Yance Ford’s documentary film Strong Island follows what happened to his family after the murder of his brother in 1992 by a white auto mechanic in New York. As is too often the case, Ford’s brother did not receive justice from the self-proclaimed Criminal Justice system, and was consequently turned into the number one suspect in his own murder investigation.

Ford’s powerful, intimate and provocative documentary was picked up and pushed by Netflix, and during the latest round of Oscar nominations, the film was nominated in the category of Best Documentary Feature alongside Icarus, Faces Places, Last Men in Aleppo, and Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.

Ford’s nomination makes him the first transgender director to receive an Oscar nomination, and we hope that when the Oscars are televised on March 4th, 2018 that Yance Ford hears his name called and can celebrate being the first transgender director to win.

Ford’s film is an intimate and piercing look at what happened to a family who had to watch their flesh and blood be dehumanized before their very eyes. In a similar fashion to the Khalief Browder documentary TIME: The Khalief Browder Story, it too details loss as a result of an all too American injustice. Lik Browder’s mother, Venida, Ford’s father William Ford Sr. died of a stroke the year after his son, William Ford Jr. was killed, and Yance’s brother died during the filming of the documentary.


Here is the official trailer for Strong Island: