Film screenings are a great way to get people together, learn about different issues and encourage discussion. They also make for great ‘add-on’ events, as part of a broader series of actions, such as community debates and speeches, public demonstrations and creative/community activities.
If you are looking for inspiration, here are just a few feature-length movies and documentaries you might consider showing.
GOD LOVES UGANDA
A popular choice for IDAHOT events, this documentary takes a critical look at the role of US evangelical churches in fueling the persecution of LGBT communities in Africa.
CALL ME KUCHU
Another popular choice for IDAHOT events, Call Me Kuchu portrays the last year in the life of courageous Ugandan activist, David Kato, who worked tirelessly to challenge state-sanctioned violence against LGBTI communities, while combatting vicious persecution.
BORN THIS WAY
More people are imprisoned each year for homosexuality in Cameroon than any other country in the world. With intimate access to the lives of two young gay Cameroonians, the 2013 documentary sketches a vivid portrait of day-to-day life in modern Africa. Lyrical imagery, devastating homophobia, glimpses of American culture and a hidden-camera courtroom drama coalesce into a story of what is possible in the global fight for equality.
THE MORMON PROPOSITION
A provocative 2010 documentary exposing the Mormon Church’s involvement (via The National Organization for Marriage) in the obstruction of same-sex marriage legislation across the country. Director Reed Cowan, with his fellow filmmakers, experienced first-hand what it was like to grow up gay in Utah in the Mormon faith, then turned their attention to the historic campaign by the Mormon Church to pass Proposition 8 in California. The film is their emotional outcry to what they found.
BEYOND THE PINK CURTAIN
Homophobia remains an institutional practice in Eastern Europe, even after the fall of Communism. Other films suggest a Pink Curtain has replaced the Iron Curtain, but is the West in any position to pass judgment? This critically acclaimed, 2009 documentary film explores these issues. “Informative and insightful… fosters a pan-European LGBT consciousness” – Amnesty International
QUEER CHINA, ‘COMRADE’ CHINA
China’s most prolific homosexual filmmaker presents a comprehensive historical account of the queer movement in modern China. This 2008 film documents the changes and developments in Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender culture that have taken place in China over the last 80 years. Unlike any before, this film explores the historical milestones and ongoing advocacy efforts of the Chinese LGBT community. Widely acclaimed by critics, the film was awarded best documentary at Turino’s and Lisbon’s LGBT Film Festivals.
FAMILY AND FAITH
FOR THE BIBLE TELL ME SO
A comprehensive look at homosexuality and its perceived conflict with Christianity, as well as various interpretations of what the Bible says about same-sex relationships.
A JIHAD FOR LOVE
A positive portrayal of coexistence between Islam and homosexuality
(12 Countries including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Turkey, and India)
An engaging encounter with mothers and fathers in Turkey who, not only accept their LGBT children, but have taken the next step of sharing their experience with other families and the public.
PRAYERS FOR BOBBY
Prayers for Bobby is based on the book, Prayers for Bobby: A Mother’s Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son, by Leroy F. Aarons, which is itself based on the true story of the life and legacy of Bobby Griffith, a young gay man who killed himself in 1983 due to his mother’s and community’s homophobia.
TREMBLING BEFORE GOD
A revealing look at gay and lesbian Orthodox and Hasidic Jews who struggle to reconcile their sexual identities with their devout faith.
A powerful and provocative documentary which can serve as important advocacy tool for teachers and educators seeking to tackle bullying.
A documentary film which chronicles one student’s ordeal at the hands of anti-gay bullies and offers an inspiring message of hope to those fighting harassment today.
An emotional portrait of the journey of two young men in a loving and committed relationship, and of how people living without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized.
FAMILIAS POR IGUAL (FAMILIES LIKE YOURS)
A touching documentary which demystifies ideas about children being raised by LGBTI families.
SHE’S A BOY I KNEW
Gwen Haworth documents her male-to-female gender transition through the voices of her parents, sisters, best friend and wife. The film explores the relationships of a family who unexpectedly find their bonds strengthening as they overcome their preconceptions of gender and sexuality.
MORIR DE PIE (DIE STANDING UP)
This is the inspiring story of Irina Layewska, a tireless fighter in the war for personal freedoms, who continues to work for progressive causes from her wheelchair despite a severe disability. But it’s also the love story of Irina and her partner Nelida, whom she married as a man. Irina was born into a male body; she grew up idolizing Che Guevara and spent much of her young life fighting in the Cuban solidarity movement. They bravely open a window on their most personal moments, as they live to the fullest a life that neither of them could have ever imagined. Winner: Best Mexican Documentary, Guadalajara Film Festival, 2011.
A closer look at the heartbreaking circumstances which led to the shooting of eighth-grade transgender student by her classmates, and its aftermath.
A critically-acclaimed, award-winning drama about 10-year-old Laure (Zoe Heran) who passes as a boy over summer vacation.
A SELF-MADE MAN
A feature-length documentary which takes a candid look at what it means to be transgender, told via an intimate portrait of trans youth advocate, Tony Ferraiolo.
BIG JOY: THE ADVENTURES OF JAMES BROUGHTON
An inspirational encounter with one of the most poetic and pioneering queer activists in film and poetry, James Broughton, whose work inspired early gay liberation activists in the US – from grassroots to established artists, philosophers and educators of the time.
LGBTI REFUGEES, MIGRANTS AND ASYLUM SEEKERS
THE INVISIBLE MEN
The untold story of persecuted LGBTI Palestinians, who have run away from their families and are now hiding illegally in Tel Aviv.
(Palestine and Israel)
HIV/AIDS AND HEALTH
HOW TO SURVIVE A PLAGE
A blisteringly powerful documentary of activists’ battle to transform HIV/AIDS from a death sentence, into a manageable condition, during the first decade of the epidemic in the US.
WE WERE HERE
A riveting documentary which intertwines the assassination of San Fransisco’s dynamic gay politician Harvey Milk, and the destruction HIV/AIDS brought to the city, at this pivotal time in the fight for gay liberation in the US.