A new documentary film about transgender elder and pioneering civil rights activist Miss Major.
This is the story of one woman’s journey, a community’s history, and how caring for one another can be a revolutionary act.
YOU MADE IT HAPPEN! We're filled with love and gratitude for all our donors for helping us reach our Kickstarter goal. We'll be fundraising throughout post-production and every dollar counts. If you're visiting this page after the campaign has ended, please check our website for information on how you can still donate to this important project.
Miss Major Griffin-Gracy is a Black transgender woman, a formerly incarcerated person, a former sex worker, an elder, a community leader, and an internationally-recognized human rights activist. From the 1969 Stonewall Rebellion to her current work as Executive Director of the Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project (TGIJP), she’s worked tirelessly for transgender rights for over 40 years. Miss Major has rallied in front of government officials and spoken around the world, but her most enduring legacy has been uniquely personal. She’s been the emergency phone call, the helping hand, and the surrogate mother to an entire community of transgender women whom she’s supported, mentored, and helped mold into the next generation of community leaders.
As queer and transgender filmmakers, we want to see our stories and our communities represented on screen with authenticity and fierceness. We believe all audiences, LGBTQ and straight, are smart and savvy enough to feel compelled by stories that don’t need manufactured drama to be dramatic. We love documentary films that challenge the way we think and feel without offering easy answers, and inspire us to break through stereotypes and preconceived notions. And we’re committed to bringing innovative visual storytelling and high production values to this work, to create art that stirs the senses and takes the viewer on a journey.
We've been filming since February 2013 and are ready to start editing our hours of footage into a feature length documentary. We're doing archival research, and where documentation doesn't exist we're animating pivotal events, like the night of the Stonewall Rebellion and Miss Major's experiences while incarcerated at Attica. We're creating motion graphics to help illustrate information about the disproportionate rates of incarceration, unemployment, homelessness, violence, and HIV that impact transgender communities. We'll need to purchase the licensing rights to some historical images, and create an original score. We need screen titles and color correction and a post-production sound mix, and all of this costs money. $25,000 isn't enough to finish this film, but we feel it’s a reasonable goal for this campaign, and enough to ensure this film gets made. Help get us over the halfway mark, and we'll get us home.
Kickstarter is all or nothing. If we don't raise all of our goal, we don't get a penny of it, which means your donation will only be processed if the full $25,000 is raised.
$25,000 is a lot of money, and frankly it’s hard for us to ask for it. As filmmakers, we both come from backgrounds of providing direct client services, and we know times are tough and financial resources are scarce. We want to create a documentary that leaves the audience feeling like they’ve spent time with Miss Major, heard her story, watched her work with her community, and taken a journey through pivotal moments in LGBT history.
Miss Major is now in her 70s, and at a time when most people would be looking to slow down she continues to travel the country to speak to conferences, classrooms, and policy-makers about what her community needs. This film will bring her inspiring story, her bold and unapologetic way of demanding visibility and respect, and her message of self-love and self-worth no matter how you express yourself to audiences around the world. We hope it will serve as an oral history of marginalized communities through the lens of a vibrant and charismatic woman, bring humanity and authenticity to the representation of transwomen of color and formerly incarcerated transpeople in media, and invite audiences into stories and experiences they may not have heard before.
We’re passionate about this project, and hope you’ll join us in bringing this story to the screen.
Thank you and much love,
Annalise & StormMiguel
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Our greatest risk to completion of the project is funding. In order to meet production deadlines, we must raise our total post-production budget of $40,000 this year. Meeting our Kickstarter goal will get us more than halfway there, and if you help us get there we promise we’ll make the rest happen. We've applied for grants and will be actively fundraising throughout the post-production process, and have received generous in-kind donations from our talented crew and other artists along the way.
Completing a feature film is a daunting task, but we have experience doing this. Annalise Ophelian's previous film, Diagnosing Difference (2009), received critical acclaim and has screened at film festivals across the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, and Japan, and has been distributed educationally to over 400 schools around the world. StormMiguel Florez has over 20 years of experience organizing and producing arts and performance events. Together, we've got the passion and the skills to get MAJOR! in front of an international audience.
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