Gender Reel 2015 is just around the corner and this year the “little festival that could” will be celebrating its 5th year birthday.

Over the past 4 years, Gender Reel, has hosted festivals in eight cities around the country – Portland, OR, Oakland, CA, Long Beach, CA, Minneapolis, MN, Omaha, NE, Kenosha, WI, Philadelphia, PA, Durham, NC. Additionally, Gender Reel, held mini-film festivals at two nationally known transgender conferences — The Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference and the Minnesota Transgender Health Conference. Other milestone achievements include, releasing it’s first documentary, Growing Old Gracefully: The Transgender Experience, which explores the experiences of trans aging people, working with the Tretter Collection at the University of Minnesota to establish a Gender Reel archive program, becoming a non-profit organization and endorsing the work of other media, film and performance artists.

“Its exciting just thinking about how far we have come. I never thought we would be celebrating five years. I suppose when the energy is right things just happen,” saysGender Reel Founder & Executive Director, Joe Ippolito.

To celebrate its 5th year, Gender Reel, is currently organizing several unique events, as well as continuing its support of other amazing media artists.

Kim Watson

2015 events include:

  • Gender Reel NYU on February 7 & 8, 2015: Gender Reel NYU, a free, two-day event sponsored by Department of Cinema Studies at New York University’s Tisch School. This kick off festival will feature film/video/new media screenings, interactive discussions, an evening of performance art and “Show It Off,” an impromptu opportunity for young filmmakers to preview and receive feedback on their work. New York City activists Pauline Park & Kim Watson, therapists SJ Langer and Kit Richlin, and filmmaker Seyi Adebanjo and performance artist Imani Henry, and others, are some of the amazing you can catch at Gender Reel NYU.
  • National Transgender Health Summit on April 17 & 18, 2015: Gender Reel, will showcase a series of films at the National Transgender Health Summit in San Francisco, CAL. This national conference, which is sponsored by the Center of Transgender Excellence, presents cutting edge transgender research and evidence-based educational sessions across many disciplines.
  • Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference on June 4-6, 2015: Gender Reel, hopes to host it’s third mini film festival at the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference. Now in its thirteenth year, PTHC proudly offers a space for Trans* people and their allies, families, and providers to come together and re-envision what health means for Trans* people.
  • 2015 Fall Gender Reel Film & Performance Festivals: From October 2015-November-2015, Gender Reel, will host annual festivals around the country. Specific locations, dates and times are yet to be determined.

“We are very pleased with the direction Gender Reel is headed programmatically and our hope to continue expanding in new ways over the next five years,” says Gender Reel Administrative Director, Tammyrae Barr.

In addition to hosting festivals, Gender Reel, is endorsing the work of two remarkable media artists:

Howard El-Yasin
  • Howard el-Yasin’s Kindred Voices” uses sonic media to construct a queer spatial installation about LGBTQI People of Color identities. This project aims to destabilize perceptions and dispel myths of a monolithic queer identity while celebrating the global diversity of LGBTQI People of Color. Rather than visual imagery, or what people look like, attention is focused on the range of unique voices as polyphonic sounds. Recorded interviews with over fifty LGBTQI People of Color are in the process of being conducted to capture the sounds of individual voices–articulation of (social, political, cultural, religious, sexuality, gender, etc.) consciousness and how they may reflexively identify as an LGBTQI /racially Other person.
  • Seyi Adebanjo’s multi-media film and photography project, Trans Lives Matter! Justice for Islan Nettlesexplores the love and sadness a community of people share when they come together at a vigil held to recognize her death. Islan, a 21-year-old trans woman of color, was beaten to death in a hate crime in front of a New York Police Department precinct in Harlem and left for dead. She died of injuries shortly afterwards after being taken off life support.

“We are excited to support – in whatever way possible – the work of artists like Seyi and Howard,” says Gender Reel Creative Director, Vega Darling.

If you would like to learn more about Gender Reel’s, its plans for the future and ways Gender Reel can offer support to you as a multi-media artist contact Joe Ippolito