Sundance Film Festival: Chaz Bono Gets Standing O

“I was living life as a man trapped in a female shell,” Chaz Bono says in Randy Barbato and Fenton Bailey’s documentary chronicling his gender reassignment, BECOMING CHAZ, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Sunday. “Now for the first time I’m living in my body.”

Bono, who was greeted by a standing ovation following the film, was joined at the screening by his girlfriend, Jennifer Ella, as well as his step-mother, Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-California), USA Today reports.

But the adjustment hasn’t been so easy for Chaz’s mother, Cher. “She was born in 1946,” Chaz says of his mom in the film. “As long as it took me to come to terms with this, it was much harder for her.”

Cher, who struggles with switching pronouns in the film, shared her feelings on camera about swapping her daughter, Chastity, for her son, Chaz. “At some point I’m going to have to start calling her ‘him.’ But it’s hard,” she says. “I heard her voice as a girl on [my] answering machine and asked if I could save it. I will never hear that voice again. I mourned never hearing that voice again.”

Be sure to satisfy all your festival needs with the latest buzz, top stories, and celebrity interviews from Sundance Channel’s coverage of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.