by Christian Sonderegger


Small town smack bang in the American Midwest. Suzanna aged 23 changes gender and becomes a boy: Coby.

Her transformation deeply disrupts the lives of all who love her. Ultimately, Coby’s chrysalis morphs into the transformation of a whole family compelled to modify their own perspectives.

Not only a physical metamorphosis is at stake here but also a spiritual one that eventually takes place under the director’s bright, unusual eye.

“Changing has consequences. Not changing also has consequences“.


France  creative documentary  2017  77mn  1.78:1  5.1  English  1st Feature Film

written and directed by

Christian Sonderegger

produced by

Ciaofilm – Moïra Vautier

co-produced by

Willow films – Marie-Castille Mention Schaar


DOP: Georgi Lazarevski

Sound mix: Christian Sonderegger

Editing: Camille Toubkis

Sound editor: Olivier Laurent

Colorist: Aïdan Obrist

Recording mixer: Florent Lavallé

Filmmaker's biography

Christian Sonderegger is born in 1967, in the city of Strasbourg, France. He studies cinematography at the famous Ecole Nationale Supérieure Louis Lumière film school in Paris. He becomes director of photography for short-films, commercials and TV broadcasts. In the late nighties, he works as a screenplay writer for Lazennec feature film production. 1998, he creates Ciaofilm company and directs several commercials and short-films aired on television and awarded at international festivals. He also works as a director’s assistant on features and sound operator for documentaries. Now he develops and directs is own documentaries and narratives at Ciaofilm.


Short films

  • PASTERIES (14 min – HD)
  • INDECENT (20 min – Super 16 mm)
  • A STEP INTO THE VOID (8 min – 35 mm)

Festivals & Awards

  • ACID 2017, France – World premiere
  • Zurich International FF 2017 Switzerland – International Premiere
  • Namur International FF 2017, Switzerland
  • Mezipatra Queer FF 2017, Czech Republic
  • Thessaloniki Documentary FF 2017, Greece
  • Guadalajara International FF 2018, Mexico – Premio Maguey
  • BFI Flare 2018, UK
  • Istanbul IFF 2018 – Best of The Fests

Press Quotes

“Now in Cannes with his marvellous, powerful, intimate, delicate, intense, empathetic, elegant and sophisticated Coby, a movie about an American girl who decides to change sex, Christian Sonderegger shows great directing qualities” Convenzionali

This story of gender revolution takes place in the living room of an ordinary American family. It is difficult to find a subject so personal yet capable of touching and speaking to the whole society. “Cineuropa

The more you remove, the better you sculpt. Coby made his body, and the director his film (…) A pure feel good movie, except that it has nothing fictional Le Monde

As the seasons pass and the changes that will take place in each one, the executives of this documentary deploy the beautiful filming of the physiological and emotional upheavals, seizing on the way unpredictable points of crystallization.” L’Humanité 

An explosive family charge hovers over this film that looks at transsexuality with benevolence, without hiding the issues and problems that such a change raises.” Les Inrocks

Sonderegger manages to capture intimate things without ever forcing voyeurism or even seem immodest. Each stage of the physical transformation is nevertheless recounted without detour, in a mixture of lucidity and wonder almost playful. Garçon-Magazine

“Christian Sonderegger’s Coby, or how to be in accord with oneself and his entourage, magnificent and necessary documentary.” Madamefaitsoncinema