GLAAD @ Sundance 2019: From panels to partnerships, LGBTQ-inclusive storytelling invades Park City

For the second year in a row, GLAAD was everywhere in Park City, participating as official Institute Associates at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, which took place this year from January 24th - February 3rd. Sundance has long been a home for diverse stories and inclusive storytelling and this year was certainly no exception. Once again, this year's festival was filled with many LGBTQ-inclusive titles amongst the films premiering and in competition. 

GLAAD's festival kicked off on Friday, January 25th, when Mj Rodriguez (Pose, Saturday Church) and Nico Santos (NBC's Superstore, Crazy Rich Asians) joined GLAAD Chief Programs Officer Zeke Stokes to announce the nominees for the 30th Annual GLAAD Media Awards hosted by AT&T live from the AT&T Hello Lounge. Both Mj and Nico were double-nominees this year for their respective TV shows and films. 

That afternoon, GLAAD hosted a mixer in the AT&T Hello Lounge, which featured several cast members from the film Adam, which had its world premiere in the NEXT section of Sundance earlier in the day. Other attendees included transgender on-camera host Carmen Carrera, Michael Urie (who starred in the Sundance short film Lavender), and out singers Vincint and Parson James. 

On Sunday morning, GLAAD was at Outfest's annual Queer Brunch, where GLAAD Director of Entertainment Media Jeremy Blacklow and Director of Community at The Black List, Kate Hagen, announced the formation of The GLAAD List, a new partnership between both organizations. The GLAAD List is a curated list of the most promising unmade LGBTQ-inclusive scripts in Hollywood that have been hosted on or were included on the 2018 year-end annual Black List. The scripts on The GLAAD List represent the type of stories that GLAAD would like to see studios producing, which with the proper attention and the collaboration of the right directors and actors, show tremendous promise and GLAAD believes should one day become films that will both entertain audiences and change hearts and minds around the world.

Outfest Sundance Queer Brunch 2019 #2

GLAAD at Sundance Queer Brunch

And on Tuesday, GLAAD hosted a panel at Sundance's Filmmaker Lodge titled, "Beyond the Transition Narrative: Transgender Storytelling in the 21st Century." Moderated by Nick Adams, GLAAD's Director of Transgender Media & Representation, the panel also featured Adam director Rhys Ernst, writer/director/producer Rain Valdez, actress Alexandra Grey, and Adam producer James Schamus. A packed house attended the panel, which covered topics ranging from what some of the biggest challenges are in transgender storytelling in 2019 to what it takes to get the right stories made in Hollywood. 

Trans Storytelling panel pic Sundance 2019

Additionally, all week long GLAAD was checking out (and meeting with the filmmakers behind) all of the LGBTQ-inclusive programming at the 2019 festival, which ranged from the Audience Award-winning film Brittany Runs a Marathon and breakout indie film Sister Aimee, to Episodics such as the very queer new pilot, Work In Progress, (produced by Lilly Wachowski, Abby McEnany, and Tim Mason), and the premiere of STARZ's Now Apocalypse.