Private Project


MAJOR! follows the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a 73-year-old Black transgender woman who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.

  • Annalise Ophelian
    Diagnosing Difference
  • Annalise Ophelian
    Diagnosing Difference
  • StormMiguel Florez
    I've Been to Manhattan
  • Miss Major Griffin Gracy
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    LGBT, transgender, African American, women
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 13, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    131,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Outfest
    Los Angeles
    United States
    July 16, 2016
    Audience and Jury Special Prize, Best Documentary
  • Massimadi AfroCaribbean LGBT
    February 25, 2016
    Public Prize, Best Film
  • Queer Hippo
    United States
    April 1, 2016
    Best Documentary
  • QFest NJ Video + Film
    Asbury Park
    United States
    April 2, 2016
    Jury Award Best Documentary
  • Wicked Queer Boston LGBT Film Festival
    United States
    April 2, 2016
    Jury and Audience Awards, Best Documentary
  • TRANSlations
    United States
    May 12, 2016
    Audience Award, Best Feature Documentary
  • InsideOUT
    June 4, 2016
    Audience Award, Best Documentary
  • Out Here Now
    Kansas City
    June 29, 2016
    Jury Award, Best Documentary
Director Biography - Annalise Ophelian

Annalise Ophelian is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, psychologist, and consultant whose previous work includes Diagnosing Difference (2009).

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Director Statement

Since production began on MAJOR! in 2013, there has been a tremendous shift in media focus on transgender lives. For a time, the two most famous transgender women in the country, Laverne Cox and Janet Mock, were both Black women who used their platform at every turn to advocate for the most vulnerable in our communities. And yet as Time Magazine informed us that we’ve reached the “Transgender Tipping Point,” and Caitlyn Jenner rivaled Christine Jorgensen for most column inches devoted to a single sensationalized person, trans women of color continued to experience staggering rates of violence, incarceration, seroconversion, poverty, homelessness, joblessness, and voicelessness.

As we were finishing post-production in autumn 2015, the preview for the new Roland Emmerich film “Stonewall” was causing a fury among transgender and queer communities for perpetrating the same sort of whitewashing that has always accompanied the story of the Uprising. Instead of seeing Marsha P. Johnson or Sylvia Rivera or Stormé DeLarverie instigating the event that catalyzed the modern gay rights movement, the film depicted a white cisgender gay man from Kansas throwing the first brick. In the uproar, there has been a call for films that center trans women of color in their own narrative histories. We’re incredibly proud to be one of them.
This year, at least three films by and about trans women of color will fill movie screens. “Happy Birthday, Marsha,” which imagines the day of the Stonewall Uprising from the perspectives of Marsha “Pay It No Mind” Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. “Free CeCe,” a documentary following the incarceration and incredible activism of CeCe McDonald, told to producer Laverne Cox. And MAJOR!, our documentary project following the life and campaigns of 75-year-old Black transgender activist Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, who was a contemporary of Marsha and Sylvia, whom Laverne Cox credits with paving the way for her own visibility and success, and who generations of trans women around the United States call “Mama.” We couldn’t be happier to look down the road and see so much media created by and for our communities.

A consistent theme of the community interviews conducted for MAJOR! has been the importance of visibility and access to the stories and experiences of trans women of color. As an elder, a leader, and an icon, Miss Major has touched countless people and saved lives through her unique capacity to provide one on one care for members of her community. We hope this film project will bring her legacy of inspiration and empowerment and her message of trans brilliance and resilience to audiences around the world.

Yours in community,

Annalise & StormMiguel