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Your Face in Mine

Malik Vitthal, Ismet Prcic

United States, Denmark

synopsis

In this provocative medical drama set in near-future Baltimore, 40-yearold radio station manager Kelly Thorndike encounters his former high-school classmate, whose astonishing transformation spurs Kelly to confront his past and face his choices.

Martin Lipkin, once the white Jewish bassist in Kelly’s teenage rock band, is now a wealthy African-American international entrepreneur, married to a gorgeous African-American woman with two adopted African- American daughters. Martin Lipkin underwent racial reassignment surgery (RRS) and now identifies as Martin Wilkinson.

An enigmatic gender-reassignment surgeon in Bangkok has added RRS to his repertoire, perfecting the processes of changing skin color, hair texture, facial structure, and beyond to achieve total metamorphoses.

Martin asks Kelly to document the story of his racial reassignment as part of his campaign to advocate the procedure to a global market. Stagnating in grief for the recent deaths of his Chinese wife and daughter, Kelly is desperate for purpose and radical change. He agrees to help Martin tell his story, unfurling a web of intrigue that propels him toward a future he never imagined possible.

intention

As a child, I wore many faces. I was the troubled kid in an Oakland ghetto, the spiritual son in the ashrams of India, the cool black skater punk in a rich white Malibu suburb. Each new environment assigned me a new identity, and these changes revealed the constancy of my inner self. This introduced me to distinction between inward and outward identities, leading me to question what we choose and what society chooses for us.

What it would truly be like, to be a real hood hustler, a legit monk’s child, a spoiled white teen with long blonde hair? I am drawn to this story as if it were built for the diverse perspectives I once imagined, curious how society might choose differently for me, if I could choose to be someone else.

Set in the United States, Thailand, and China, Your Face in Mine delves into a world where those who desire to change their identity can do so through racial reassignment surgery. In our swiftly globalizing world, this story vitally examines how society convinces itself of rules that dictate the value of certain racial constructs. Yet this story dives far deeper than skin; as one character expresses: “It is not about race; it is about success and our own perspectives of what makes us successful.”

Our story affords us the opportunity to explore identity and race from a game-changing perspective. Race as a choice upends its global role entirely; it rejects predetermination, confuting long-held societal assumptions. We will question how identity determines expectations and explore how expectations determine identity. We seek to challenge viewers to investigate themselves and how they assign success based on race. In this story, success is total acceptance of oneself, the result of our hero’s journey.

Growing up in many different environments ultimately taught me about the inherent similarities we all share. I learned to accept myself when I acknowledged value in all people and perspectives. This is my version of success, and I feel now is the perfect time to share these ideas with a global audience.

videos

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Malik Vitthal

Film Director

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Ismet Prcic

Writer, Scriptwriter

production notes

directed by
Malik Vitthal

written by
Malik Vitthal, Ismet Prcic