Hello, it's Joe, Gender Reel's Founder and Executive Director...
....I wanted to take a moment and thank all of you for attending our 10-year Anniversary.
Over the past 10-years, we have had the pleasure of showcasing all kinds of amazing films at our "little festival that could," (as I like to call it). I remember fondly the many reactions of audience members who laughed out-loud, shed tears, and expressed thoughts during one our screenings and Q&A sessions.
The evolution of Gender Reel is a rather unique one. In 2010, myself and a group of other trans activists, were discontent because we were not seeing the kinds of films we desired at more mainstream Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Gay Film Festivals. While 10 years may not seem that long ago, there was far less visibility of trans people in film, and what visibility was out there, was usually inaccurate and negative. We wanted to show films created by trans and gender non-conforming people, about trans and gender non-conforming people. We knew films like this were being made and we wanted to offer a safe, supportive and inclusive environment to screen them.
Today, things have changed for the better. Trans people are presented in much more positive, honest and multi-faceted ways in film and on television. While there is still work to be done, we are no longer looked at as cross-dressing serial killers with yappy little dogs (don't get me wrong, I too loved Silence of the Lamb, but seriously?).
So here's the part you may not want to hear.
After much thought and consideration, this will be our last, Gender Reel. Coming to this decision was not an easy one, as I am sure you can imagine. This festival has been a big part of our world for a long time. However, we (me and my organizing team) felt it was time to let others with innovative ideas and up-tapped passions, pick up the reigns and take the trans film festival to the next level, whatever that may look like.
We are confident in saying, Gender Reel, has served our community well. From screening 300+ films by trans/GNC people, about trans GNC people, to hosting festivals in multiple cities around the country, to showcasing some truly amazing performances, it has been our privilege to serve you.
We've also had the unique opportunity to work with dozens of creative filmmakers, artists, activists and performers, as well as, co-sponsor events with some amazing organizations, educational institutions and groups.
Finally, Gender Reel, could not have done this work without the help of our dedicated group of volunteers, committed Board members, fiscal sponsor, generous donors, granting organizations and you, our patrons.
So without further ado, we welcome you to join, Gender Reel, as we celebrate our 10th and final festival.
Gender Reel Founder & Executive Director