Director: Dee Rees
Stars: Adepero Oduye, Kim Wayans, Aasha Davis, Pernell Walker
As the behind-the-scenes stories of most LGBT films go, Pariah was almost never made. Director Dee Rees told Variety, "It was...too black and too gay." Realizing that she needed to find funding herself, Rees sold her apartment to invest in the film. What resulted was an insightful coming-of-age story about an African American 17-year-old lesbian grasping at her identity in modern-day Brooklyn, while her parents are strictly in denial.
The film, which premiered at Sundance and was eventually picked up by Focus Features, introduced audiences to the talent of Adepero Oduye and finally gave Rees a platform to be heard. —TA