Skip to main content

Queer Filmmakers of Color : Documentary Filmmakers

We hope by providing students, scholars, film lovers, and the general public with this libguide, the names and works done by these amazing individuals will be more widely appreciated.

Documentary Filmmakers List


Elegance Bratton

Pier Kids: The Life (2019)

Elegance Bratton Picture Elegance Bratton is an award winning filmmaker and author. His book Bound by Night is shortlisted for the Kassel 2014 photo-book award. He is a graduate of Columbia University with a degree in African American Studies, and a Master’s candidate in Tisch School of the Arts for directing and writing. He served in the United States Marine Corps as a combat camera. His work has been published in Vice, GayLetter, The Fader, and Another mag. His film Pier Kids: The Life has been featured on ABC NEWS, Huffington Post, and Out Magazine. His short film Walk For Me has played in over 100 film festivals worldwide. He is the executive producer and creator of My House a ten part documentary series that follows the best voguers in the world as they prepare for competition.


PJ Raval 


PJ Raval Picture PJ Raval is a cinematographer and director, known for Call Her Ganda (2018), Before You Know It (2013) and Trouble the Water (2008). Raval received an MFA Film Production University of Texas Austin BA Visual Arts Media University of California San Diego. Named one of Out Magazine’s ‘OUT 100′ and IndieWIRE’s ‘25 LGBT Filmmakers on the Rise 2019’, PJ’s body of film work has been distributed widely internationally and has been supported by the Guggenheim Foundation, Bertha Foundation, Arcus Foundation, Sundance, Center for Asian-American Media, Tribeca Film Institute, Firelight Media, PBS, and the Ford Foundation. PJ is a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow, 2016 Firelight Media Fellow, 2017 Robert Giard Fellow, a Producers Guild of America member, and a recent member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. PJ’s latest film CALL HER GANDA is a feature documentary following the story of Jennifer Laude, a local transgender woman who was found dead in a motel room in the port city of Olongopo, Philippines with a 19-year-old U.S. marine as the leading suspect. CALL HER GANDA world premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival followed by an international premiere at HotDocs in Toronto, Canada. 

Yance Ford

Strong Island (2017) 

Yance Ford PictureYance Ford is the director of Strong Island (2017) and winner of the Special Jury Award for Storytelling at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Ford is a grantee of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, a MacDowell Colony fellow, a Creative Capital Grantee (Theo Westenberger Award), and has been featured in Filmmaker Magazine's 25 New Faces of Independent Film. He is a former series producer of POV, a graduate of Hamilton College and the Production Workshop at Third World Newsreel. The Guardian said of his directorial debut "there's something different about Strong Island, however, a film characterized by raw emotion and calm anger, which must surely be considered one of the finest documentaries of 2017 already."

Sonali Gulati

Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night (2005)

Image result for Sonali GulatiSonali Gulati is an independent filmmaker, a feminist, a queer rights activist, and an educator. She teaches film at Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts in the department of Photography & Film. She has an MFA in Film & Media Arts from Temple University and a BA in Critical Social Thought from Mount Holyoke College. Gulati grew up in New Delhi and has made several films that have screened at over four hundred film festivals worldwide. Her films have screened at venues such as the Hirshhorn Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and at film festivals such as the Margaret Mead Film Festival, the Black Maria Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival. Her documentary film Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night, was broadcast on television in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Asia, and North Africa.  Gulati is a Guggenheim Fellow in the area of film and has received support for her work from the Creative Capital Foundation, Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), Third Wave Foundation, Tribecca All Access, and World Studio Foundation. She’s also won awards and recognition from the Robert Giard Memorial Fellowship, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship, the Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts, and VCU School of the Arts Faculty Award of Excellence.