Powerful new documentary TransMilitary wins SXSW Audience Award

Congratulations to TransMilitary!

The SXSW Film Festival today announced the Audience Award winners and the documentary TransMilitary won in the Documentary Feature Competition category. TransMilitary is the first feature length film to receive funding from GLAAD Media Institute.

TransMilitary premiered last week at SXSW. The documentary chronicles the lives of four American transgender service members defending their country’s freedom while fighting for their own, and the larger efforts to bring an end to the ban on transgender people serving openly in the U.S. military. Director Gabriel Silverman, Co-Director Fiona Dawson, and Producer Jamie Coughlin previously created the popular Emmy®-nominated 2015 New York Times Op-Doc "Transgender, at War and in Love."

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis, who is also an Executive Producer of the film, congratulated the filmmakers and cast today: “TransMilitary is a powerful and eye-opening film that audiences clearly want to see more of. The compelling storytelling and inspiring individuals in the film will open hearts and minds and put relatable faces to one of the most talked about issues in mainstream news today.”

“We are very grateful to SXSW for selecting TransMilitary for its World Premiere this past week," said Director Gabe Silverman. "The transgender service members in our film are incredibly brave for publicly sharing their stories, knowing they represent thousands who have been putting their livelihoods on the line for years and years.” 

Co-director Fiona Dawson added, "It’s wonderful to know that our troops resonated so profoundly with the SXSW audience. Our hope is that this film can be given a large platform so as to also touch countless families all across America and beyond.” 

The documentary received a standing ovation from the premiere audience and rave reviews from critics.

The Austin Chronicle said:

"Expertly edited, the documentary interweaves the four subjects’ lives with statistics, research, and animations to create a seamless narrative that’s both informative and visually engaging. Personal, familial, and professional hardships are explored, but it's TransMilitary’s stories of the brave transgender military service members and veterans that ultimately elevates the documentary from mere analysis to a compelling and emotionally moving portrait."

The Hollywood Reporter said:

"The current state of things, as in nearly every other matter where Trump has a say, is in question. But one thing TransMilitary makes clear is that individual trans people can work effectively in the armed services, and that coworkers and top brass are not necessarily an obstacle to that service. (In cases we see hear, they're vocally grateful for it.) Perhaps if Trump had actually served in the organization he now leads, he might be less confused on the matter."

GLAAD’s funding for TransMilitary comes as part of an initiative to elevate the voices and stories of trans service members. The GLAAD Media Institute provided a grant to the film, which includes promotion, media outreach, and visibility assistance for the project.

TransMilitary was directed by Gabriel Silverman and Fiona Dawson. Jamie Coughlin is a producer. Amy Nauiokas, Vinay Singh, James Connolly, Sarah Kate Ellis, and Zeke Stokes are executive producers. Jess Kwan is a co-producer. The documentary was made in association with Archer Gray and Fearless Company. Cinetic leads sales and distribution.