Luis/Lizza

Dr. Luis Felipe Diaz first embodied the character of Lizza Fernanda for Gay Pride Chicago in 1976, but Lizza has since helped him express the feminine part of his being in clubs in Chicago, New York and Puerto Rico. Luis Felipe Díaz is an expert in Spanish literature, author of seven books and former director of the Department of Hispanic Studies of the University of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, where he currently teaches. Asserting that a woman, Lizza Fernanda, has inhabited his body for more than 40 years, Professor Díaz speaks with a feminine affectation and wears women's clothes in public. Yet, he insists, “I am not Lizza Fernanda. I am Professor/Mrs. Luis Felipe Díaz.”

  • Joelle Gonzalez Laguer
    Director
    A revolt trough letters, Martorell de aqui' palla, LAGUF: A Paved Road, Boricua en 3 ritmos, Adios Cristopher
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    March 17, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Puerto Rico
  • Country of Filming:
    Puerto Rico, United States
  • Language:
    English, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    HD
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Havana Film Fest NY
    New York
    April 10, 2015
    New York Premiere
  • Rincon International Film Fest
    Rincon, PR
    April 17, 2015
    Puerto Rico Premiere
Director Biography - Joelle Gonzalez Laguer

Joelle Gonzalez- Laguer, MFA.

Born and reared in Isabela, Puerto Rico, Joelle González-Laguer left his home at the age of 19 and moved to New York City. Already interested in producing films and plays, he enrolled in Hostos and graduated in 1994. He earned his B.A. at Hunter College (CUNY) and his M.F.A. in Film and Media Production from The City University of New York.

González-Laguer’s life as an artist began at the precocious age of 16 when he wrote and directed a high school play entitled “Las chicas del pan,” which explored the human need to eat. He later taught Film and Media at Hunter College for eight years and served as the internship advisor for two years. He also taught an Introduction to Sociology course at Hostos until 2011. During his tenure at CUNY, González-Laguer received three educational development grants that enabled him to study in Argentina and Cuba.

He has written and directed several shorts, including “Adios Christopher” ”Boricua en 3 Ritmos” - “Guys, Gays and Gratification.” The documentary, “A revolt through letters, the Clemente Soto Vélez story” about the legendary poet, had its premiere in April 2013 at the Havana Film Festival in New York and has since been distributed.

Another of his films, “Martorell: De aquí, pa’lla” had its premiere in July of 2012 at IPRAC’s Movies in the Park film series in Chicago and won best short documentary at the International Rincon Film Festival 2013.

From January to April 2013, González-Laguer wrote a monthly column entitled “Desde La Orillita con Joelle”/From the sidelines with Joelle for the Chicago newspaper La Voz del Paseo Boricua.

González-Laguer has been invited to showcase and discuss his films at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, Columbia College in Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago, the Catholic University of Ponce, Puerto Rico, and Hunter College of CUNY. They have also been shown and discussed at the Claridad Newspaper Gala, PR and in the Jornada Betances Film Series.

During 2014, Joelle was a fellow in residence at Kartemquin Films in the Diverse Voice in Docs Project, a professional development and mentorship program, backed by the Joyce Foundation, Sage Foundation and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In March 2015 he finished Luis/Lizza, a short documentary about , Dr. Luis Felipe Díaz. Asserting that a woman, Lizza Fernanda, has inhabited his body for more than 40 years, Professor Díaz speaks with a feminine affectation and wears women's clothes in public. Yet, he insists, “I am not Lizza Fernanda. I am Professor Luis Felipe Díaz.”

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