PROVINCETOWN FILM SOCIETY’S COMING OUT 2020: A CELEBRATION OF TRANS FILMMAKERS
JOIN US for two special days celebrating and highlighting the work of change makers in the trans acting and performance community. Over the course of two days, we will celebrate and highlight the voices that are changing the cultural narrative and transforming the way Americans recognize diversity in all of its forms.
ON JANUARY 9TH, join Ann Thomas (Transgender Talent, LLC), Zach Barack (Spiderman), Silas Howard (Pose, Transparent), Zoey Luna (The Craft, Pose), with Emcee Honey Mahogany and other luminaries for a fun dance-filled celebration of trans filmmakers who are changing the popular cultural narrative and redefining what it means to express our authentic selves.
Scholarships available for artists demonstrating need.
ON JANUARY 10TH, our community day features panel discussions and workshops with producers, writers, artists and industry representatives who will speak about the representation of trans and non-binary roles in U.S. Entertainment media and provide practical advice for actors, writers, producers, directors and content providers.
You are invited to participate in a special community forum titled CHANGING THE CULTURAL NARRATIVE: TRANS STORIES IN U.S. ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA on Friday, January 10th from 10 – 5 pm at Saint Joseph’s Art Society, 1401 Howard St. in San Francisco. This free forum that is open to the public is hosted by Ken Fulk and Saint Joseph’s Arts Society and The Provincetown Film Society and The Representation Project, co-presenters of the fourth annual Women’s Media Summit for Gender Equity in U.S. Entertainment Media to be held this spring in Los Angeles.
With the recent successes of Ryan Murphy’s and Silas Howard’s emmy-winning series POSE, Jill Soloway’s ground-breaking TV series TRANSPARENT, Sean Baker’s award winning TANGERINE, and Jenji Kohan’s celebrated ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, the story of trans people is making its way into the popular mainstream.
This forum is designed to bring together the artists and thought leaders who are helping to make this ground-breaking cultural shift happen and those who are interested in pursuing careers in the field.
Together, we’ll explore the social, political, and economic factors that support these diverse stories and identify the challenges that trans and non-gender conforming artists must overcome in order to maintain viable careers.
PROGRAM SCHEDULE FOR FRIDAY, JAN 10
9:30 am Registration. Panelists Check In.
10:00 am Welcome – Saint Joseph’s Society
10:05 am Introduction. Review of the program (Christine Walker)
10:15 – 11 am The Art and Enterprise of Creative Producing; Trans, Non-binary And Gender Non-Conforming producers share their voices and stories. Moderated by Marc Smolowitz with Alex Austin, Stefano Gonalez, StormMiguel Florez, and André Perez.
11:00 – 12:00 pm A Conversation with Russell Boast (President of the Casting Society of America) and Ann Thomas (Principal, Transgender Talent, LLC)
12:00 pm Performance by Trans Chorus of LA Ensemble
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm Lunch Break
1:15 – 2:15 pm Navigating the Casting Process: With Zach Barack, Zoey Luna, Kendra Nicole Neuberger, Delia Danae Rawdon, Sophie White.
Moderated by Russell Boast.
2:15 – 3 pm The Changing Landscape of LGBTQ Content: The economic case for gender non-conforming content in mainstream media. Moderated by Kiana Moore. With Kerry Barden, Marcus Hu, Marc Smolowitz, Ann Thomas, and Tina Vaz.
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Artivism: Activist and/or Artist? Does the moment require that these roles are interchangeable? All panelists. Moderated by Christine Walker.
4:00 – 4:30 pm Wrap Up with Honey Mahogany and Christine Walker. Open Forum
Panelists and Special Guests
Panelists scheduled to appear:
- Alex Austin, entertainment attorney and founder of the Austin Law Group
- Zach Barack, actor, Spider-Man: Far From Home and the Transparent Musical Finale
- Kerry Barden, Casting Director, Spotlight, Dallas Buyers Club
- Russell Boast, president of the Casting Society of America
- Tina D’Elia, artist, actor, casting director, screenwriter and acting teacher
- Delia Danae Rawdon, Transgender actress, writer and performance artist
- StormMiguel Florez, Xicanx trans filmmaker and co-producer of MAJOR!
- Stefano Gonzalez, producer, Transfinite
- Marcus Hu, Principal, Strand Releasing
- Zoey Luna, actress, 15: A Quinceañera Story, The T Word, Pose and the upcoming reboot of The Craft
- Honey Mahogany, activist, drag queen and co-founder of The Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, the first legally recognized transgender district in the world
- Kiana Moore, VP, Head of Epic Digital at Vox Media, Inc and Frameline board member
- Kendra Neuberger, Transgender Talent, LLC.
- André Perez, latinx educator, filmmaker, and community organizer
- Marc Smolowitz, producer & founder of 13th Gen Company
- Ann Thomas, principal and founder of Transgender Talent, LLC
- Tina Vaz, Head of the Artist in Residence and Analog Research Lab at Facebook
- Sophie White, cinematographer and actor recently featured on Chicago Med
Ken Fulk, our event host, is a designer of experiences large and small. He is renowned for his layered interiors, high-concept brand identities and unforgettable parties. The Virginia-born designer has spent the last 25 years developing a business by elevating the daily lives of his clients, not only designing their homes, jets, restaurants and hotels but also creative directing birthdays, weddings, dinners, anniversaries and family getaways. Leading a team of 75 architects, designers, branding and event specialists in both San Francisco and New York, Fulk has gained notoriety around the globe as a stylemaker. Named to Architectural Digest’s AD 100, Elle Decor’s A-List, Fulk’s latest endeavor is the restoration of National Historic Landmark, Saint Joseph’s Arts Society & Foundation, a community and a non-profit arts incubator in San Francisco dedicated to supporting artists and bringing art to the forefront of our daily lives.
Alex Austin, the founder of the Austin Law Group, is an entertainment attorney who’s been protecting queers, creatives, and outliers for over two decades. The firm’s focus is on social justice and the arts. Alex also co-founded the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival in 1997 and is the Executive Producer of the Academy Award-nominated short documentary LAST DAY OF FREEDOM (2015) directed by Dee Hibbert-Jones & Nomi Talisman. Alex is a zealous advocate for their clients and communities. Alex’s record of success has earned them international recognition as a highly-skilled attorney, negotiator, and mediator, in both transactional and litigation settings. Alex is a lawyer who is keenly focused on delivering results and developing innovative strategies to resolve legal issues. Alex’s clients get the benefit of their keen sense of humor, and their commitment to kindness, integrity, and service. More than one client has lovingly dubbed Alex their “Compassionate Pitbull.”
Zach Barack is a transgender actor, singer, and comedian from the northern suburbs of Chicago who is featured in film and television including Spiderman: Far from Home and the Transparent Musicale Finale. He is from the northern suburbs of Chicago originally. He began working as a professional actor while studying Music Industry at the University of Southern California. He actively does stand-up, music, and public speaking in addition to acting in TV and film. His TedX Talk is available on Youtube.
From Boy’s Don’t Cry to Spotlight and Sex and the City to 13 Reasons Why, Kerry Barden’s career in casting spans three decades. He majored in theatre at the University of Georgia and has offices in both NYC and Los Angeles. Some of the many films he has worked on include most of the Miramax library, four films with John Waters, Dallas Buyer’s Club, August Osage County, The Help, two versions of Stonewall, To Wong Foo…, the Pitch Perfect films, Prisoners and Still Alice. He is currently working with Mary Harron, Tom McCarthy, Tate Taylor, Lasse Hallstrom, Liza Johnson and Ry Russo Young. Other television projects include Jessica Jones and GirlBoss for Netflix, Hand of God and Good Girls Revolt for Amazon. He is also producing a new version of Pal Joey which is in the workshop phase with a new script by Richard LaGravenese and directed by Tony Goldwyn. He is a member of The Academy of Motion Pictures, the Television Academy, BAFTA and CSA.
Russell Boast, CSA. Born and raised in South Africa, Russell is an independent Film and Television Casting Director living and working in Los Angeles, CA. He currently the President of the Casting Society of America (CSA), heading up the organization’s Inclusion and Diversity and Training and Education Committees. He spearheaded, implemented and oversaw three international open calls for Transgender Performers, Performers with Disabilities and MENASA (Middle Eastern, North African & South Asian) Performers, facilitating the access of close on 3500 actors from these previously “un” and “underrepresented” groups to more than 80 CSA casting director members across the globe. Russell and his committee were awarded the SAG-AFTRA Disability Awareness Award at the Media Access Awards in 2018 for their significant contribution in raising the visibility and awareness of disabilities issues in the broadcast, sound recording, and entertainment industries. He also created and oversees a first-of-its kind training program for diverse candidates interested in pursuing a career in casting which launched in Los Angeles in 2018, NYC in 2019 and is set to launch in the UK in 2020.
StormMiguel Florez is a Xicanx trans filmmaker from San Francisco via Albuquerque, New Mexico. He spent the majority of his artistic life as a music recording artist until 2012 when he discovered his love for filmmaking while producing a music video for his song, “I’ve Been To Manhattan” through the QWOCMAP media training program. From there he went on to co-produce and edit the award-winning documentary, MAJOR! about his friend, Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a prominent Black trans elder and activist. He recently completed his feature directorial debut, THE WHISTLE, about lesbian youth culture in Albuquerque in the 70s and 80s, which premiered at the historic KiMo Theatre in Albuquerque in September 2019 and had its sold-out West Coast premiere at the San Francisco Transgender Film Festival in November. StormMiguel is in early-stage production on his next documentary about acclaimed trans choreographer, Sean Dorsey. StormMiguel is a recipient of two San Francisco Arts Commission Independent Artist Commission grants and filmmaking grants from Horizons Foundation and National Association of Latino Arts and Culture-NALAC.
Stefano Gonzalez is a trans Latinx producer originally from New York. His short script, “How To Kill Someone You Hate,” won Best Short Film and Best Directing awards at the 2014 Epidemic Film Festival. “Do They Fit?,” a co-produced short film, was an official selection of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. In 2017, Stefano founded Transgress Studios LLC, a film and video production company designed to transcend repetitive narratives and uncover stories untold. That same year, his company produced its first feature film, “Transfinite,” a sci-fi omnibus film composed of seven standalone short stories where supernatural trans and queer people of color use their powers to protect, love, teach, fight and thrive. TRANSFINITE has been an official selection over 19 film festivals and counting.
Our Thursday Night Honoree, Silas Howard, is an award winning director and writer focused on telling honest, narratives filled with groundbreaking characters. His credits include executive producing and directing on FX’s Emmy nominated series Pose, directing Sundance premiere and IFC Films internationally distributed film A Kid Like Jake. His television credits include directing on multiple season of Emmy award-winning Transparent, The Fosters, Faking It, This Is Us, High Maintenance, and Tales of the City, Dickinson and half the season of the new Josh Thomas show, Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, out January 2020. Other fun facts; he was a founding member of the seminal queer punk band Tribe 8, co-founder of SF legendary cafe and performance space Red Dora’s Bearded Lady and a Guggenheim fellow in 2015.
Marcus Hu is Co-President and Co-founder of Strand Releasing which has distributed the works of such international filmmakers as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Gregg Araki, Catherine Breillat, Lucrecia Martel, and many others. Strand Releasing celebrates it 30th Anniversary with a national tour of original films created by filmmakers and friends shot on iPhones and shown at museums around the country.
Strand has distributed LGBTQ cinema with such groundbreaking films as STONEWALL, PARTY MONSTER, PRINCESSA, EDGE OF SEVENTEEN, THE LIVING END, SHOW ME LOVE, STRANGER BY THE LAKE. Hu also served as a producer on Araki’s THE LIVING END and executive producer on BILLY’S HOLLYWOOD SCREEN KISS.
Strand Releasing is based in Culver City, Hu serves as Chair of International Inclusion for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and is a member of BAFTA.
Zoey Luna is an 18 year-old actress from California. She started acting since she was 16 when she was cast in a short film Directed by Rosario Dawson that aired on YouTube “Boundless”. Zoey in her younger years was the subject of many documentaries (“15: A Quinceañera Story”, “The T Word”, and more) due to her outspoken voice and radical ways of accepting humans for they are even if they identify as LGBTQ. Zoey knew she was here to change the world the day she came out of the womb. Luckily she knew the day she turned 18 she’d be acting, funny enough she was cast in the season two finale of “Pose” on FX as Lacey the pier girl, shooting the scene on her 18th birthday. A little while after Zoey was cast in the reboot of “The Craft.”
Activist, politico, and drag queen rolled up into one, Honey Mahogany is a sought after performer and emcee in her native San Francisco and across the Globe. Originally gaining national attention on RuPaul’s Drag Race, Honey’s more recent endeavors take her back to her roots as a humanitarian, social worker, and advocate. Her work has earned her commendations from San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors; Sainthood from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence; and awards from the Harvey Milk LGBTQ Democratic Club, San Francisco Young Democrats, San Francisco Women’s Political Committee, and the Women’s Foundation of California. In 2019, Mx. Mahogany was featured in the Stonewall 50, Queerty’s list of advocates continuing the legacy of Stonewall and the fight for equality, as well as Out Magazine’s Out100. Honey is co-founder of the Compton’s Transgender Cultural District, the world’s first transgender cultural district located in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood; currently sits on the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee; is a co-owner of the Stud Bar, San Francisco’s oldest LGBT establishment and the nation’s first cooperatively owned LGBT nightlife venue; and also works as a legislative aide in the District 6 Office of San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney.
André is a latinx educator, filmmaker, and community organizer whose practice centers collaboration, storytelling, and public conversation. He founded the Transgender Oral History Project in 2007 and co-founded a home for LGBTQ youth in 2012. Andre recorded 600 interviews with StoryCorps, including 50 broadcasted segments. In 2016, he appeared on NewCity’s 50 Influential Filmmakers in Chicago and helped build the Trans Lifeline from a budget of 80K to 500K in under a year. In 2019, he debuted America in Transition (AIT), a Sundance-backed documentary series exploring family, community, and social justice. AIT partnered with colleges, community organizations, and churches to host 60+ screenings, workshops, and keynotes led by trans people of color. He’s now working on freelance projects while Producing, A Run for More, a feature-length film following Frankie Gonzalez as she confronts self-doubt, fear of violence and past traumas, her fight to become the first openly-transgender elected official in Texas.
Kiana Moore is the leader of Epic Digital and responsible for the oversight and strategic planning of Epic’s rapidly growing and highly profitable brand studio. With over a decade of experience in unscripted programming—having produced everything from Undercover stings with Langley Productions, to Music Moguls on BET or the feature film Happy on the Ground— she has made a name for herself in the industry. In 2016 she joined Epic to oversee operations, legal, finance and strategic growth. Currently, she is the Head of Epic Digital and leads everything from a feature documentary for IBM (The Debater) to a photo essay turned Apple TV Show (Little America) to Strava’s hit podcast Athletes Unfiltered to Google’s Beyond the Map, 360-degree immersive experience in and around Rio. In her time at Epic she has traveled to over 50 countries and has led her division to four straight years of record profit and revenue. Kiana understands the importance and value of representation in all form of Media which is why, in 2018, she joined the Frameline Board of Directors, working to push their message of inclusivity and diversity. The New York City native loves her adopted home of California and board games in equal measure.
Kendra Neuberger is a transgender activist, actress, talent manager, casting director and producer. She joined Transgender Talent in 2016 as an assistant managing talent and creating productions for transgender opportunities. In 2017, she was involved in an independent film, “Death and Bowling in LA” to be released in the near future, as an actress, G&E, general PA, art dept, craft services, casting background and fundraising. In 2018 she was among 12 selected for the Casting Society of America’s first beta casting training & education classes. The class were asked to be the Mr/Ms Artios statue handlers on stage at the CSA 2019 Artios Awards.
Delia Danae Rawdon is an out and visible Transgender Actress, Writer, and Performance Artist living in Los Angeles with her wife and three children. Her writing can be seen in several prominent LGBT Publications including The WEHO Times, The Advocate, and The Bay Area Reporter. Delia has a Bachelors Degree in Health Services Administration and is the curator of Juggle for Wellness a team building empowerment workshop that aims to teach the Basics of Three Ball Juggling. She is an accomplished Performance Artist and has a unique Buugeng Variety Act called “No More Disguise” that has memorized and captivated audiences all over the nation. Delia is also a Public Speaker and has recently done a TEDx Talk entitled; “Redefining Gender and Breaking Free from Gender Norms”. Delia is also an accomplished DJ, and has performed in live Musicals. She can be seen in TV Shows including the LGBT episode of Drunk History, Movies including Transparent the Musicale Finale, Shorts like Someone You Know, and Music Videos like Sara Bareilles Armor. Delia is a lifelong advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and strives to break through the social constructs and barriers that society has put upon us.
Marc Smolowitz is a multi-award-winning director, producer and executive producer who has been significantly involved in 50+ successful independent films wearing many hats across the film and entertainment business. In 2009, Marc founded 13th Gen, a San Francisco-based film company that works with a dynamic range of independent film partners globally to oversee the financing, production, post-production, marketing, sales, and distribution efforts of a vibrant portfolio of films and filmmakers.
Ann Thomas is a second generation transgender activist, actress, talent manager, and producer. In early 2015, she started Transgender Talent, a talent management company for transgender actors. In mid 2015, Ann became a founding member of the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, and sings bass. In 2017, she began working towards producing her own properties, as there are so few opportunities for trans people.
Tina Vaz is a strategist and executive with a dynamic background in art and culture, architecture and design, and public and social media. As Head of Facebook’s Artist in Residence and Analog Research Lab programs, Vaz oversees a global commissioning, design, production and programming initiative that serves Facebook staff worldwide and has engaged more than 600 visual artists over eight years. Vaz previously led communications, marketing and brand strategy for the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation in New York City and worked as a writer, editor, and communications consultant at the PBS flagship station WGBH in Boston and as communications director for the architectural firm Tsoi/Kobus & Associates.
Sophie Marie White, married with three kids, is a native of South Louisiana. She draws from her varied experiences as a writer, filmmaker, producer, Director of Photography, Chiropractor, EMT, firefighter, race car driver, and boxing promoter to inspire her acting and writing. She has been active in the film industry for the past 18 plus years. Sophie began acting a little over a year ago. Since then she has been cast in several feature films, including Hummingbird and We All Think We Are Special. Sophie was also cast in several TV series including Tell Me Your Secrets and top of show, guest-starring role, on Chicago Med. In her first year and a half of acting, she has been cast in 3 television series, 14 movies, and 1 play. She is also a syndicated writer, who writes on transgender issues in and outside the film industry. Her screenplays have won the ISA New Orleans Writers Award 2017 and have placed at Table Read My Screenplay (New Orleans, London, and Sundance), Final Draft Fellowship, ISA Fast-track Fellowship, and New York International Fright Fest. Films she has produced from her screenplays have won or placed at numerous film festivals including AMFM, London Independent Awards, Imagination Lunchbox, and New Zealand Film Awards, just to name a few. She has even watched one of her produced films in the White House. Sophie is a transgender female, and with her family, she’s making her way through the complicated transition process. She brings a unique voice that is extremely under-represented in the film and television industry. Her desire to share her journey will hopefully show others that there is hope, and they are not alone. Sophie tries to live up to her motto of love, light, and
Dr. Raymond Buscemi
Rob Epstein & Gary Lutes
Jason & Jeffrey Friedman
Dr. Caroline Heldman
About Saint Joseph’s Arts Society
Based out of a National Historic Landmark in San Francisco, the 1913 Saint Joseph’s church was reimagined by Ken Fulk as a destination, a forum and a source of inspiration for subscribers, artists and the public. Saint Joseph’s Arts Society offers experiences designed to inspire the soul and enhance the beauty of our lives, while supporting the creativity of working artists around the globe.
About the Foundation at Saint Joseph’s Arts Society
The non-profit Foundation at Saint Joseph’s Arts Society has established itself as a unique cultural organization dedicated to bringing artists and audiences together for intimate, immersive experiences designed to support the creation, presentation and promotion of compelling art of all media and disciplines.