Graduate News: Double win at Webby Awards for ‘Trans in America’, produced by alumna Lindsey Dryden

Producer of Trans in America: Texas Strong and Media and Communications graduate, Lindsey Dryden, and team have been awarded Best Video Documentary: Longform and the People’s Voice in the same category, at the 23rd Annual Webby Awards – the awards ‘celebrate the best of the internet’. The Webby Award Winners are nominated and selected by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

Now based in Gloucestershire, BA Media and Communications graduate Lindsey works as both a producer and director at Little By Little Films, which she found in 2011 to focus on surprising storytelling, led by underrepresented voices. Her recent films include Unrest (winner of a Sundance Special Jury Award and Academy Award shortlisted in 2017) and Jackie Kay: One Person Two Names (Tate Britain, 2017). She is a 2018 BFI/BAFTA Flare Fellow, Sundance Fellow and proud founding member of Queer Producers Collective. Her work can be seen on Netflix, PBS, BBC, Channel 4 and at festivals worldwide, including Sundance, SXSW, Tribeca, HotDocs, True/False and Sheffield Doc/Fest.

In response to the win, Lindsey said:

“This is incredibly exciting news for the whole team, and we are thrilled to have won a Webby!

To be awarded the People’s Voice award as well as the jury vote makes this all the more special, and it’s particularly meaningful right now when the Texas Senate has revived religious liberty bills that put LGBTQ+ people at risk, and the US administration is banning transgender people from the military.

We hope that recognition for this film helps to demonstrate that LGBTQ+ people are valued, and transgender voices will not be erased.”

Trans In America: Texas Strong is an intimate short documentary that follows Kimberly and Kai Shappley in Texas: a conservative Christian mother who has to reject her community’s beliefs while her 7-year-old transgender daughter navigates life at school, where she’s been banned from the girls bathroom.

Trans In America: Texas Strong is directed by Daresha Kyi and produced by Lindsey Dryden and Shaleece Haas, in concert with Executive Producers Molly Kaplan and Chase Strangio at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

The moving short documentary had its festival premiere at South By Southwest (SXSW) 2019 and is broadcast on Condé Nast’s LGBTQ+ platform ‘them’. It is directed by an LGBTQ+ filmmaker, produced by an inclusive and majority-LGBTQ+ production team, and informed by a panel of transgender advisors. ‘Texas Strong’ is one episode of ‘Trans In America’, a three-part series of short verité docs about transgender civil rights that reveals the daily impact of discrimination on three families as they battle with bathroom bills, vulnerability in employment and housing, and the aftermath of incarceration in Texas, Chicago and Georgia.

Trans In America: Texas Strong has set the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,’ said Claire Graves, Executive Director of The Webby Awards. ‘This award is a testament to the skill, ingenuity, and vision of its creators.’

Trans In America: Texas Strong was honoured at the Webby Awards ceremony on Monday, 13 May 2019 in New York City, where winners had the opportunity to deliver one of The Webby Awards’ famous 5-Word Speeches.

More about The Webby Awards:

Hailed as the ‘Internet’s highest honor’ by The New York Times, and known as ‘the Oscars of the Internet’, The Webby Awards, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, is the leading international awards organisation honouring excellence on the Internet. Established in 1996, this year’s Webby Awards received nearly 13,000 entries from all 50 US states and 70 countries worldwide.

The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, which nominates and selects The Webby Award Winners, is comprised of digital industry experts, including actor and activist Jesse Williams, GE CMO Linda Boff, Google’s Head of Conversation Design Cathy Pearl, Fortnite Designer Eric Williamson, HBO Digital Chief Diane Tryneski, Los Angeles Laker Isaiah Thomas, and DDB Worldwide CEO Wendy Clark.