Lisa Donato is an award-winning writer, director, producer, and activist from Billings, MT. She's currently in post production on the film, Gossamer Folds, executive produced by Yeardley Smith & Ben Cornwell. Set in 1986, the film is about a precocious 10-yr-old boy who strikes up a friendship with his new next-door neighbor, a 25-yr-old transgender woman named Gossamer, played by Transparent’s Alexandra Grey. The film marks Donato’s feature directorial debut and will release to festivals in May 2019.
She co-wrote the feature film, Signature Move, which world-premiered at SXSW (2017), screened at over 150 festivals worldwide, and can currently be found on Amazon Prime. She’s directed six award-winning short films since 2014 and her work is dedicated to people and communities relegated to the margins. She’s earned a passionate following by telling stories that don’t shy from the unique struggles of women, queer and straight, but focus on the power, resilience, and love they demonstrate in the face of it.
She’s also working with actress and recent stroke survivor, Maggie Whittum, on a feature documentary about a group of female performance artists with disabilities called The Great Now What. Her mixed-media project, Hobo Salon, provides free haircuts for Austin’s homeless community and collects personal experiences through filmed interviews. Other story credits include shows for National Geographic Wild, Oprah Winfrey Network, PBS, and published personal essays in the LA Times, Self Magazine, Curve Magazine, Austin Women, Whole Life Times, and 5280 Magazine.
(Foxy Trot) Best LGBTQ Short Film, Austin Revolution Film Festival, 2018
(Foxy Trot) Best Romantic Comedy, Austin Comedy Fest, 2018
(There You Are) Iris Prize Official Selection, 2018
(There You Are) Best of Fest, Outfest, 2018
(There You Are) Best Short Film, Trans Stellar Fest, 2018
(Foxy Trot) Best Cinematography, Female Film Fest, 2018
(Foxy Trot) Best Women's Short Film, NCGLFF, 2018
(Foxy Trot) Best Comedy, Fargo-Moorhead Film Festival, 2018
(Signature Move) Best U.S. Narrative Feature, Outfest, 2017
(Signature Move) Best Screenplay, Out On Film Atlanta, 2017
(Spunkle) Best LGBTQ+ Short Film, CANNES: EMERGING FILMMAKER SHOWCASE, 2017
(The News Today) Iris Prize Official Selection, 2017
(Reclaiming Pakistan) Ron Kovic Peace Prize, My Hero Film Festival, 2017
(Reclaiming Pakistan) Dan Eldon Activist Award, My Hero Film Festival, 2017
(Spunkle) Seed & Spark Award: Best Short, Flyway Film Festival: Minneapolis, MN
(Spunkle) Best Short Film, Santa Fe International Film Festival, Santa Fe, NM
(Spunkle) Best Short, Flicks by Chicks, Dallas, TX