The GLAAD Wrap: 'We the Animals' nominated for most Independent Spirit Awards, 'Green Book' and 'Instant Family' in theaters, and more!

1) The Film Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced today. We the Animals, a film that looks back upon the childhood of a young queer Puerto Rican boy, received five nominations, the most of any film this year, including Best First Feature for director Jeremiah Zagar. Hopefully, other awards shows will take note of this touching and important film. Other LGBTQ-inclusive films with nominations include Can You Ever Forgive Me? (receiving nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay), The Favourite (for Best International Film), and The Bread Factory (John Cassavetes Award and Best Supporting Acrtess). The Awards will be held on Saturday, February 23 in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, Calif., and broadcast on IFC. See the full nominations here.

2) Based on a true story, the film Green Book is out in theaters on Friday. The film tells the story of Don Shirley, a gay classical virtuoso pianist of Jamaican descent, played by Moonlight’s Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali, who heads out on a road trip with chauffeur and bouncer Tony Vallelonga (Viggo Mortenson) through the Deep South. Together, they encounter racism and homophobia head on throughout their journey, as their friendship blossoms. Green Book won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and has received praise for the performances of the two leading men. The film opens in limited theaters today, and will be released in further cities next week. Click here for tickets.

3) Comedy Instant Family opens widely in theaters today. Based on filmmaker Sean Anders' real experiences with the foster care system, the movie tells the story of a couple, Pete and Ellie (played by Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne), going through the adoption process and ending up with three kids. The film also stars out lesbian comedian Tig Notaro, and includes a gay couple, Kit and Michael, in the ensemble cast, who are also looking to adopt children to start a family. Instant Family is now playing across the country, click here for tickets.

4) The first trailer was released for Netflix’s upcoming film Dumplin’. Based off the novel by bisexual author Julie Murphy, the movie follows Willowdean, a plus-sized Dolly Parton-obsessed girl who signs up for a beauty pageant, alongside a group of outcasts from her school. One of these outcasts is lesbian teen Hannah, and the film also features several drag queens, including Drag Race finalist Ginger Minj, who teach Willowdean how to be a pageant queen. The film also stars Jennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald and features new music from Parton, and out musicians Linda Perry and Sia. Dumplin’ will be released on Netflix and into select theaters on December 7. 

5) Transgender actress Alexandra Grey has been cast in upcoming indie film Gossamer Folds. From Yeardley Smith and Ben Cornwell, the film is set in 1986 and follows a ten-year-old boy who is forced to spend a summer in a small town with his fighting parents. He ends up befriending Gossamer, the transgender daughter of his new neighbors, and the film follows the friendship of the two of them. GLAAD’s own Director of Transgender Media, Nick Adams, has been a consultant on the film, which began production this week.

6) Trans filmmaker Silas Howard has just been announced as the director of upcoming LGBTQ horror film Moonshadow. The film follows a trans teen who is sent to a “science-based conversion camp” and finds out that the camp is converting people into something non-human. The film seeks to further the conversation around transgender rights in this country as well as the horrors faced by LGBTQ youth sent to conversion therapy.

7) Queer actress Kiersey Clemons will be stepping into a producer role for a film about Lauren Simmons, the youngest women to be a trader on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Clemons will also star as Simmons, who, at the age of 23, was the only woman trading full time and the NYSE and the second black woman to ever be a full time trader. The film will be the first for Clemons’ production company, Girl on Mercury. Clemons was also recently cast as Joanne Jefferson in FOX's live version of the musical "Rent," coming up in January.

8) The trailer has been released for Comedy Central’s The Other Two, a new show about the siblings of a tween internet star who are struggling in their own way. The show is co-created by out writer Chris Kelly, whose previous film, Other People, received a GLAAD Media Award. One of the co-leads is a gay struggling actor, who tries to become a gay icon. The guest cast also includes Wanda Sykes, Josie Totah, and more. The Other Two premieres on January 24.

9) Lesbian filmmaker Cheryl Dunye (who directed the iconic lesbian film, The Watermelon Woman) has been set to write, produce, and direct The Gilda Stories for television. The Afrofuturist source material tells the story of “an escaped black slave and the bisexual vampire who comes of age over 200 years of African American history.” In other TV news, Amazon has picked up the pilot for a Spanish and English-language romantic comedy about family and friends living in a Hollywood Hills compound. The characters include Nacho, the matriarch’s brother, a former soccer player who is now a coach.

10) Queer singer Ria Mae released a new music video this week for her single “Hold Me,” featuring Frank Kadillac. The song and video both touch on the theme of longing for a simpler time. “Hold Me” will be on Mae’s upcoming 2019 EP, and the video is below. Bi singer Jess Glynne also released a new music video this week for her single “Thursday,” off her newest album Always In Between, which is available here. Watch the music video, with its beautiful message of self-love, here.

11) Out artist Perfume Genius has partnered with W Hotels to release a new track titled Alan (Rework). All proceeds from the single will go toward Immigration Equality, protecting the rights of LGBTQ Immigrants. Listen to the song here. In other music news, pansexual singer Janelle Monáe will be honored by Billboard at their 13th annual Women in Music event in December. She will receive the trailblazer award, given to those who act as a pioneer to spotlight unheard voices.

12)  The 2018 People’s Choice Awards were handed out on Sunday. LGBTQ-inclusive winners include multiple awards for GLAAD Media Award-winning Shadowhunters, as well as Riverdale, Orange is the New Black, Dynasty, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and Wynonna Earp, as well as LGBTQ celebrities include James Charles and GLAAD Media Award-recipient Jim Parsons.

13) Upcoming documentary Hijra¸ following a group of transgender women in India, is currently seeking funding. Documenting the lives of trans women fighting for their right to be defined, the film follows the group lead by Rudrani Chetrri, who holds her chosen family together. The documentary aims to raise transgender visibility in India and to dismantle stereotypes around them. Click here to contribute.