6 Filmmakers who #takePRIDE

This month we joined our friends at Pivot TV  in celebrating films, programs and young creatives who #takePRIDE in the diversity of the LGBTQ community. We asked Bay Area media professional Rubin Rodriguez to share his selection of five up-and-coming LGBTQ filmmakers to follow in 2014. His list includes Bay Area filmmaker Aja Pop, featured in the image above. Read on to find out which comedian from down under earned our staff pick and to learn more about our Pivot partnership. 1. Aja Pop studied film at the Academy of Art University and is a working professional filmmaker from San Francisco, CA. She is a trans woman of color with cinematography skills that showcase a high production pop-music aesthetic that captivates audiences.

She is definitely a creative force to be reckoned with and the filmmaker you want to shoot your next music video.

Aja’s latest music video of performance artist, Saturn.

2. Adelina Anthony is a Los Angeles native and talented Xicana lesbian multi-genre artist, cultural activist, director and producer.  She is currently in development/pre-production for her first feature film, Bruising for Besos.

I first discovered Adelina through her self directed solo stage play, Mastering Sex and Tortillas and was impressed with her comedic timing and performance prowess in addressing the experiences of being queer and xicana.


 3. Dees Rees is a talented queer woman of color who studied film at NYU under the mentorship of Spike Lee. She is the screenwriter and director of the 2011 Sundance Award-winning film, Pariah. The film is a story about an African American teenager as she comes to terms with her sexuality in a conservative family in New York City.

I had the opportunity to see the short film version of this film at Outfest and was left with wanting to see more of this riveting coming out story and was pleased to see the feature length release come into fruition. This movie is definitely a must see!

Official trailer for Pariah

4. Ofelia Yanez is originally from Mexico City, but was raised in Dallas and is now pursuing her independent film career in Los Angeles. She recently collaborated on the Canana Films production, Cesar Chavez, and made her debut as writer and director of The Good Kind.

I came across Ofelia’s work through The Good Kind, which is about two young queer latinas that find solace in a local gay bar in their repressed town.

The trailer for The Good Kind

5. Samira Norouz Nasseri is a queer persian video artist and filmmaker based in Boston. Her work explores themes of identity formation within the nuclear family structure. She studied film at Art University of Tehran and was a fellow in The MFA Media Arts program at Emerson College.

I wanted to highlight an international filmmaker that has a unique story telling perspective to share and one that often does not get seen in the mainstream media.

Samira discusses her creative influences and her most recent project, A Day with My Father 

 And our staff pick is... Josh Thomas!

Have you ever wanted to peek behind the curtain of what it’s like to write, direct, and star in your own television show? As an organization that supports young filmmakers looking to build meaningful careers in media, we selected Australian comedian Josh Thomas as an LGBTQ filmmaker to watch in 2014. Josh is the creator and star of the show inspired by his own coming out experience, Please Like Me, which returns to Pivot TV on August 8th. For a full list of Pivot TV’s #takePRIDE programming (including when to catch the next Please Like Me Marathon), visit TakePart.com/TakePride.

We are also featuring Rubin’s list of web series that #takePRIDE in the LGBTQ community. Have your own favorites not listed here? Use the hashtag #takePRIDE and tweet @SOW to share your views on creative leaders to watch!


#takePRIDE |For Pride Month we’ve partnered with our friends at Pivot TV to celebrate films, programs and young creatives who #takePRIDE in the diversity of the LGBTQ community. Three SOW films are being featured on Pivot TV, airing alongside shows that explore millennial LGBTQ experiences like Please Like Me and The Better Half. Pivot TV is airing #takePRIDE content throughout the month and you can find the daily schedule here.

Rubin Rodriguez | A Bay Area media professional and friend of the SOW network, we invited Rubin to help moderate our #takePRIDE campaign as a guest curator. Rubin studied Cinema & Communication at USC where he was involved in social advocacy around transgender representation in media. He worked for the film festival Outfest from 2006 - 2009, where he helped coordinate a screenwriting lab and was in charge of the transgender programming of the festival. He also served as the board president for the nonprofit Gender Justice LA, which helps empower transgender people.

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