Winner > Best LGBT Film
Surviving the Silence tells the story of two women in love who played a part in changing military policy, shining light on the unknown history of how a closeted colonel forced to expel an Army hero for being lesbian did so in a way resulting in reinstatement via federal court.
Years before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Colonel Patsy Thompson presided over the review board that dismissed Colonel Margarethe Cammermeyer for being a lesbian. Although she had been in tough spots over the course of her 28-year service, this was the toughest. Presiding over this case forced Patsy to confront her own moral dilemma and her own secret: she too was a lesbian.
Margarethe Cammermeyer, a highly decorated nurse and war hero, was on track to becoming a general. During a security clearance interview, she truthfully answered when asked if she was a lesbian. This started an investigation which led to her eventual and highly-publicized expulsion from the Army National Guard. In 1995, Margarethe’s memoir was adapted as a television movie, which was executive-produced by Barbra Streisand and starred Glenn Close. But Patsy’s story has remained a secret…until now.

Director > Cindy L. Abel
Writer > Jesse Stephen Freeman, Cindy L. Abel
Producer > Marc Smolowitz, Cindy L. Abel