G. Chesler

G. Chesler

G. Chesler


documentary film, fiction film directing, transmedia, social issue media production

Professor G. Chesler (they/them) directs, produces, and writes fiction and documentary films that address sexuality, the body, gender and racial justice. Their films have been exhibited at hundreds of film festivals, museums, community centers, and galleries worldwide. They teach courses in fiction directing, screenwriting, and interactive storytelling.

Prof. Chesler’s upcoming documentary film focuses on trans lives during COVID-19, considering what has been experienced by transgender and gender divergent people told through our voices. Their films also include the feature documentary Period: The End of Menstruation that became a cultural touchstone on the changing meaning of menstruation. In their work with other Directors as Producer, Prof. Chesler Produced the feature documentary Out in the Night on a friend group of Black lesbian and genderqueer friends who were attacked, homophobically, and defended themselves. The film was broadcast on PBS and LOGO television and screened in 70 countries when it launched the United Nations’ Free+Equal campaign to combat homophobia and transphobia worldwide. Prof. Chesler co-edited Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema from UCLA which won top awards at Blackstar and the African Academy Awards in Nigeria and featured the filmmakers of the first independent film movement by artists of color in the US.

Among Prof. Chesler’s award-winning short fiction films are the queer rom coms The Pick Up and BeauteouS, and melodramas Java and Bye Bi Love. Their work as a screenwriter includes these shorts and feature film scripts. You can view their films at g6pictures.com

Prof. Chesler is a 2023 recipient of a Regional Arts and Culture Council Grant and Purks Foundation award for their documentary on trans lives. They were a Media Arts Fellow awarded by the Washington DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities from 2019-2022. Prof. Chesler worked with filmmakers as an Advisor in the ITVS / NEH Documentary Development Fellowship in 2022-2023.

Prof. Chesler’s scholarship focuses on sound, documentary, and community engaged learning. Prof. Chesler’s new essay “Antiracist Pedagogy Requires Co-Conspirators” published in the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies Teaching Dossier focuses on structural strategies for antiracist teaching practices in film and media instruction. Their recent interviews with parents who are educators “Parenting and Professoring in the Pandemic” appeared in the March 2021 edition of Jump Cut and provides a glimpse into what educators with young children faced during restrictions supporting communal health.

Professor Chesler’s G6 Pix Instagram account features capsule reviews and news on their work G6_Pix on Instagram.

Grants and Fellowships

Media Arts Grant, Regional Arts and Culture Council (2023)

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Fellow in Media Arts (2022- 2019)

Best Fiction Short Film, Audience Award – Paris Cineffable Film Festival

Best Short Film, Audience Award – image+nation Montreal Film Festival

Semi-Finalist, feature film screenplay – Austin Screenwriting Competition

Jury Award, Screenwriting – Big Muddy Film Festival

Courses Taught


FAVS 204 DL: Ways of Seeing: Perception, Form and Film
FAVS 280 DL: Writing for the Moving Image
FAVS 399 DL: Radical Camera

FAVS 377: Interactive Storytelling for Social Change

FAVS 450: Internship in Film and Video Studies

FAVS 483: Feature-Length Scriptwriting


  • MFA, Cinema, San Francisco University (Most Distinguished Graduate)
  • BA, Anthropology, Minor Women’s Studies, University of Virginia (with Highest Distinction)

In the Media

#MeToo, Black Lives Matter Movements Reflected in the Oscars, interview for Voice of America https://entertainment.dc.gov/release/fotm-april-2019 and https://www2.gmu.edu/news/2018-01/mason-professor-assesses-state-oscars

Suns Cinema Podcast: Film Studies with Giovanna Chesler https://sunscinema.simplecast.com/episodes/f0b4214a-0e11e2d0

“W.C. Taylor film tells former high school’s story” September 11, 2019 https://www.fauquiernow.com/fauquier_news/article/w.c-taylor-film-debuts

“Documentary on W.C. Taylor High School to debut” August 21, 2019, Fauquier Times https://bit.ly/2md0hVa

Recent public talks on Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Film and Media and Gendernauts by Monika Treut

DC Filmmaker of the Month: Giovanna Chesler https://entertainment.dc.gov/release/fotm-april-2019