Experiencing Interruptions?

OUT LOUD

OUT LOUD chronicles the first season of the historic Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, the largest group of transgender and gender nonconforming people anywhere in the world who regularly sing together. Led by Lindsey Deaton, who co-founded the chorus and served as its first artistic director, these choristers, many of whom have no musical training, come together to hone their craft and find their voices. Some choristers have the added challenge of coping with changes to their vocal range as they take hormones to transition. The stakes are high for all as they prepare for their 2016 public concert debut in this inspiring story of an extraordinary choir.

  • Gail Willumsen
    Director
    THE SCIENCE OF INTERSTELLAR (Warner Bros. Home Ent.), MAKING STUFF SAFER (an episode in the WGBH PBS series “Making More Stuff”), ULTIMATE MARS CHALLENGE (WGBH/NOVA), SECRETS OF STONEHENGE (WGBH/NOVA), THE MUMMY WHO WOULD BE KING (WGBH/NOVA), DELIVERING THE GOODS (an episode in the PBS series Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge, for WGBH and Vulcan Inc.), BLACK SKY: THE RACE FOR SPACE (Vulcan Inc. & Discovery), LOST WORLD OF THE HOLY LAND (WNET/Thirteen & National Geographic Television)
  • Jill Shinefield
    Producer
    THE SCIENCE OF INTERSTELLAR (Warner Bros. Home Ent.), MAKING STUFF SAFER (an episode in the WGBH PBS series “Making More Stuff”), ULTIMATE MARS CHALLENGE (WGBH/NOVA), SECRETS OF STONEHENGE (WGBH/NOVA), THE MUMMY WHO WOULD BE KING (WGBH/NOVA), DELIVERING THE GOODS (an episode in the PBS series Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge, for WGBH and Vulcan Inc.), BLACK SKY: THE RACE FOR SPACE (Vulcan Inc. & Discovery), LOST WORLD OF THE HOLY LAND (WNET/Thirteen & National Geographic Television)
  • Gail Willumsen
    Producer
    THE SCIENCE OF INTERSTELLAR (Warner Bros. Home Ent.), MAKING STUFF SAFER (an episode in the WGBH PBS series “Making More Stuff”), ULTIMATE MARS CHALLENGE (WGBH/NOVA), SECRETS OF STONEHENGE (WGBH/NOVA), THE MUMMY WHO WOULD BE KING (WGBH/NOVA), DELIVERING THE GOODS (an episode in the PBS series Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge, for WGBH and Vulcan Inc.), BLACK SKY: THE RACE FOR SPACE (Vulcan Inc. & Discovery), LOST WORLD OF THE HOLY LAND (WNET/Thirteen & National Geographic Television)
  • Gail Willumsen
    Principal Photography
  • Jill Shinefield
    Sound Recordist
  • Gail Willumsen
    Editor
  • Robert F. Landau
    Editor
    “One Day In Auschwitz" Lead Editor; “Surviving R. Kelly” Editor, 5 Episodes; “The Science of Interstellar” Editor; “Crimes Of The Century” series, Lead Editor; “Jazz is Spoken Here” Lead Editor; “Voices of 911” part of "How it Was" series, Lead Editor; “Dead of Winter: The Donner Party" Lead Editor; “The Shooting of Ronald Reagan” part of "How it Was" series, Lead Editor
  • Alana Balagot
    Original Music
    Pioneers in Skirts (feature documentary), Sylvia (dramatic short), The More Things Change (dramatic short)
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    52 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 31, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    40,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    No
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival
    Seattle, WA (virtual)
    United States
    May 9, 2020
    World Premiere
  • All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival (aGLIFF)
    Austin, Texas (virtual)
    United States
    August 8, 2020
    Southwest, Texas & Austin premieres
  • Outfest Los Angeles LGBTQ Film Festival
    LA, CA (virtual) - Aug. 29-31, 2020
    United States
    California and Los Angeles premieres
  • San Francisco Documentary Festival
    SF, CA (virtual) - Sept. 3-20, 2020
    United States
    San Francisco premiere
  • Fargo-Moorhead LGBT Film Festival
    Fargo, North Dakota (virtual) - Sept. 13-19, 2020
    United States
    North Dakota premiere
    Audience Choice Award
  • Fabulous Independent Film Festival
    Sarasota, FL (virtual) - Oct. 1-3, 2020
    United States
    Florida premiere
  • Out On Film, Atlanta gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender LGBT Film Festival
    Atlanta, GA (virtual) - Sept. 24 - Oct. 4, 2020
    United States
    Atlanta premiere
  • Crested Butte Film Festival
    Crested Butte, CO (virtual) - Sept. 25 - Oct. 4, 2020
    United States
    Colorado premiere
  • Way OUT West Film Festival
    Albuquerque, NM (virtual) - Oct. 9-18, 2020
    United States
    New Mexico Premiere
  • Reel Affirmations: Washington DC's International LGBTQ Film Festival
    Washington, D.C. (virtual) - Oct. 19-22, 2020
    United States
    Washington, D.C. premiere
  • Desperado LGBTQ Film Festival
    Pheonix, AZ (virtual) - Oct. 23-25, 2020
    United States
    Arizona Premiere
  • Woodstock Museum Film Festival
    Woodstock, NY - October 2020 TBD
    United States
    New York premiere
  • NorthwestFest Int'l DocFest & Rainbow Visions LGBT Film Festival
    Edmonton (in-person)
    Canada
    November 14, 2020
    Canadian premiere
  • Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival
    Indianapolis, Indiana (virtual) - Nov. 13-15, 2020
    United States
    Indiana premiere
  • OUTSOUTH Queer Film Festival
    Durham, NC (virtual) - Nov 13-19, 2020
    United States
    North Carolina premiere
  • Tampa Bay Transgender Film Festival
    Tampa, FL (virtual) - Nov. 20-22, 2020
    United States
    Tampa Bay/ St. Pete premiere
  • Queer Screen
    Sydney (virtual) - Nov. 20-22, 2020
    Australia
    Australian
  • LGBT Unbordered International Film Festival Fall 2020

    United States
    Exceptional Merit
  • SR Socially Relevant Film Festival New York 2021
    New York, NY (virtual) - March 15-23, 2021
    New York City
  • TranScreen Amsterdam Film Festival 2021
    Amsterdam (virtual May 13 -27, 2021)
    Netherlands
  • The Skirball Cultural Center
    Los Angeles (virtual, June 11-14, 2021)
    United States
Director Biography - Gail Willumsen

Director-producer-writer Gail Willumsen began her career at National Geographic Television, and went on to produce documentary programs for PBS (NOVA, Nature,) Discovery, A&E and other outlets. She has earned two individual Emmys for writing (“Volcano!” for National Geographic Television, and “The Mummy Who Would Be King” for NOVA), an Emmy for producing and directing (“RX for Survival: A Global Health Challenge” for WGBH and Vulcan Inc.), and a Peabody award (“Black Sky: a Race for Space” for Discovery ), as well as many other accolades for her work. But the real reward, says Willumsen, “is the work itself: the incredible generosity of strangers who allow us into their lives, and trust us with their amazing stories.” Willumsen is a graduate of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television with a BA and MFA in film production.

In 1999, Willumsen founded Gemini Productions with producer Jill Shinefield. Gemini’s documentary and non-fiction productions have explored the kaleidoscope of human experience and achievement, from the building of Stonehenge to the marvels of spaceflight, from the burial practices of ancient peoples to the development of advanced medical technologies. Gemini’s current project, Out Loud (2019) chronicles the first season of the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, the largest group of transgender and gender nonconforming people anywhere in the world who come together to make music --and history.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

In late 2015, I spotted an article in a local newspaper announcing the creation of the first chorus for transgender and gender-nonconforming people in Los Angeles. This would be a chorus with a mission: to give voice to people who have been too long silenced. It sounded glorious, and it fairly cried out to be documented. With my producing partner Jill Shinefield, I contacted the chorus’ founders and offered to chronicle the first season of this extraordinary project.

We were not the only filmmakers interested in the Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, and we considered it a great privilege when the chorus opened its doors to us. For half a year, we (myself on camera, Jill recording sound) filmed every weekly rehearsal as the singers were pushed to their limit by chorus founder and artistic director Lindsey Deaton, a trans woman with decades of classical music training. The stakes were high: at the end of the season, the chorus would have their public debut in a performance at UCLA. Over time, outside the rehearsal space, Jill and I would also compile portraits of choristers who shared their personal stories with us. The experience was transformative: it brought me close to some of the bravest, strongest and most self-realized individuals I have ever had the honor to know.

The sad truth is that more Americans claim to have seen a ghost than to have met a transgender person, according to a recent survey (by the Pew Research Center.) Most people get their information about the trans community from film, television and other media –where trans people are most often depicted as freaks, deviants and criminals. Is it any wonder that trans individuals suffer daily discrimination and harassment, as well as disproportionate rates of violent assault, murder and suicide?

With the advent of stars like Laverne Cox and shows like Transparent, it seems the tide, ever so slowly, is beginning to turn. I hope that in some small way, our documentary Out Loud can add to that momentum. I like to think of Out Loud as an invitation to viewers everywhere to get to know a vibrantly diverse group of singers –some younger, some older; some musically trained, some not- all united by a desire, “to passionately change the way others see the transgender community.”

Full disclosure, I don’t identify as LGBT, but I am an ally, close friend, sister, niece, and godmother to many beloved individuals who do. I’ve lived three decades in the rainbow city of West Hollywood, through the AIDS holocaust, and the fight for marriage equality. I marched for trans rights in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election. I never want to lose another brilliant friend to HIV. I dream of a day when I won’t worry for my sister’s safety because she is married to a woman. I want to help create a future in which the trans people I have come to cherish can flourish without fear of discrimination or violence. That is the heart and soul behind the making of Out Loud.