Gender Reel, is the countries only coast-to-coast, non-profit, film and art festival dedicated to enhancing the visibility of gender non-conforming, gender variant/queer and transgender people, identities and experiences. Our goal is to present narratives in film & art that push the boundaries of the gender binary. Through this means, we hope to empower filmmakers and artists to create work reflective of this mission by providing an accessible and embracing platform where this work can be shown.
Gender Reel, is a festival for the community, by the community!
In October 2010, two Gender Reel organizers embarked on a brainstorming process about ways to enhance the visibility of gender non-conforming and transgender people (GNC&T). We were simply not seeing the images we wanted to see in more mainstream GLB*T*Q film and art festivals around the county and wanted to do something to change this.
After coming up with a name for the festival and talking about the concept at greater length, we extended an invitation to others who might be interested in helping organize and create—what we believe would be—an amazing event!
On December 28, 2010, Gender Reel held its first organizers meeting. At that time, nine individuals came together and hashed out their personal concepts and ideas about what a festival like Gender Reel might look like. It was at this point—as a result of the amazing energy circulating in that room—when Gender Reel was officially born.
In addition to being committed to visibility, assessability, awareness and empowerment, Gender Reel, is dedicated to diversity in terms of the filmmakers and artists who submit work, as well as the kind of images and stories showcased at the festival.
Following the success of two well-attended festivals in Philadelphia, PA in 2011 and 2012, Gender Reel, began hosting festivals around the country in such cities as; Oakland, CA, Portland, OR, Minneapolis, MN, Philadelphia, PA, New York, NY, Omaha, NE, Houston, TX, Boston, NY, New York, NY, and Durham, NC.
In 2014, Gender Reel also released it's first documentary, "Growing Old Gracefully: The Transgender Experience," a film about the growing older experiences of trans/GNC people.
2015 was Gender Reel's 5th year as a national festival. Together with folks from New York Universities Cinema Studies Program, Gender Reel kicked off the start of this 5 year milestone in February with a two day event held at New York University's, Tisch School of the Arts. This event attacted our largest turnout so far, with over 200 people attending films screenings, Q&A's, and special events.
Our 2016 event kicks off on January 21 with a premier of the new documentary, A Chance to Dress, at the conference First Event in Boston. We also showcased three films during our annual mini film festival at the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference in June. Currently, organizing plans are underway for all of Gender Reel fall festivals.
Over the 4 next years, Gender Reel, hopes to continue full length and mini film festivals in cities all around the country, update it website, provide online streaming so some of our amazing films can be viewed from the privacy of ones own home and offer at finishing grants to filmmakers and artists. Due to financial limitations grants will not be available until the end of 2016.