The Most Dangerous Year

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USA | 2018 | 90 minutes | Vlada Knowlton

Two years ago, a group of Washington State families with transgender children banded together with activists and like-minded lawmakers and fought tooth and nail against the wave of anti-trans rights legislation that swept the nation and their home state. This is their story.

In 2016, a wave of discriminatory anti-transgender legislation swept the nation along with an uptick in violence against LGBTQ people, making it one of the most deadly years for the community in recent history. Local filmmaker Vlada Knowlton's documentary details her family's initial journey as they combat Washington state bill SB6443, a discriminatory measure intended to force all people to use the public restroom that coincides with their birth sex. From there, the legislature is bombarded with initiatives meant to replace the bill, but they didn't fight alone as several families with transgender children would join the statewide movement for their civil liberties. Knowlton's youngest daughter Annabelle steals hearts as a trans girl simply learning to be a kid, while Aiden Key, a nationally renowned Seattle-based transgender rights activist and educator who also produced the film, connects audiences with his work helping the Snohomish School District develop trans-friendly policies. Instead of shaming those unsure of or against transgender rights, Knowlton's team invites a conversation. As Washington state senator Joe Fain points out, we lose the battle for understanding when we stop speaking with one another.

Director Biography
Seattle-based director Vlada Knowlton made her feature-length documentary debut with Having it All (2015), exploring the pressure women face to balance careers, children, and marriage. The film was the anchor program of KCTS's "Women Who Inspire" series in August 2015, and also aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting and online. Knowlton holds a doctorate in Cognitive Science from Brown University, and worked at Microsoft prior to her filmmaking career.

Sponsored by 4Culture, Encore City Arts, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Weekly, Washington State Arts Commission, Shoreline Community College, National Endowment for the Arts, Women In Film - Seattle, Cupcake Royale

  • Director: Vlada Knowlton
  • Principal Cast: Aidan Key, Cyrus Habib, Annabelle Knowlton
  • Premiere Status: World
  • Country: USA
  • Year: 2018
  • Running Time: 90 minutes
  • Producer: Vlada Knowlton, Lulu Gargiulo, Chadd Knowlton
  • Screenplay: Vlada Knowlton
  • Cinematographers: Lulu Gargiulo
  • Editors: Vlada Knowlton, Eric Frith
  • Music: Chadd Knowlton
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Having It All (2015)
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP