LGBT Film Funding Initiative Grants


The LGBT Film Donor Circle provided LGBT Film Funding Initiative Grants and brought together donors interested in funding LGBT film in order to find out about current projects, discuss their merits with each other and neutral outside film experts, and find a community of similarly interested donors. In March 2005, this fund made its first set of grants:

Behold, I Am Doing a New Thing!
Directed by Peter Barbosa, Ph.D.

Behold, I Am Doing a New Thing! is a documentary-in-progress exploring the highly divisive issue of homosexuality within the context of the Bible and today’s American Christian communities. The film will take an ecumenical look at various sriptural and theological Christian views on homosexuality, and will highlight personal stories of fear, hope, failure, victory, and transformation. The film will also explore the Welcoming Church Movement — an alternative Christian perspective that reaches out to and embraces lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender congregants. This grant will support development expenses.
Total awarded: $7,000trans.gif

Entry Denied
Directed by Machu Latorre

Entry Denied is a documentary about the struggles with the INS faced by gay Americans in bi-national relationships. Woven together with stock footage, personal photos, archival material, and narration, Entry Denied centers around the compelling testimonies of couples who are forced to make difficult choices because of U.S. immigration laws that do not recognize same-sex partners as “family.” This grant will support production expenses.
Total awarded: $4,000

Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing
Directed by Linda Thornburg

After writing a novel about love between women that shocked the 1920s, Hilary Stevens disappeared, writing only small volumes of poetry, until a volume of her love sonnets strikes a chord with a new generation nearly 50 years later. In the midst of her new fame, 70 year-old Hilary is beset by people clamoring to know, “Who’s the muse?”

As she waits for reporters to arrive, she ponders her scandalous success, her family’s response, and her husband, the person who “pulled her back to her senses.” Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing is the story of the struggle to live a creative and whole life, based on May Sarton’s groundbreaking, semi-autobiographical 1964 novel. This grant will support completion expenses.
Total awarded: $5,000

No Dumb Questions
Directed by Melissa Regan

No Dumb Questions is an award-winning documentary profiling 6, 9, and 11 year-old sisters struggling to understand why and how their Uncle Bill is becoming a woman. The result is a uniquely accessible and deeply moving exploration of the topics of gender identity and sexuality, as well as a revealing portrait of children at different developmental levels, family communication, and parenting in the face of change. This grant will support distribution expenses.
Total awarded: $7,500


Prom Night
Directed by Llsa Bertolini

In the spring of 1994, a small group of queer high school students in Hayward, California, got together and decided to throw their own prom. None of the students felt comfortable taking a same-sex date to their own school prom, and in an attempt to recreate this adolescent rite of passage, they recruited adult volunteers, solicited food donations, and hired a DJ. Forty youth showed up. In its tenth year in 2004, the prom had over 500 attendees. Prom Night uses visual ethnographic methods to follow the creation of the 10th anniversary of the prom and to focus on the meaning that the prom holds for both its organizers and participants. This grant will support production expenses.
Total awarded: $4,000

Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton’s Cafeteria
Directed by Victor Silverman and Susan Stryker

Screaming Queens tells the story of the first known act of militant queer resistance to social oppression. In 1966, three years before the more famous uprising at New York’s Stonewall Inn, transgender street prostitutes in San Francisco’s impoverished Tenderloin district fought back against a police raid at Compton’s Cafeteria, a popular all-night hangout. The riot at Compton’s Cafeteria marked the beginning of a broader movement to support freedom of gender expression. This grant will support post-production expenses.
Total awarded: $7,500

trans.gifWho’s the Top?
Directed by Jennie Livingston

Alixe is in love with Gwen, which is good, because they live together. But sometimes Gwen feels Alixe isn’t all there. Alixe, a young poet, is often distracted by her obsession with the bad-boy poet and adventurer CYMON Blank, and by heated fantasies of scary, yet hot, gangs of women in leather. Would Gwen try a little kink from time to time? No thanks. Gwen thinks their sex life is just fine-and that CYMON is pretentious.

Is Alixe and Gwen’s sexual disagreement the cause of their problems, or are their problems the cause of their sexual disagreement? And how should an artist nurture her vision: by seeking adventures on the edge or by staying home and writing poems? What’s more real, our fantasies or what we actually do? In Who’s the Top? there are no right answers, just musical numbers. This grant will support completion expenses.
Total awarded: $5,000

Somos Familia

“We found that there were really no resources for Latino families dealing with these issues, and so we formed Somos Familia.” Laurin Mayeno

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Resilience is Resistance

Horizons partnership with Transgender Law Center is helping asylum seekers and other immigrants out of detention. TLC’s Executive Director Kris Hayashi reflects on the unique partnership.

“The reality for the transgender movement is that we’ve experienced this incredible increase in visibility these past five years…”  Read more.