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Every month is Pride month at Firelight, but June offers a special opportunity to reflect on the unique experiences of our LGBTQ community told through powerful nonfiction storytelling.

These stories unveil intimate family moments of love and acceptance, painful episodes of intolerance and violence, and powerful examples of resilience and courage.

Together, these films showcase the immense talent of our #DocLab filmmakers and friends, who bring their whole brilliant selves to the stories they tell. We encourage you to watch these films, share them with family and friends, and support the filmmakers behind them.

Memories of A Penitent Heart

This film was directed by Doc Lab fellow, Cecilia Aldarondo

MEMORIES OF A PENITENT HEART is a documentary that cracks open a Pandora’s box of unresolved family drama. Originating from filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo’s suspicion that there was something ugly in her family’s past, the film charts her excavation of the buried family conflict around her uncle Miguel’s death, and her search for Miguel’s partner Robert a generation later.

Off and Running

This film was produced by Doc Lab fellow, Sharese Bullock

With white Jewish lesbians for parents and two adopted brothers — one mixed-race and one Korean — Brooklyn teen Avery grew up in a unique and loving household. But when her curiosity about her African-American roots grows, she decides to contact her birth mother. This choice propels Avery into her own complicated exploration of race, identity, and family that threatens to distance her from the parents she’s always known.


This film was directed and produced by Doc Lab fellow, Daresha Kyi

Centered around never before-seen interview footage of Chavela shot 20 years before her death in 2012, and guided by the stories in Chavela’s songs, and the myths and tales others have told about her — as well as those she spread about herself — the film weaves an arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being.

Gavin Grimm vs

This film was executive produced by Firelight Media with Field of Vision and directed by Nadia Hallgren, a Firelight Media mentor supported by Impact fellow Sam Tabet

In 2016, transgender teen Gavin Grimm sued his local school board after its members refused to let him use the bathroom of his choice. He was ready to take his case all the way to the Supreme Court — and then the election happened.

Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four

This film was directed by Firelight Doc Lab fellow, Deborah S. Esquenazi and produced by Impact Producer fellow, Sam Tabet

Four Latina lesbians fight for exoneration after they are wrongfully indicted of gang-raping two little girls during the Satanic panic era of the 80s/90s.

The New Black

This film was directed by Doc Lab fellow, Yoruba Richen

The New Black is a documentary that tells the story of how the African-American community is grappling with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights.

Call Her Ganda

Directed and Produced by Doc Lab fellow, PJ Raval

When Jennifer Laude, a Filipina transwoman, is brutally murdered by a U.S. Marine, three women intimately invested in the case–an activist attorney (Virgie Suarez), a transgender journalist (Meredith Talusan) and Jennifer’s mother (Julita “Nanay” Laude)–galvanize a political uprising, pursuing justice and taking on hardened histories of US imperialism.

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Firelight Media is dedicated to supporting documentary filmmakers of color and cultivating audiences for their work. We’re #changingthestory.

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