When Iván Monalisa showed me his/her writings for the first time on handwritten notebook sheets, I felt dizzily transported to all those years when I had no word from him/her: A journey filled with sordid landscapes, arrests, drugs, lonely johns, infatuation and disease. And without a hint of victimhood or resentment, let alone guilt. Paradoxically, his/her tale transmitted not only tenderness but strength and a great sense of friendship. His/her stories really moved me. They had clearly been written without caring about other people's expectations, and once again, I
was certain that I was in front of a natural born artist, authentic and marginalized; a survivor. Understanding his/her complexity as a transgender person and being an active participant in his/her artistic and personal achievements, is one of the most rewarding gifts I have received in the process of this work, as well as the unchallenged proof that love and respect are the most effective encouragement in the exertion of empathy and tolerance.
Nicole Costa is a Chilean born, New York-based actress, filmmaker and producer. In 2017 she received the award for Best Actress at the Queer Lisbon Festival. In 2018, she premiered at SANFIC (Chile) the short film Danger & Alone co-directed along with Mary Monahan. Her first feature documentary film The Journey of Monalisa (2019), premiered at DOC NY(US), IDFA(Netherlands), DocsBarcelona(Spain) among others, and was awarded as Best Latinx Film in the United States by Cinema Tropical in 2021, Best Winner Best Documentary Film ZINEGOAK IFF (Spain), Special Jury Prize FEMCINE10 (Chile), Winner Márgenes Award REDFECI (Chile), National Film Award for Best Feature Film DocsVALPARAISO (Chile), Special Mention of the Jury FECILS (Chile), Winner Best Documentary Film LesGaiCineMad (Spain) and Best International Feature Film at VoxFeminae FF (Croitia)