Hot Docs Festival winner is set to have its Academy® qualifying theatrical release on October 19.

Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios company, has acquired all US rights to Transformer from director Michael Del Monte. The powerful documentary picked up multiple awards at this year’s Hot Docs International Film Festival including, the Rogers Award for Best Documentary, the Emerging Filmmaker Award and the overall Audience Award. Additionally, the film previously was awarded the Audience Award and Best Feature Documentary Award at the Austin Film Festival. The film will have its Academy® qualifying theatrical run and be available on demand, October 19.

Transformer tells the story of Matt Kroczaleski, a bodybuilder, world-record powerlifter, cancer survivor, father, and former U.S. Marine, as he transitions into a woman, now known as Janae. The film features Janae raising her three teenage sons, coping with her parents’ reactions, and her undergoing vocal and facial feminization surgery. The award-winning documentary shows the struggle Janae endures as she fights for her identity and place in society.

Directed by Michael Del Monte, the film will have its Academy® qualifying theatrical run and will be available on demand, October 19, 2018. The documentary was produced by Tad Munnings and Paul Kemp of Storystream Creative with support from the CBC’s documentary Channel, Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund, and the Canadian Media Fund.

“When I set out to make this film I wanted to avoid bringing in any professors, psychologists or ‘experts’ to speak about the subject. I didn’t want the audience to hear about how they need to respect people who are transgender because they are struggling. I wanted the audience to see the struggle and feel the struggle, so it was vital that Janae tell her own story,” said Del Monte.

“Janae’s story of resilience is one that needs to be told and seen onscreen,” said, Laura Florence, VP of Sales & Marketing for Gravitas Ventures. “We are proud and consider it a privilege to be bringing this inspirational story to audiences everywhere.”

Nolan Gallagher from Gravitas Ventures negotiated the deal with Tad Munnings, Paul Kemp, and Michael Del Monte.

levelFILM and the CBC Documentary Channel will release Transformer in Canada, with levelFILM representing remaining worldwide rights.