Under My Skin is the non-binary romance film we’ve always wanted

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS

Before it’s premiere at Raindance Film Festival this evening, we thought you might want to cast your eyes on the trailer for Under My Skin. With four non-binary actors in its ensemble cast, this beautifully shot independent drama brings a multitude of perspectives to the experience of being non-binary. It’s a complex love story, and not like any other queer films out there right now.

Denny (they/them), a free-spirited artist falls for Ryan, a strait-laced lawyer climbing the corporate ladder. Young love ensues, but when Denny begins to explore their gender, Ryan’s ingrained values are challenged. As Denny finds they can no longer ignore their true self, pressures and tensions mount with Ryan, and the couple seek to negotiate the shifting sands. 

Denny is faced with the choice of being with someone they love, but also recognising that this person wants them to be something they are not. 

Shot over just 15 days, Under My Skin centres on a gender non-conforming lead, and utilises a non-conforming structure to challenge audiences to question conventions. The film marks the feature debut of Australian writer-director David O’Donnell, whose relationship with producer Raynen O’Keefe, who identifies as trans non-binary, inspired the film.

The lead character, Denny, is played by four different actors who identify as non-binary, or trans non-binary: Hewson, Bobbi Salvor Menuez and newcomers Lex Ryan, Chloe Freeman. 

Raynen said: “At this point in history, the casting of trans, gender-diverse and non-binary characters with people of lived experience, is not only a social responsibility of film-making, but is also a moral imperative in the task of uplifting trans and gender-diverse stories, voices, and representation.”

Under My Skin has its world premiere at Raindance Film Festival tonight, 29 October. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with some of the filmmakers and cast. You can find full details here.

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