Funding Queer Narratives: Financing LGBTQIA+ Stories with Social Impact
Join us for a journey into the heart of film financing as we shine a spotlight on the nuanced world of LGBTQIA+ storytelling. Hear from our panel of industry professionals who have successfully navigated the financial landscape to bring LGBTQIA+ narratives to life. Gain insights into their strategies, challenges, and triumphs. Explore the pivotal role social impact plays in financing LGBTQIA+ stories and how it has shaped the queer narratives that get made. Our panelists will share firsthand accounts of the intersection between storytelling, funding, and social change. Don’t miss the opportunity to be part of a dynamic conversation that goes beyond financing—exploring the transformative power of LGBTQIA+ storytelling in shaping culture and fostering social change.
This panel is a must-attend for filmmakers, producers, executives, and anyone passionate about championing LGBTQIA+ stories and understanding the intricate balance between artistic expression, financing, and social impact.
Alex Schmider, Director of Transgender Representation, GLAAD
Steph Ouaknine, Senior Production Executive, Wondery and Amazon
Mychael G. Chinn, Director, Original Movies & Limited Series for the MTV Entertainment Studios
Tuck Dowrey, Director of Development, PageBoy
presented in partnership with GLAAD
Alex SchmiderEmmy-Nominated Producer and Director of Transgender Media Representation at GLAAD
Alex Schmider is an Emmy®, Peabody, and Critics Choice Awards recognized producer and the Director of Transgender Representation at GLAAD where he educates, advises, and consults on transgender and nonbinary characters, storylines, marketing campaigns, and gender inclusion on digital platforms. A member of the Producers Guild of America and the Television Academy, his producing credits include Changing The Game (Hulu), Disclosure (Netflix), Framing Agnes (Kino Lorber), Stay On Board: The Leo Baker Story (Netflix) and Chasing Chasing Amy. Most recently, he was named one of DOC NYC’s 40 Under 40.
Steph OuaknineProducer (Queering the Script, Camilla); Originals & Exclusives at Amazon/Wondery
One of Canada’s “5 to Watch in Entertainment,” Steph Ouaknine is an award winning producer and development executive well versed in queer stories and international co-productions.
Steph co-created and produced CARMILLA, the multi-platform scripted series that ran for 108 episodes and launched a global, engaged fan community. Financed by U by Kotex, the digital series topped 100+ million views, earning accolades from Cannes Lion, Rocky Awards, The Webbys, multiple Canadian Screen Award wins and MIPTV’s “Brand Content of the Year” 2018 Award.
Currently, she is a senior production executive on the commissioned originals team at Wondery and Amazon, managing a slate of premium audio documentaries and topical shows. Select credits: Time Magazine’s Podcast of the Year “9/12” in partnership with Pineapple Street Studios, “Persona: The French Deception” and scripted podcast “American Hostage” starring Jon Hamm.
Steph is a 2021 Film Independent Episodic Lab Fellow, with scripted projects supported by the CFC/Netflix Accelerator, The National Screen Institute, the IFP/Gotham Film Week and SeriesMania 2022.
Mychael ChinnDirector, Original Movies & Limited Series for the MTV Entertainment Studios
Mychael G. Chinn was most recently the Director, Original Movies & Limited Series for the MTV Entertainment Studios, Paramount Global, based out of Los Angeles, CA. He graduated with a BFA in Acting from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. He started his career working under casting director Tracy “Twinkie” Byrd on the casting of films such as Notorious, The Blind Side, Secret Life of Bees among others. He also was an original member of The Movement Theatre Company in New York City. He then left theatre, film and television to work as the Assistant Company Manager for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for 4 seasons. Upon leaving AAADT, Mychael went to work as a Producer and Production Manager for BET Digital and BET Her, launching a digital series called inspi[HER]. He then landed at Lifetime Television, working first on the Acquired Content team, then segueing into the Original Movies front, where he helped shepherd over 55 movies to broadcast. In 2020, Mychael shepherded The Clark Sisters: The First Ladies of Gospel, which was seen by over 13 million viewers and was cable’s #1 television movie, and Robin Roberts Presents: Stolen by My Mother: The Kamiyah Mobeley Story, which is cable’s #2 movie of 2020. In 2021, Mychael joined the MTV Entertainment Studios Original Movies and Limited Series team, who launched the studio’s first foray into made for television films and limited series, working with executive producers such as Jamie Foxx, Angela Basset, Courtney B. Vance, Regina Hall, John Leguizamo, Mona Scott-Young, Jesse Collins and Patrik-Ian Polk to develop projects for the nine brands that the studio oversees.
Tuck DowreyDirector of Development at PageBoy
Originally from Boston, Tuck Dowrey received his BA in Screenwriting from Ithaca College in central New York before moving to Los Angeles. He began his career working on the Amazon shows I LOVE DICK and TRANSPARENT S4, before assisting renowned indie film and TV producer Andrea Sperling at Joey Soloway-helmed production company, Topple. Tuck then served as the showrunner’s assistant to Marja-Lewis Ryan on Showtime’s THE L WORD: GENERATION Q. Tuck has also worked for Sam Feder, director of the groundbreaking documentary DISCLOSURE, before finding his way back into development with Kelly Bush Novak at VIE Entertainment. There, Tuck worked closely with Elliot Page on his development slate while helping to launch PageBoy Productions, operating under a first-look deal with UCP. Currently, Tuck serves as PageBoy’s Director of Development.