The Fight to Serve: The making of award-winning documentary TransMilitary
Jun 23, 2021 7:30 AM
Jamie Coughlin & Gabe Silverman, filmmakers
The Fight to Serve: The making of award-winning documentary TransMilitary

In 2015, a group of service members went into the Pentagon to reveal to top brass that they are transgender, hoping to overturn a decades-long ban on their service. That day sparked a years-long battle within the military and across the country as transgender rights were thrust into the political landscape of the 2016 election. Documentarian and Minnesota native Jamie Coughlin along with her partner Gabriel Silverman, chronicled the saga with intimate access to four decorated transgender troops on the forefront of the fight. TransMilitary has been screened on Capitol Hill, and used as an educational tool at military bases. Coughlin and Silverman will discuss how the project came to be, the behind-the-scenes challenges of making the documentary, as well as the state of affairs for transgender rights since the film launched in 2018. 

Film viewing options:  Free on Amazon Prime, but available wherever you purchase movies (iTunes, Youtube, Vimeo, Vudu).

Jamie Coughlin and Gabe Silverman are award-winning journalists turned documentary filmmakers. Their first feature, TransMilitary, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at SXSW 2018 and received critical acclaim. It premiered on Logo TV/Viacom and Amazon Prime. The film played at more than 100 film festivals worldwide. Coughlin and Silverman were named to the 2018 Top 10 Filmmakers to Watch list by The Independent

Prior to starting their production company SideXSide Studios in 2015, Coughlin and Silverman worked in leading newsrooms. Silverman was a video journalist at The Washington Post where his work was recognized with more than a dozen awards, including an Edward R. Murrow Award for his investigative work, a White House News Photographers Award for Best Documentary, and two Emmy nominations. Coughlin was the supervising producer for USA Today Sports, where she led editorial and branded video content strategy. SideXSide’s first project was their 2016 Emmy-nominated New York Times Op-Doc, Transgender, at War and in Love.

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