Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen
Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen is a 2020 American documentary film directed and produced by Sam Feder. The film follows an in-depth look at Hollywood's depiction of transgender people and the impact of their stories on transgender lives and American culture. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2020. It was released on Netflix on June 19, 2020.
|Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen|
|Directed by||Sam Feder|
|Music by||Francesco Le Metre|
|Cinematography||Ava Benjamin Shorr|
|Edited by||Stacy Goldate|
The film follows an in-depth look at Hollywood's depiction of transgender people and the impact of their stories on transgender lives and American culture. It features many famous transgender people in the film industry such as, Laverne Cox, Susan Stryker, Alexandra Billings, Jamie Clayton, Chaz Bono, Alexandra Grey, Yance Ford, Trace Lysette, Jazzmun, Mj Rodriguez, Angelica Ross, Jen Richards, Elliot Fletcher, Brian Michael Smith, Sandra Caldwell, Candis Cayne, Jessica Crockett, Zackary Drucker, Lilly Wachowski, Ser Anzoategui, Michael D. Cohen, Zeke Smith, and Leo Sheng. It takes the audience through a history lesson using films and television shows to show how damaging and inaccurate the depiction and ideas of transgender people were displayed throughout, mostly, American cinema. Some of these examples used include Ace Ventura, Bosom Buddies, Tootsie, Victor Victoria, To Kill a Mockingbird, and much more. Disclosure provides a direct conversation between transgender people and Hollywood by showcasing both sides of the conversation with direct examples in film history.
This section may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience. (May 2021)
- Laverne Cox is an American, Emmy nominated actress, producer, and LGBTQ+ activist. Her major breakout role was as Sophia Burset on Orange Is the New Black. She was the first openly transgender person to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. She was the first African-American transgender person to produce and star in her own TV show, TRANSform Me, which was nominated for a GLAAD Media Award. She has been in numerous films and television shows since, such as, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Faking It (2014 TV series), Dear White People (TV series), Charlie's Angels (2019 film), Bad Hair (2020 film), and many more.
- Mj Rodriguez is an American actress and singer. She is best known for her role as, Blanca Evangelista, in the television show, Pose (TV series), which highlights the ballroom culture in the 1980's in New York. MJ even won a 'Best Actress' Imagen Award in 2019 for her performance in Pose. She has also starred in Off-Broadway productions such as, Rent, Runaways, and Street Children.
- Angelica Ross is an American actress and activist best known for her starring roles as Candy Ferocity in Pose and as Donna Chambers in American Horror Story: 1984. In 2014 she started her company, TransTech Social Enterprises, which helps trans people find jobs within the tech industry. She has won several awards for her work as an LGBTQ+ advocate such as, a Human Rights Campaign visibility award, GLAAD Media Awards, and a Financial Times Top 10 LGBT+ Executives award.
- Susan Stryker is an American professor, as well as an award-winning filmmaker and theorist whose work focuses on gender and human sexuality studies. As a professor at the University of Arizona, she founded the Transgender Student Initiative and was the former director of the Institute for LGBT Studies. She has written several books such as, Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area (Chronicle Books 1996), Queer Pulp: Perverted Passions from the Golden Age of the Paperback (Chronicle Books 2001), she co-edited The Transgender Studies Reader (Routledge 2006), and wrote Transgender History (Seal Press 2008). She has won several awards for her books and films such as, a Lambda Literary Award and a San Francisco/Northern California Emmy Award.
- Alexandra Billings is an American actress and singer known for being the second openly transgender woman to have played a transgender character on television; the 2005 film, Romy and Michele: In the Beginning. She has played other transgender roles in ER, Eli Stone, How to Get Away with Murder, Grey's Anatomy and The Conners.She is also an activist for LGBTQ+ lives and has been awarded the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award in 2016. She even won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series for her TV show, Transparent, in 2017.
- Jamie Clayton is an American actress from San Diego, California, best known for her breakout roles as Kyla on the HBO series, Hung and as Nomi Marks in Sense8. Though she is known for her acting, she actually got her start as a makeup artist on Laverne Cox's show, TRANSform Me. Since the beginning of her career she has been an advocating and spreading awareness about transgender lives and was even named in Out magazine, for their annual "Out 100" awards.
- Chaz Bono is a writer, actor, and musician from Los Angeles, California. As a child he appeared in, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, before identifying as a male. First being outed as a lesbian, Bono wrote two books detailing his coming out, Family Outing: A Guide to the Coming Out Process for Gays, Lesbians, and Their Families (1998) and The End of Innocence (2003). In the years 2008-2010 Bono had undergone a physical female-to-male transition, which was detailed in his documentary film, Becoming Chaz, that debuted at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Since, Chaz has featured in many films and television shows including, 3 From Hell, RuPaul's Drag Race, American Horror Story: Roanoke, AHS: Cult, and many more.
- Alexandra Grey is an actress and musician whose breakout role was in 2016 as Elizah Parks in Transparent. She is also known for her role as Melody Barnes on the series, Empire and Denise Lockwood on Chicago Med. She also guest starred on many shows such as, Code Black, How to Get Away with Murder, Drunk History, The Alienist and more. Her various roles have given many accolades such as, a GLAAD Media Award for Best Comedy Series, seven Primetime Emmy Nominations, GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Individual TV Episode, and recently, a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series in 2020.
- Yance Ford is an American producer and director who worked for PBS for 10 years. He directed and produced the documentary feature, Strong Island, which earned him a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. He was even the first openly transgender man to be nominated for an Academy Award and the first black openly transgender person to win an Emmy award. He has received many more awards for his work including, an Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, a Creative Arts Emmy, a Creative Capital Award, a Sundance Documentary Film Program Fellowship and even more.
- Trace Lysette is an actress and artist who found herself in the New York ball culture scene while trying to start her career. She got her start on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2013, as a non-trans character. She publicly came out as transgender through her character, Shea, in Transparent. Recently, she starred in the box office hit, Hustlers, with Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo, Keke Palmer, Cardi B, and more. In 2020 she was named as one of the fifty heroes "leading the nation toward equality", by Queerty magazine.
- Jazzmun is an actress and performer in Los Angeles, California. The jumpstart to her career occurred when she appeared on the variety show, Puttin' on the Hits in 1984, where she dressed in half male drag and half in female drag, and lip synched to a song. She starred in music videos like Gloria Estefan's "Everlasting Love", and RuPaul's "A Little Bit of Love". She has been featured in numerous films and television shows throughout her career such as, Dreamgirls, Roseanne, Gilmore Girls, When We Rise, and much more.
- Jen Richards is a writer, actress, and producer, who graduated from Shimer College with a BA in Philosophy. She co-starred, co-directed, co-wrote and co-produced the web series Her Story, which earned her an Emmy Awardnomination for Outstanding Short Form Comedy or Drama Series. She appeared in Caitlyn Jenner's reality show, I Am Cait, as a supportive friend to Caitlyn. She then went on to join the show, Nashville, in 2017, and became the first openly transgender person to appear on CMT.
- Elliot Fletcher is an actor from Los Angeles, California, who got his start in 2016 on the TV show, Faking It, as Noah. He then joined the series, The Fosters, in his guest-starring role as Aaron and in Shameless, as Trevor, a trans male character. He was also one of the transgender actor and actresses who filmed a letter to Hollywood, asking for more roles for transgender people.
- Brian Michael Smith is an American actor who is known for breaking barriers in Hollywood for trans actors. He was the first out black trans man as a series regular in a show, as Paul Strickland in 9-1-1: Lone Star. He had various other roles in movies and TV shows such as, Ava DuVernay's Queen Sugar, The L Word: Generation Q, Chicago P.D., Girls, Homeland and more. He was named as one of the fifty heroes "leading the nation toward equality" by Queerty in 2020.
- Sandra Caldwell is an actress known for her numerous roles in film and television, such as, The Cheetah Girls, Little Men, Murder At 1600, Serendipity, and much more. Though she's had much success as an actress for years, she didn't come out publicly as a trans woman until about 2016. Through her role as a transgender woman, Mama Darleena in the off Broadway play, Charm, she was able to come out.
- Candis Cayne is an American actress and performer who became known for playing Carmelita, a transgender woman, on ABC's Dirty Sexy Money. She was the first transgender actress to play a recurring trans character in a primetime television show. She got her start in the 90's in New York as a drag queen and choreographer. She was featured in many documentaries and films that featured that New York underground scene, such as, Wigstock: The Movie, Stonewall, and To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar and more. She also appeared in music videos, such as, RuPaul's "A Little Bit of Love", TLC's "No Scrubs", and "Milkshake" by Kelis.
- Jessica Crockett is an actress known for her role in the 2000 television show, Dark Angel, as Louise. She was the first trans women to play an openly transgender woman character on American television.
- Zackary Drucker is an actress, producer and LGBT+ activist. In 2013, Zackary begun working as a consultant and producer on Amazon's original series Transparent. In 2014 Drucker, along with Rhys Ernst opened an exhibition called, "Relationship", at the Whitney Biennial. It was a series of photos that displayed process and evolution of the couple's relationship and gender transitions. In 2016, "Relationship" was released as a book. More recently, Drucker has directed and executive produced The Lady and the Dale, a HBO documentary series following Elizabeth Carmichael and the creation of the "The Dale" car.
- Lilly Wachowski is an American director, writer, and producer, who co creates with her sister who is also trans, Lana Wachowski. They made their directing debut in 1996 with Bound, and achieved fame with their second film The Matrix (1999). They won the Saturn Award for Best Director for The Matrix and went on to direct its two sequels. They also wrote and produced V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas, Jupiter Ascending and Sense8.Lilly went on to co-write and co-showrun her own television series, Work in Progress, for Showtime.
- Ser Anzoategui is an American actor, writer, and producer known for portraying Eddy on the Starz drama Vida and Daysi Cantu on East Los High. They identify as non-binary and have been very outspoken about how far behind Hollywood is when it comes to non-binary characters and actors. They were nominated for “Best Supporting Actor” for their Vida performance at the 2019 Imagen Awards.
- Michael D. Cohen is an actor known for his roles as Schwoz Schwartz in Henry Danger and The Adventures of Kid Danger and Danger Force. He has appeared on many more shows including, Modern Family, The Real O'Neals, 2 Broke Girls, The Mindy Project, Backstrom, Eagleheart, Austin & Ally, and even more. He was nominated for an ACTRA Award for Outstanding Lead Performance for his role in It Was You Charlie.
- Zeke Smith is an actor and director known for his work on the short films, Dinner For Two and Sponsor a Gay BFF in Need Today. He also directed and acted in the television series, Sitters and Dealing, both in 2014.
- Leo Sheng is a writer, director and actor from Hunan, China, whose work focuses on shining light on the trans and non-binary experience. In college, he wrote and directed two student films, one being Adam, in 2018, that were shown in the Michigan Theater. Since, he has been starring in the television series, The L Word: Generation Q, as Micah Lee.
Disclosure received positive reviews from film critics. As of July 2020[update], it holds a 98% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 47 reviews. It also has a weighted average of 7.99/10. The site's critics consensus reads: "Disclosure engrossingly illuminates the history and effects of the way transgender lives are portrayed on screen – and outlines how much progress still needs to be made."
Awards and Nominations
|2019||Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival||Frameline Completion Fund||Sam Feder||Won|
|2020||Indiana Film Journalists Association, US||Best Documentary||Disclosure||Nominated|
|2020||International Online Cinema Awards||Best Documentary||Sam Feder||Nominated|
|2021||GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics of 2021 Dorian Awards||Documentary of the Year, LGBT Documentary of the Year||Disclosure||Won|
|2021||International Documentary Association||Best Editing||Stacy Goldate||Nominated|
|2021||GLAAD Media Award||Outstanding Documentary||Disclosure||Won|
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- "Sandra Caldwell". IMDb. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
- "'The Cheetah Girls's Sandra Caldwell Opens up in 'Disclosure'". Distractify. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
- "Jessica Crockett". IMDb. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
- "Zeke Smith". IMDb. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
- "Leo Sheng". IMDb. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
- "Leo Sheng". Leo Sheng. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
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- Day-Ramos, Dino (May 29, 2020). "Netflix Acquires Sundance Docu 'Disclosure' From Director Sam Feder". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 14, 2020.
- "Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
- Tangcay, Jazz (April 18, 2021). "'Nomadland' and 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Named Top Films at Dorian Awards (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 2021-05-29.
- "Disclosure, Schitt's Creek, Sam Smith, Happiest Season, I May Destroy You, CHIKA, Veneno, Star Trek: Discovery, The Boys in the Band, The Not-Too-Late Show with Elmo among award recipients at the 32nd Annual GLAAD Media Awards". GLAAD. April 8, 2021. Archived from the original on April 9, 2021. Retrieved April 9, 2021.
- Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen - IMDb, retrieved 2021-03-05