preview of never-before-seen Sense8 Season 2 footage with an introduction to the material by the filmmaker herself.
  • - A first-class viewing experience in Kinowerks’ state-of-the-art movie theatre.
  • - Mingle with Lana Wachowski and other Kinowerks/Sense8 filmmakers.
  • - Meet and Greet with CeCe McDonald and director Jac Gares.
  • - Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
  • - A chance to see all the items offered at the silent auction, which will not only feature a range of great Chicago experiences and items, but also art made by the filmmaking family.
  • - Amazing behind-the-scenes surprises.


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