The filmmakers behind Welcome to
Chechnya hope their documentary “activates” the Trump
administration to respond to the LGBT crisis happening in Chechnya.
Director David France's look at the
Russian republic's campaign to drive sexual minorities underground
premiered this week at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah.
France is known for the AIDS
documentary How to Survive a Plague and The Death and Life
of Marsha P. Johnson, which looks at the life of transgender
activist Marsha P. Johnson, who was known as “the Rosa Parks of the
on transgender activist Marsha P. Johnson premieres on Netflix.)
In Welcome to Chechnya, France
moves from documenting the past to the present, specifically the
brutal atrocities against gay and transgender people in the
repressive Russian republic of Chechnya.
France's film documents how LGBT people
are fleeing Chechnya with the help of a group of brave activists.
France and executive producers Jesse
Tyler Ferguson and Justin Mikita spoke with Deadline at
Tyler Ferguson, husband Justin Mikita expecting first child.)
“I realized that the international
community was paying such little attention to what was going on
there… and we needed to find some way to lift this story up and
make people understand the significance of it,” France
“[The film is] a call to arms,”
Ferguson said. “There’s so much we can be doing to help these
people and to support those who are putting their lives in danger to
help these people escape.”
“It’s also a way to put pressure on
our administration to hold other governments responsible for our
human rights crisis that is like this,” Mikita added. “It’s a
huge issue that our government is completely silent on. Hopefully,
this film will activate them in a way to help the people that are