EN - Intimate, shocking, touching, all at once, What’s in a Name is a portrait of the 52-year-old Jon Cory, a cheerful New York body artist. First-time documentary filmmaker Eva Küpper carefully takes her time to reveal Cory's intense take on identity and gender via his explicit performances as well as in his daily life. However, since he decided to have breast surgery for his performances in December 2009, he is confronted again with finding his identity and place in our gender-dominated society. The film portrays Jon before and after the surgery and reveals the intimate moments of a fascinating character.

FR - Intime, choquant, touchant, tout à la fois, What’s in a Name (2009) documente le portrait extraordinaire de Jon Cory, 52 ans, un peintre corporel enjoué venant de New York. La première fois, la documentariste Eva Küpper prend son temps pour révéler les perceptions de Cory sur l’identité et les genres à travers ses performances explicite ainsi qu’à travers sa vie quotidienne. Cependant, depuis qu’il a décidé de subir une opération de la poitrine pour sa performance de décembre 2009, il se trouve une nouvelle fois confronté à la recherche de son identité et de sa place dans notre société dominée par les genres. Le film montre Jon avant et après son opération et révèle des moments intimes de la vie de ce personnage fascinant.


Title What's in a Name
Original title What's in a Name
Original language English
Status Completed
Year 2009


Cast Jon Cory as himself
Photography Eva Küpper
Editing Eva Küpper
Music The feelies/ Ignatz
editing consultant Nico Leunen

Technical specs

Running time film 64'
Release format Beta Digit
Aspect ratio 1:1.66
Sound format Stereo
Colour Colour



2010: Hot Docs - The International Documentary Film Festival of Toronto (CAN) / Internationaal Documentaire Filmfestival Docville (BE) / Internationaal Film Festival van Vlaanderen - Gent (BE) / International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (NLD)


2010: Honorary Mention (Internationaal Documentaire Filmfestival Docville) / Winner of the Jury Prize for Best Film of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Internationaal Film Festival van Vlaanderen-Gent) / Award for Best Student Documentary (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam)

IDFA presents Flemish doc bonanza

A record-breaking haul of eleven documentaries and four docu projects from Flanders have been selected  for this year’s IDFA, the international Documentary Film Festival of Amsterdam (16-27 November). Works from Jeremy De Ryckere and Kristof Bilsen, who recently graduated from RITS and NFTS (UK) respectively,  are shown in the Student Documentary competition. The other entries feature in the Reflecting Images: Panorama, Paradocs section and IDFA pitching Forum.

Still from Jeremy De Ryckere's The HeirBoth Jeremy De Ryckere’s The Heir and Kristof Bilsen’s White Elephant compete for the IDFA Award for Best Student Documentary, worth €2,500. The Heir tells the story of a father, Raf, and a son, Dominique, and their relationship to their passion: horse racing, a long family tradition. White Elephant is a documentary about the Central Post Office and its employees in Kinshasa, DR Congo. This grandiose relic of a colonial past has trapped its employees in a frozen timewarp from which they are planning their escape. Last year the Award for Best Student Documentary went to the Flemish doc What’s in a Name by Eva Küpper.

Published on Thursday 27 October 2011

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Last edited on 18 February 2018

Short info

Director Eva Küpper
Producers Dimka Vanderhaeghen
Writers Eva Küpper

DI-M Production
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