It's Not That Simple

It’s Not That Simple explores the unspoken dating struggles of the trans community, through the minds of transgender young adults. The film follows Levi, a trans guy, on his thought-provoking journey to discover where his difficulties of finding love have stemmed from. By interviewing other trans people, he learns how intimacy can still be achieved in a romantic relationship and sheds light on the common sexual imagery that surrounds the transgender community.

  • Levi Quartley
  • Levi Quartley
  • Ella Le Marquand
    Director of Photography
  • Ashlynn
    Key Contributors
  • Billy Cooper
    Key Contributors
  • Jo Hulbert
    Key Contributors
  • Dan Shipton
    Sound Designer
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    9 minutes 5 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 1, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Falmouth University
Director - Levi Quartley
Director Statement

Being transgender in the current political climate is a real struggle. Every day I wake up to a news headline degrading my identity that was once a challenge for my own self to understand. "It’s Not That Simple" pulls the viewer away from the polarised trans rights debate and places them in the centre of a story about love and acceptance.

Although the film has a complete narrative, it is only the start of something bigger. A project that will change representation of the trans community, for the better and counteract negative stereotypes enforced by politics and the media.

This story works because it is incredibly personal. Not only am I the director, I am also the main contributor. The raw moments on screen reflect deep thoughts that have been circling around my head for some time now.

The work of Fox Fisher was a real inspiration in making ‘It’s Not That Simple’. Their short films focus on celebrating the trans and non-binary community, without solely focusing on a contributor's identity. It is time to focus on the diverse personalities of trans people, rather than defining differences between cis-gender people. Frederick Wiseman’s successful political agenda also encouraged me to make the documentary. On the surface it is a film about the struggles of dating as a trans person, but beneath it has a deeper purpose: to counteract the biased representation of the trans community in the media and highlight to the cisgender viewers that we deserve the same rights as them.

During production it was essential I had a small crew in the room whilst the interviews took place. It allowed me to be completely vulnerable and truly express why I have complicated feelings about love. Throughout shooting, I developed a strong bond with my team that I will cherish for life. The edit was tough. I watched the rushes multiple times, making a note of every moment that sparked an emotive response. The film could have taken many different directions, but I knew I wanted to showcase how transgender people are fetishized. By making this point, I have opened my viewers eyes to a struggle the trans community deals with, that may have not been recognised before.

Overall, making this documentary has been a life changing experience. The way I view myself and finding love is completely different to when I started. Creating this film has given me confidence to pursue love and not think of my gender identity as a hindrance, but a part of me that should be embraced and celebrated.

I hope the film puts a face to the “evil, predatory transgender person” the media paints us out to be. The audience will realise that we are human just like them, with flaws and anxieties. We are not some form of “other”, but a community who just happened to be born in the wrong body.