Tickets go on sale on Friday, February 19th


Thu Feb 27, 2020 – 7:30 pm | Hendricks Arts Center
Sat Feb 29, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande

Gossamer Folds

Directed by Lisa Donato
Narrative Feature
US | 95 min | 2020

In 1986, nine-year-old Tate Millikin is uprooted and unwillingly moved to the suburbs of Kansas City. As his parent’s marriage unravels, Tate finds solace in the unlikely friendships of his new next door neighbors: a retired college professor and his transgender daughter, Gossamer.

The moderated Q&A session with filmmakers from:

Gossamer Folds, poster | Lisa Donato, Director

When I started my filmmaking journey, I was keenly aware of the limited opportunities I had as a queer filmmaker who wanted to tell stories for and about the queer community. The few stories that got made were rarely told through a compassionate lens. Many of the queer characters in these stories were deluged in stereotypes, mostly derogatory, and also painted as victims. My mission as a storyteller became clear: choose and write stories that help change these archaic and damaging narratives and educate others on how to do the same.

Gossamer Folds is unique and refreshing in many ways. The film depicts a healthy relationship between a trans adult and a child, which unfortunately, is rare in media. It’s a film about the unlikely friendship between two sets of neighbors who are culturally taught to hate each other: a 10-yr-old white boy and a 25-yr-old black trans woman. This hatred is fueled by the young boy’s transphobic father when he forbids his son, Tate, to engage with their next-door neighbor, Gossamer, a trans woman. Behind his father’s back, Tate forms a friendship with Gossamer and sees beyond the abhorrent discrimination he’s been taught.

Gossamer Folds shows how hatred is a learned experience and how we ultimately have the choice to be open-hearted and kind. Sometimes our biological families aren’t the ones who foster and yield the best versions of ourselves and that’s okay. One of the greatest assets of the queer community is the idea and practice of choosing our families. Ultimately, this film is about chosen family, unassuming neighbors, and the beautiful and unlikely bonds that can be found next door.

Lisa Donato | Gossamer FoldsLisa Donato

Lisa Donato is an award-winning director, writer, and activist based in Austin, TX. Her feature film, Gossamer Folds is about neighbors with unhappy home lives who strike up an unexpected friendship during the summer of 1986. The film marks Donato’s directorial debut and will release to festivals soon.

She directed a DocuSeries for AOL about drag culture featuring BenDeLaCreme, Aja, Jupiter Velvet and many more fabulous queer artists across the U.S.

She co-wrote the feature film, Signature Move, which world-premiered at SXSW (2017), screened at over 150 festivals worldwide, and can currently be found on Amazon Prime. She’s directed six award-winning short films since 2014 and her work is dedicated to people and communities relegated to the margins. She’s earned a passionate following by telling stories that don’t shy from the unique struggles of women, queer and straight, but focus on the power, resilience, and love they demonstrate in the face of it.

She’s also working with actress and recent stroke survivor, Maggie Whittum, on a feature documentary about a group of female artists with disabilities called The Great Now What. Her mixed-media project, Hobo Salon, provides free haircuts for Austin’s homeless community and collects personal experiences through filmed interviews. Other story credits include shows for National Geographic Wild, Oprah Winfrey Network, PBS, and published personal essays in the LA Times, Self Magazine, Curve Magazine, Austin Women, Whole Life Times, and 5280 Magazine.

Film Information

Director: Lisa Donato
Country: United States
Year: 2020
Language: English
Runtime: 95 min.
Rated: PG-13


Writer: Bridget Flanery
Producers: Yeardley Smith, Jordan Foley, Ben Cornwell, Adam Carl, Jonathan Rosenthal

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Principal Cast

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival