Established in 2018, Inside Out’s RE:Focus Fund aims to address industry inequities through providing direct financial support to women, non-binary, and / or trans filmmakers telling LGBTQ stories. Founded through a lead gift from Martha McCain, the fund has distributed more than $150,000 in festival travel grants and professional development programs for filmmakers since its creation.

In 2019, Inside Out expanded the fund with the launch of the RE:Focus Fund Post-Production Grants to support post-production and promotion of short and feature films. In 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on our industry, Inside Out is launched an emergency relief arm of the fund.

We are thrilled to announce the support of 16 projects through the Emergency Relief fund! The selected projects are listed in alphabetical order below.

For more information on donating to the RE:Focus Fund, and how you can support LGBTQ women and non-binary filmmakers through Inside Out, contact:

Andria Wilson
Executive Director
andria[at]insideout.ca

AT LAST (Narrative Short) / USA

A timid high school girl reveals her truth during the most important night of the year.

 

Lorena Gordon (Writer/Director)

Lorena Gordon is an award-winning writer-director. Hailing from Queens, New York, she discovered her passion for film when she was eight. She recalls the time she was in the theater and realized her passion for cinema after watching her first live-action film, Titanic. Lorena began her journey working on sets at the age of eighteen with directors such as: Martin Scorsese, Sam Mendes, and Ben Stiller.

The stories Lorena is most passionate about telling are about the human condition and the complicated facets of life. By the age of twenty-six, Lorena has directed and produced five short films: Fallen Hero, The Uninvited, The Cure, Alone, and Times Like These. Times Like These won several awards at festival across the world. Most recently, Lorena wrote and directed the short film, Lessons In Romantics, which premiered at Hollyshorts.

BLUE (Narrative Short) / USA

Photo by Mika LK

A young trans man, Sascha, and his boyfriend, Derrick, drive to Sascha’s estranged uncle’s house, which he has just inherited in the wake of his uncle’s sudden death. 

 

HK Goldstein (Director)

HK Goldstein (they/them) is a multi-disciplinary artist living and working in Brooklyn, NY. They are the Co-Creator and Director of two critically acclaimed radio drama podcasts: “A World Where” (aworldwhere.com) and “The Mueller Report: A Radio Dramatization” (muellerpodcast.com). They most recently Production Designed the trans cult-thriller short film, “Flock”. Their focus and creativity stems from an obsession with the human body – what it is, what it can be and what it can teach us about ourselves. “Blue” is their directorial film debut.

 

Tae Braun (Writer/Actor)

Tae Braun (they/them) is a NYC born and raised transmasculine actor, filmmaker and Type 1 Diabetic. He graduated from Oberlin College in 2016 where he majored in Theatre Performance and Comparative American Studies. Tae currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY, freelancing in various film & TV production roles while auditioning and acting on the side. His goal as a filmmaker is to deepen the nuance of trans intimacy on screen. “Blue” is his debut short film.

 

Vanessa Haroutunian (Producer) 

Vanessa Haroutunian (they/them, she/her) is a queer producer, artist, and curator based in Brooklyn, NY. They received their B.A. in Film & Electronic Arts from Bard College. Her first producing experience was with Ira Sachs’ 2016 feature film Little Men which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and won the Special Grand Prize at the Deauville American Film Festival. Haroutunian recently produced three short films that are hitting the festival circuit written and directed by queer female filmmakers: Erin Greenwell, whose debut feature My Best Day premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, Heather María Ács, whose short film “Flu$h” screened at Outfest and Newfest in 2018, and Ariel Mahler whose short trans-thriller “Flock” is currently being developed into a feature film with Haroutunian attached to produce. Ács and Haroutunian’s short film “Flourish” recently premiered at Outfest Fusion LGBTQ People of Color Film Festival in March of 2020. Haroutunian is currently in post-production on a feature documentary, shot over 20 years, about the LGBTQ community in Cuba, and the short film “Blue” directed by HK Goldstein and written by Tae Braun. Haroutunian’s goal is to produce films that fill the gaps in the film industry, creating opportunities for diversity behind and in front of the camera. 

Tae Braun, Vanessa Haroutunian, and HK Goldstein (Photo by Mika LK)

CHASING CHASING AMY (Documentary Feature) / USA

Chasing Chasing Amy is part autobiographical exploration and part cultural impact documentary. The film includes interviews with critics, the cast and crew of Chasing Amy, LGBTQ+ thought leaders, and revolutionary filmmakers. The film explores the power of media representation and the importance of cinema shaping our lives, through the lens of Sav’s experience with Chasing Amy.

 

Sav Rodgers (Director)

Sav Rodgers is a filmmaker, writer, podcaster, film festival programmer, and public speaker. He is the director of CHASING CHASING AMY, a feature documentary about the cultural impact of Chasing Amy (1997) on the greater LGBTQ+ community. Sav also delivered a TED Talk about Chasing Amy’s impact on his life, titled “The rom-com that saved my life.” In 2019, he won the Filmmaker of the Year Award at the Austin Revolution Film Festival.

Sav’s films have been featured at numerous film festivals worldwide, including Academy Award-qualifying events such as Slamdance and the Cleveland International Film Festival. His newest comedic short film, QUEEN FOR A DAY, is currently on the festival circuit. His debut short documentary DRAGTIVISTS received accolades from the Tallgrass Film Festival and Twister Alley International Film Festival. His upcoming movies include a CHASING CHASING AMY, a surrealist short comedy called PANCAKE SKANK, and a mockumentary called TELETHON: THE QUEST TO SAVE GREASE 2’S REPUTATION.

In 2017, Sav graduated from the University of Kansas. At college, he was selected for the 2017 Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium and won the Be You at KU Student of the Year Award. He is a TED Resident, an OutSet Fellow at Outfest, an Adobe Project 1324 award recipient, a former Artist-in-Residence at the Charlotte Street Foundation, and Creative Fellow at Artist INC. He was named “Best Filmmaker/Videographer” by The Pitch Magazine in 2018.

 

Carrie Radigan (Producer)

Carrie is an independent film and theater producer based in New York. Her background in post-production comes from her positions as Post Coordinator for Vice Media, Operations Manager at Sim, a post house focusing on sound and color finishing for features, television, and live events and Client Services at Light Iron, a Panavision Company. Carrie’s films have screened at various festivals including Fantasia, BFI London Film Festival, OutFest Fusion, and Seattle International Film Festival. Her short THE INVADERS by Mateo Marquez was acquired by Gunpowder & Sky and can be watched online. She’s in post-production on the documentary CHASING CHASING AMY by Sav Rodgers, narrative feature TRIPLE THREAT by Stacey Maltin, horror short THE WALK by Victoria Negri, and in development on neo-noir feature TURNER FALLS, which has IFP Fiscal Sponsorship. She is a co-founder of Martini Shot, an art salon based in New York for creatives of various mediums and backgrounds to gather and showcase their work.

DON’T TEXT YOUR EX (Narrative Short) / CANADA

Two exes are working together on a documentary about longtime couples who used to be separated. As they are interviewing an elderly couple they’ve just met in a park, they realize that not everything seen is real. What if all your memories of your past relationships were False?

 

Jo Güstin (Writer/Director)

Jo Güstin (she/her/tbd) is a writer, comedian, creative producer and intersectionality activist using fiction and comedy to dismantle the cis het white patriarchy. In 2016, her experimental short film Aux Mots de couleur was acclaimed at Cineffable, the International Lesbian and Feminist Film Festival in Paris. After the tragicomic 9 Histoires lumineuses, a collection of short stories published in 2017 by Présence Africaine, in 2019 Jo Güstin denounced, in the stinging novel Ah Sissi, the way France treats racialized womxn. Since 2018, she has been performing her standup show Je n’suis pas venue ici pour souffrir, OK ? at political festivals. In 2019 the award-winning soul and jazz album African Time by Gwen & Tiana (Ubuntu Music) was released, a feel-good gem with Jo Güstin as lyricist.

Jo Güstin studied in Cameroon, France, Japan and Germany and holds a M.Sc. in management from HEC Paris. After arriving in Canada on July 1st, 2019 as a permanent resident, the Toronto-based artivist realizes that as a queer Black genderfluid womxn, she belongs nowhere. She wants all the queer BIPOC around the world feeling the same to find in her productions a place to call home. That is why in 2020, she launched dearnge society, a platform showcasing and producing Afroqueer creators who have something to say. Among its first productions, the podcast Contes et légendes du Queeristan, the standup show Life Is Too Short To Be Straight and the short film Don’t Text Your Ex.

FRAMING AGNES (Documentary/Experimental Feature) / CANADA

After gaining access to never-before-seen case files from transgender history, an all-star cast of trans actors turn a talk show stage inside out to confront the politics of truth-telling and the legacy of the “deceptive transsexual” propagated by medicine and media. Meanwhile, the two friends who originally discovered the files follow the archival trail in hopes of getting closer to the truth.

 

Chase Joynt (Writer/Director)

Chase Joynt is a moving-image artist and writer whose films have won jury and audience awards internationally. His latest short film, Framing Agnes, premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival, won the Audience Award at Outfest in Los Angeles, and is being developed into a feature film with support from Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program. Concurrently, Chase is in production on a feature-length hybrid documentary about jazz musician Billy Tipton, co-directed with Aisling Chin-Yee. Joynt’s first book You Only Live Twice (co-authored with Mike Hoolboom) was a 2017 Lambda Literary Award Finalist and named one of the best books of the year by The Globe and Mail and CBC. His second book, Conceptualizing Agnes (co-authored with Kristen Schilt), is under contract with Duke University Press. At present, Joynt is an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Visual Culture at the University of Victoria in British Columbia.

GENDER? I HARDLY KNOW THEM (Narrative Short) / CANADA

Being queer in Alberta’s not for the faint of heart: your bar doubles as a senior’s dance hall, your sex toys’ batteries keep dying from the cold and you mistake every truck driver, scarecrow, and grain elevator for your girlfriend.

Elena Eli Belyea (they/them + she/her) and Sydney Campbell (they/them) are comedy partners in the queer sketch duo GENDER? I HARDLY KNOW THEM. Their sketches are fast-paced, quick-witted, raunchy, and ridiculous. Drawing from their experiences of growing up gay, hot, and short in Alberta. Syd and Eli are out to queer the world, one denim punchline at a time. Because so many LGBTQ+ stories set in conservative backdrops focus on grief and isolation, their sketches intentionally centre queer self-actualization and joy.

 

Anna Cooley (Director)

Anna began world building while playing in her parents art studio and discovered the family handi-cam at age 10. She has been making films ever since. Anna is an alumnus of the Women In the Directors Chairs Story and Leadership Program, and the Academy Directors Program for Women. In both programs Anna developed the VR web series adaptation of playwright Elena Eli Belyea’s Everyone We Know Will Be There. Anna’s cinematography can be seen in and the upcoming documentary Pinky and the Kids, and Clebs, a short documentary that won two awards at the Berlin International film Festival. Her multi-award winning feature documentary A Sauropod Abroad premiered in 2016. Her short narrative film Sleepwalker was released in 2017. Anna is currently directing the short documentary Garden Shark, and writing on the web series Sophie and the Exorcist, with the support of the IPF, and writing her first feature film with the support of Telefilm. Anna’s success as a director is enhanced by her clear thinking, decisive management style and excellent creative vision. She leverages her years of experience as an IATSE Local 212 member working numerous crew positions, while also serving as Production Designer on independent films. Anna teaches and mentors filmmakers and is vice-president and Chair of Programming on the board of the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers.

KNOW HER NAME (Documentary Feature) / CANADA

Four filmmakers – all women, two of them lesbians, two of them women of color – overcome incredible barriers and confront challenging preconceptions throughout Hollywood’s history to tell diverse stories that entertain and reflect their realities, and that of audiences. KNOW HER NAME shares their stories so they are never lost.

 

Heidi Lasi (Director)

Heidi Lasi, president and founder of Pelee Entertainment, is an award-winning producer and director. She is a co-writer and co-producer on ARA’S IMAGINARIUM, a children’s animated web series in partnership with TSB Productions, Oxus Films, and Hamilton/Mehta Productions. Prior to that, she directed and produced THE OASIS AFFAIR, which screened at festivals across North America and won or was nominated for awards on the circuit. In 2018, Heidi graduated from the WIFT-Toronto/Schulich School of Business Media Leadership Program. 

 

Zainab Muse (Director)

Zainab Muse has just won Entrepreneur of the Year, awarded by Canadian Women in Communications and Technology given each year to a leader in the field. As a filmmaker, she is on a mission to create and produce stories with strong Afro-feminist values that highlight fond memories of her upbringing in West Africa. She is also inspired by the untapped potential of the intersection that exists between film, design and technology. As an entrepreneur in the creative technology industry with two established companies in Canada, she is on track to launch a successful film company that uses ever-evolving technological tools to present stories through innovative mediums that elevate and inspire pluralism.

LAST DANCE (Series Teaser) / CANADA

A love letter to Toronto, Last Dance is the coming of age story of Sienna, a dancer and true romantic. In order to gain top spot in her contemporary dance company, Sienna mines her romantic resume from elementary school to her late 20’s, reliving key moments that are awkward, hilarious and poignant.

 

Chattrisse Dolabaille (Writer)

Chattrisse Dolabaille is a writer and performer who is passionate about telling narratives which, along with their protagonists, have been “othered” for far too long. She started in the music world and then broadened her scope to include acting, keeping a pen firmly in her hand (she may one day write as many screenplays as she has original songs). Two of her first short films, which she also acted in and co-produced, have screened in numerous international film festivals. Her first feature placed her as a Top Ten Semifinalist for the 2019 Canadian Film Festival’s screenwriting competition; it is a coming-of-age story set in Chattrisse’s hometown of Toronto. Predictably, she wrote the entire soundtrack.

 

Sedina Fiati (Writer)

Sedina Fiati is a Toronto based performer, producer, creator and activist for stage and screen. Proudly Black and queer, Sedina is deeply invested in artistic work that explores the intersection between art and activism, either in form or structure or ideally both. Favourite and recent artistic projects: Maternal (producer, short, Best Short Film, CaribbeanTales Film Festival), Super Zee (short, performer, Best New Fandom, Outlantacon), Tokens (performer, web series, Nominee ACTRA Toronto Best Ensemble), Queer Your Story (ACTRA Toronto PSA, co-writer, co-producer, performer), Share The Screen (ACTRA Toronto PSA, producer and performer). Every Day She Rose (Nightwood Theatre, co-director), Switch: The Village (collective member, QTBIPOC street performance, Buddies in Bad Times 2018 & 2019), Feminist Fuck It Festival (multidisciplinary festival, co-creator and co-producer). Sedina was the co-chair of ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity Committee and ACTRA Toronto Councillor. Upcoming projects: Last Dance (a web series).

LITTLE SKY (Narrative Short) / USA

Little Sky follows the journey of Sky, a Chinese-American pop star who returns to the city they were raised in to find their estranged immigrant father. Haunted by their childhood memories, SKY risks their non-binary identity to end the cycle of violence in their family. In the confrontation, Sky discovers something that changes how they feel about the people they love. Packed with original songs, Little Sky is a film about letting in the chosen community that sees us when the blood family that made us cannot.

 

Jess X. Snow (Writer/Director)

Jess X. Snow is a queer immigrant Chinese-Canadian artist and filmmaker, based in Brooklyn, (Lenape Land) who makes work in both North America and China. They are currently an MFA thesis student at NYU Tisch School of The Arts. Through film, large-scale murals, children’s books and community art education, they are working to build a future where LGBTQ+ and migrant people of color may discover in their own stories; a sanctuary for healing and collective liberation. Their art and illustrations has been featured on PBS Newshour, The LA Times, published by Penguin Randomhouse, and collected by the Ford Foundation and Library of Congress. Their films have been supported with grants and fellowships from the Tribeca Film Institute, Canada Council of the Arts, The Smithsonian Asian Pacific Center and Inside Out. Their short films have screened internationally at over 25 festivals across the Americas, and Asia. They are currently working on writing their first feature, to be shot in their parent’s hometown of Nanchang, China.

MOTHERING IN THE MOVEMENT (Documentary Feature) / CANADA

Mothering in the Movement is a feature documentary that follows incendiary poet, performer and LGBT activist Staceyann Chin’s efforts to break the grip that a 40-year-old wound has had on her relationships with her estranged mother, 9 year old daughter, and career. Staceyann uses her provocative poetry, activism, and what very well might be inherited maternal sorcery to transform merely surviving as a Black woman in America into thriving for all Black children, including her still-aching inner child. 

 

Laurie Townshend (Writer/Director)

Laurie Townshend is a Writer, director, educator, and erratic blogger. Her credits include The Railpath Hero (2013) , and the Award-winning Charley (2015). Currently, Laurie is in development with Oya Media Group and the NFB on Mothering in the Movement – An intimate ‘coming-of-middle-age’ saga that follows renowned mother-activist, spoken-word artist Staceyann Chin’s self-healing journey to uncover the mysteries of her mother’s life, 47 years after having been abandoned by her.

 

Alison Duke (Writer)

An artistic activist, award-winning filmmaker and passionate producer committed to telling boldly telling stories of resistance and change. Recently, she co-wrote and co-produced the television documentary ‘Mr. Jane and Finch’ (19) directed by Ngardy Conteh George (and edited by Sonia Godding Tobogo) for CBCDocs POV. The film went on to win two 2020 Canadian Screen Awards the Donald Brittain Award for best social political documentary and Best writing Documentary. She also directed ‘Cool Black North’ (19), a two-hour television

documentary special for CityTV/Rogers which aired on the same night. In 2016, she produced the ‘Akua Benjamin Legacy Project’, the award-winning digital web series which celebrates the legacies of Canadian-based black activists. Inspired by Ava Duvernay, #metoo and the reality that opportunities for women behind the camera in Canada are long overdue, Alison hired five black female Canadian directors to helm these legacy films. She is also the founder of Black Youth! Pathway2Industry, a 3-year initiative to support black youth who are graduates of film, television and digital media programs access essential training, mentors, networks and film industry spaces. She’s finishing post-production on, ‘Promise Me’, a powerful dramatic short inspired by her seminal HIV documentary, ‘The Woman I Have Become’ (08).

ONCE I LEFT TO BECOME MARIA (Documentary Feature) / MEXICO

In the wake of her father’s death, filmmaker Sofia Castellanos begins to reconnect with her mother, María. Little by little, she begins to understand the woman that was left abandoned all these years – her identity stored and buried in dusty old boxes, her beautiful singing voice no longer nurtured. As the filmmaker questions why her mother abandoned her dreams, the film explores themes of gender and femininity.

 

Sofia Castellanos (Writer/Director)

Mexican filmmaker, graduated from the Audiovisual Arts Degree at the Image and Sound Department of the University of Guadalajara (DIS). She has participated in the production of more than 20 audiovisual projects, mainly as assistant director, among them “El rey de todo el mundo” by Carlos Saura and Off the road (Visions du reel prix 2020). For the last three years she has participated as production manager and junior creative advisor for the academic project “Territorios Interiores” (Berlinale, Sheffield, Ambulante, FICCI) for the documentary year of the Department of Image and Sound of the University of Guadalajara. She is currently developing her first feature documentary film ”Once I left to become María” (beneficiary PECDA 2018 Jalisco Culture Department, development selection DOCSMX PLATFORM 2019, Mobility Award TRIBECA Network 2020, Co-production meeting FICG).

 

Eduardo Esquivel (Producer)

Mexican filmmaker with an Audiovisual Arts Degree from the Image and Sound Department of the University of Guadalajara. His first short film “Uriel y Jade” was chosen for the official selection of the Sheffield Doc/Fest, Morelia International Film Festival, and others. With his second short film “Lo que no se dice bajo el sol”, he participated in La Semaine de La Critique Program and won the Prix Revélation for Best Short Film in Cinélatino Rencontres de Toulouse. His most recent production “Playa Gaviotas” was part of the official selection of the FICG, FICM, and the International Festival of the New Latin American Cinema of Havana, and received the Best Mexican Short Film Prize at Shorts Mexico 2019. In 2018, he participated as a Berlinale Talents alumni (directing lab/studio) at the Guadalajara International Film Festival. He was supported by FONCA Young Creators grant in 2019 to write her new film “La eterna adolescente”. He received the support of Tribeca Film Institute, IMCINE and the Films Commission of Jalisco for the production of his documentary first feature film “Las flores de la noche” which is soon to be premiered. He currently works in the direction and production of cinematographic projects under the seal of his production company Tardigrada Cine. He’s currently producing “El día que me fui para ser María” (Dir. Sofía Castellanos), which was selected by the Tribeca Film Institute, at the 2019 DocsMX DocsLab, to participate in TFI Network, “Morir de Amor” (Dir. Marcelo Tovar) and “La ciudad de los chicos perdidos” (Dir. Daniel Hernández Delgadillo).

ONE FOUR THREE (Narrative Feature) / UK

A woman enters a lesbian relationship, leaving her fiancé and family devastated. But a violent attack by an unknown assailant finds her hospitalised with amnesia. With nothing to lose, she begins the dangerous task of uncovering who she is and who attacked her.

 

Jade Winters (Writer/Director)

Since childhood, Jade’s ambition was to have her stories reach the big screen. Aged eight, she used her pocket money to send her scripts to any producer she could find in the Yellow Pages. Although she had no luck, Jade did receive one reply in which she was told to never give up. The desire has stayed with her ever since.

Jade left school at fourteen without any qualifications. It wasn’t until her late twenties that she undertook an Access course and then went on to gain a 2:1 BA(Hons) in Journalism. In 2011, Jade published her first novel 143 and to date, she has written over twenty novels, all of which have been Amazon bestsellers. In 2017 her novel Lost in You was shortlisted for the Amazon Kindle Storyteller Award. An award that spanned all genres and had thousands of entries. Jade is also a finalist in the Author of the Year category at the 2020 Diva Awards.

After adapting two of her short stories into screenplays (Love on the Cards, The Love Letter) which were then made into short films, Jade decided to direct the next screenplay she penned – In Her Place. Building on that positive experience, Jade has now adapted her novel 143 which is currently in post-production as her directorial debut feature film and has directed a further three short films.

PURE (Narrative Short) / USA

On the eve of her cotillion ball, a young Black girl grapples with her queer identity and questions her purity.

 

Natalie Harris (Writer/Director)

Natalie Jasmine Harris is an emerging writer/director and producer from Maryland. As an artist, Natalie is concerned with creating intimate portraits of Black girlhood that include explorations of sexuality and identity development. She received her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in May 2020 where she graduated with Honors and received her department’s award for Excellence in Community Service. Over the years, Natalie has directed and produced films that have received recognition from Sundance Ignite, Vimeo Staff Pick, The British Film Institute, and The National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY). Natalie is currently developing “Pure” into a feature-length screenplay of the same name that she hopes to become her feature directorial debut.

THIS PLACE (Narrative Feature) / CANADA

This Place is the story of two young women, who first cross paths one last night at a laundromat. Following their journeys together and apart, this film looks at those living in the liminal space between worlds, displaced both abroad and at home, through the lives of one Mohawk woman, two former refugees, and their daughters – a fateful pair of young lovers. 

 

V.T. Nayani (Writer/Director)

V.T. Nayani is a director, producer, and writer dedicated to stories for the screen. Her first feature documentary SHADEISM: DIGGING DEEPER (2015) had its World Premiere at the 2015 Zanzibar International Film Festival, where it received a Special Jury Recognition. She is an alumni of the CBCs Workshop for Diverse Creators, the HotDocs’s Doc Accelerator Program, and Reelworld Film Festival’s Emerging 20 Program. Batabu is also a recipient of the UN Women Yvonne M. Hebert Award for filmmakers and media makers. In 2018, she had the honour of shadowing and interning with mentor, acclaimed cinematographer Bradford Young, on the set of Netflix’s award-winning limited series WHEN THEY SEE US, created by Ava DuVernay. Her films and artistic development have been supported by groups including the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Prism Prize, RBC, ArtReach Toronto, and AWID. Her work has also been championed by festivals including TIFF Next Wave, InsideOut Film and Video Festival, Reel Asian International Film Festival, Regent Park Film Film Festival, and Lights Camera Africa Film Festival. Nayani is currently in post-production for her first dramatic feature THIS PLACE (in partnership with Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch Program), and in development for her second narrative feature. She also proudly serves on the board of directors and programming committee for Breakthroughs Film Festival, the only festival in Canada dedicated to showcasing short films by women and non-binary people.

TRANS IN TRUMPLAND (Documentary Feature) / USA

A trans Iranian-American journeys across the country, uncovering the complexities of being trans in the Trump administration era. He meets four trans Americans facing unique challenges, intertwining the personal and political during an unprecedented time in the United States. 

 

Tony Zosherafatain (Writer/Director)

Tony began directing and producing films in 2012 after realizing that there weren’t many movies exclusively about trans people. He is the Co-Owner of TransWave Films, a New York City based production company focusing on trans narratives. He was previously the Director of I am the T, a documentary series about trans experiences around the world. Tony is the prior director and producer of I am Isak, Finding Cedar, You Can Call me Kye, and Fratello. His films have been accepted into domestic and international film festivals, including Inside Out, Thessaloniki LGBT Film Fest, Emerging Lens, and many others. 

 

Jamie DiNicola (Producer)

Jamie is an award-winning producer, director, & activist. His films have screened at Toronto’s Inside Out Film Festival, Newark International Film Festival, Full Bloom Film Festival, San Francisco Trans Film Festival, Los Angeles Cinefest, Rahway Film Festival, and many other prestigious festivals. Jamie’s production company, TransWave Films, focuses on centralizing transgender stories. His work can be found online at jamiedinicola.com and transwavefilms.com

 

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy (Executive Producer) 

Miss Major Griffin-Gracy has been at the forefront of the trans rights movement for over 40 years. She is a leader in the trans community, advocating for increased visibility and equity for trans people. She has starred in HBO’s The Trans List, Visible: Out on Television, Where Justice Ends, Ten More Good Years, Call me Malcolm, and in her own documentary entitled Major! Her story has appeared in the Huffington Post, VICE, Them, and other publications. Her educational retreat and historical center House of GG serves trans people in the south. Miss Major’s full story is available online: missmajor.net

WALQWIN (Documentary Short) / CANADA

Across Wabanaki territory, Two-Spirit people reach out and band together to overcome distance, isolation, and forge new bonds as a community.

 

Bretten Hannam (Director)

Bretten Hannam is a Two-Spirit L’nu filmmaker living in Kespukwitk, Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) where they were raised. Their films deal with themes of community, culture, language, and tradition with a focus on Two-Spirit and LGBTQ+ identity. They co-wrote the short CHAMPAGNE which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2015 they wrote and directed a Telefilm Micro-budget feature, NORTH MOUNTAIN, a Two-Spirit thriller, which won Best Original Score at the Atlantic Film Festival, and the Screen Nova Scotia Award for Best Feature.

They are a Fellow of the Praxis Centre for Screenwriters, Outfest Screenwriting Lab, and the CFC writer’s Lab. Brett regularly teaches writing and directing workshops at the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative, and in Mi’kmaw communities across Nova Scotia.

In 2017 they were selected as one of six filmmakers in Canada to attend the Whistler Film Festival’s Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship. Brett recently completed a short film commissioned by Cinema Politica in the genre of Indigenous Futurism, as well as WILDFIRE—a Two-Spirit, coming-of-age road movie currently on the festival circuit. They are in pre-production on a feature version of the same short title WILDHOOD to film in 2020.