Art & Politics
Film & Video
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer

Sam Feder is an award-winning filmmaker exploring the power dynamics and politics of media-driven identity. Their directorial debut, the award-winning feature film, "Boy I Am," is cited by Curve Magazine as one of the "10 Must-See Gender Documentaries."

Feder's most recent film is "Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger," the first feature-length documentary portrait of the pioneer transgender author and performer Kate Bornstein. Named by The Advocate as one of the best LGBT documentaries of 2014, this film is an intimate portrait illuminating one of gender theory's most influential minds. Recently, the film recently won two Best Feature Awards and were honored with the James Aaronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.

Director Sam Feder's film captures the many facets of this queer hero and pioneering gender outlaw. Whether she is charming an enraptured audience on her latest book tour, tweeting to thousands of fans, or deconstructing postmodern theory, Kate's bold thinking, wicked wit, and astonishing candor get to the heart of transformations in gender and sexuality today. The documentary sheds new light on issues of critical importance to trans and queer communities such as: gender theory as a survival strategy; depression and alternatives to suicide; a broad gender spectrum vs. the rigid gender binary; illness, treatment, and recovery; and notions of queer family and legacy.

Since 2006, Feder's work has been taught in over 200 colleges and universities and screened internationally at festivals and museums. A popular speaker for Transgender Awareness and LGBTQ Pride events, Feder's presentations can include lectures, class visits, screening one of their films and a post-screening discussion.

Sam is in pre-production on a historical documentary that examines the depiction of transgender people that permeate popular culture and the attitudes behind them throughout the history of North American media.

Feder's work continues to raise the bar in trans-film and transgender media representation. They have been honored with a number of national grants, fellowships and residencies from The Jerome Foundation Grant, Frameline Completion Fund, Crossroads Foundation, Funding Exchange, Astraea Foundation for Social Justice, and The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

They were an ongoing fellow at the Ellen Stone Belic Institute for the Study of Gender in the Arts and Media (2007-2013), were granted a 2013 Yaddo Artist Residency and a 2013 MacDowell Colony Fellow Residency.

Feder and Kate Bornstein can also appear together, in conjunction with the documentary, “Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger.”


 "Students were captivated by Kate Bornstein is a Queer & Pleasant Danger! Many later expressed how much they liked learning about Bornstein, a charming queer radical, and were stunned to hear of Kate's queer critique of gay marriage. Feder led the undergrad students in a gripping conversation about trans identities, gender, and sexuality that gave them clear, real world examples of how exactly gender, sex identity, and sexuality are different phenomena. Student evals confirm that Feder's visit was the highlight of the semester."
— Kyla Schuller, Rutgers University

“Sam Feder makes vitally important work which engages, educates and empowers. Our audiences were moved and inspired by the film and all stayed for the post-screening discussions.”

— Jason Barker, BFI Flare, London, UK

"Iliff School of Theology had the privilege of hosting Kate Bornstein is a Queer and Pleasant Danger featuring a Q&A with director Sam Feder. The event drew people from every corner of Denver. It was a very special evening. Whimsical, outrageous, touching, funny, and warm, the film is a moving portrayal of transgender pioneer Kate Bornstein, a survivor whose indomitable spirit shines throughout. Award-winning director Sam Feder shared anecdotes and highlights, building a solid rapport with the audience. I highly recommend this event to any academic institution interested in cutting-edge topics."
— Diane D'Angelo, Member, Student Senate, Denver University

JURY SPECIAL COMMENDATION AWARD: "This film is an intelligent and energetic portrait that investigates the life of its protagonist with candor and great heart.  eder's beautifully made film simultaneously tracks Bornstein's past and present lives with well-wrought tension and stakes. A storyteller and filmmaker to watch." 

— GAZE Film Festival, 2014

 "I always refer to Kate Bornstein as my 'Fairy Tran-Mother.' She showed me how to begin to love myself for who I am. This astonishing film will help you learn to be the most honest, courageous and fulfilled version of YOU that is possible."
— Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, Trans-genre artist, New York


Feder's presentations can be tailored to each school's needs and interests. They can also include screening's of Feder's films in conjunction with the following topics:

From Traveling Freak Shows to TV Talk Shows to the Cover of Time Magazine: Trans People and Public Consumption
An overview of the history of trans people in the media/public light. This presentation examines the depiction of transgender people that permeate popular culture and the attitudes behind them throughout the history of North American media.

Trans 101
A lecture on current trans activist concerns leading to the state of trans people in the media leading to the goals of Feder's films.