It looks like producer Jin Ong made the right decision to bring his LGBTQ-themed, “Miss Andy” movie to Taiwan, seeing the reception it received there compared to how it would have been accepted in its home country in Malaysia.

The producer, who spoke about the movie recently, stated that the film’s subject matter is one that is important to raise as transgender people in Southeast Asia are still shunned, adding, “Taiwan being one of Asia’s most LGBTQ-friendly countries made it the perfect launchpad for the film to highlight their plight.”

In the film, Lee Lee-zen plays the role of 55 year-old Andy, who is shunned by the society and even family members after deciding to make a transition into a woman five years after the death of his wife.

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Lee Lee-zen plays a man transitioning into a woman in his 50s
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Andy’s son and daughter struggle to cope with having a transgender parent

To make matters worse, as the female Evon, Andy also has to submit to degrading sex work to make ends meet.

Aside from the topic of the transgender plight, the movie also touches on the issue of illegal immigration in the form of the character Sophia (Ruby Lin), an illegal Vietnamese worker on the run from her abusive husband.

“Miss Andy” has already earned international acclaim at several film festivals in 2020, including the Osaka Asian Film Festival, the New York Asian Film Festival, the Taiwan International Queer Film Festival, the Kaohsiung Film Festival, and the Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

It is noted that “Miss Andy” is not the first movie of its kind in Malaysia, following the likes of Osman Ali’s “Bukak Api” (2000), Tsai Ming-Liang’s “”I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone” (2006), Suhaimi Baba’s “Waris Jari Hantu” (2007), as well as Khir Rahman’s “Dalam Botol” (2011).

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Rusdi Ramly and Maya Karin star in “Waris Jari Hantu”