Documentary Features
(USA, 2015, 91 min)
Blu-ray, QuickTime Pro-Res, dvd
Los Angeles Premiere
Directed By: Annalise Ophelian
Moderator: Nneka Onuorah

Director Statement

"Since production began on MAJOR! in 2013, there has been a tremendous shift in media focus on transgender lives. For a time, the two most high profile transgender women in the country, Laverne Cox and Janet Mock, were both Black women who used their platform at every turn to advocate for the most vulnerable in our communities. And yet as Time Magazine informed us that we've reached the ""Transgender Tipping Point,"" and Caitlyn Jenner rivaled Christine Jorgensen for most column inches devoted to a single sensationalized person, trans women of color continued to experience staggering rates of violence, incarceration, seroconversion, poverty, homelessness, joblessness, and voicelessness.

As we were finishing post-production in autumn 2015, the preview for the Roland Emmerich film "Stonewall" was causing a fury among transgender and queer communities for perpetrating the same sort of whitewashing that has always accompanied the story of the Stonewall Uprising. Instead of seeing Marsha P. Johnson or Sylvia Rivera or Stormé DeLarverie instigating the event that catalyzed the modern gay rights movement, the film depicted a white cisgender gay man from Kansas throwing the first brick. The film flopped, and in the uproar there has been a call for films that center trans women of color in their own narrative histories. We're incredibly proud to be one of them.

In the next year, at least three films by and about trans women of color will fill movie screens. Happy Birthday, Marsha, a short film from Reina Gossett and Sasha Wortzel that imagines the day of the Stonewall Uprising from the perspectives of Marsha "Pay It No Mind" Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Free CeCe, a documentary following the incarceration and incredible activism of CeCe McDonald, told to producer Laverne Cox. And MAJOR!, our documentary project following the life and campaigns of 75-year-old Black transgender activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, who was a contemporary of Marsha and Sylvia, whom Laverne Cox credits with paving the way for her own visibility and success, and who generations of trans women around the United States call "Mama." We couldn't be happier to look down the road and see so much media created by and for our communities.

A consistent theme of the community interviews conducted for MAJOR! has been the importance of visibility and access to the stories and experiences of trans women of color. As an elder, a leader, and an icon, Miss Major has touched countless people and saved lives through her unique capacity to provide one on one care for members of her community. We hope this film project will bring her legacy of inspiration and empowerment and her message of trans brilliance and resilience to audiences around the world."
Screening Schedule
Sat, Jul 16th 7:15pm

This event is already past
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Questions? please email or phone 213-480-7088

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