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Choosing Children - Spanish Subtitles

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Hailed as a pioneering achievement when it was first released in 1984, Choosing Children dramatically challenges the assumption that being lesbian means you can't be a mom. Six lesbian-headed families make decisions about how to become pregnant, navigate the process of adoption, whether to involve men in parenting, and address reactions from relatives, doctors and schoolmates. In so doing, they help redefine what "family" means and open the door for everyone to consider parenting, regardless of sexual orientation.

The original 16mm film print was preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive as part of the Outfest UCLA Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation with digital restoration by Zoetrope Aubry Productions.

It was the only film from the United States dealing with lesbian issues selected for the International Film Forum in Nairobi at the celebration of the United Nations Decade of Women.  It played at the Film Forum in New York City and was broadcast on Independent Lens, WNET and KQED. 

The new Choosing Children DVD comes packaged with a 20-minute short film, The Back Story, in which directors Kim Klausner and Debra Chasnoff tell the story of how and why they made this historically significant documentary.



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"The editing and camera work in Choosing Children are so skillful, we're shown an enormous amount about these people in a scant 45 minutes."
Laurie Stone
Village Voice

"With openness and disarming humor...Choosing Children speaks to the lesbian and gay community about the possibilities for parenting and to the wider public about the importance of understanding different ways of life."
Karen Rosenburg
Boston Globe

Two visionary women decided that this was a story that needed to be told as a way to chronicle a path forward and a future ...It is important to be able to preserve films like Choosing Children so that every generation that comes along after us understands where we were and what it took to get to where we are.
Kate Kendell, National Center for Lesbian Rights

The film...helped inspire many lesbians to become parents. Now, years after the film's negative was lost, Choosing Children is being restored, and Chasnoff hopes it will inspire the next generation of LGBT parents -- as well as teach people about a key part of LGBT history.
Dana Rudloph
Bay Windows

  • Red Ribbon, American Film Festival
  • Best Documentary, New England Film Festival
  • Best Short Documentary, New York Gay and Lesbian Film Festival
  • First Prize, National Educational Film Festival
  • Second Place, National Council on Family Relations
  • Official Selection, Frameline
  • Debra Chasnoff retrospective, Some Prefer Cake-Bologna Lesbian Film Festival
Debra Chasnoff Debra Chasnoff is an Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker whose work has fueled progressive social-change movements in many fields. She is a the president and senior producer at GroundSpark and co-creator of The Respect for All Project, a program that produces media and training resources to help prevent prejudice among young people. Her Respect for All films include: Straightlaced—How Gender's Got Us All Tied Up (2009; director/producer) about the gender and sexuality struggles teenagers face today; Let's Get Real (2003; director/producer), a powerful documentary about young teens' experiences with name-calling and bullying in which youth speak up about racial tensions, anti-gay taunting, sexual harassment and much more; That's a Family! (2000; director/producer), which looks at family diversity from a kids' perspective, and was screened at the (Clinton!) White House and been embraced by scores of national children's advocacy, education and civil-rights organizations; and It's Elementary - Talking About Gay Issues in School (1996; director/producer), which was hailed as "a model of intelligent directing" by International Documentary and has served as a catalyst for schools all over the world to become more proactive in addressing anti-gay prejudice in the classroom. In 2007, Chasnoff directed It's STILL Elementary, a retrospective look at why It's Elementary was originally produced, the response it drew from the conservative right, and the impact the film has had on the national safe schools movement and some of the original students who appeared in the film. Chasnoff's other film credits include the Oscar-winning Deadly Deception—General Electric, Nuclear Weapons & Our Environment (1991; director/producer), a crucial component of a successful international grassroots campaign to pressure GE out of the nuclear-weapons industry; Homes & Hands - Community Land Trusts in Action (1998; co-director), which is used extensively to inspire local communities to explore new models of creating permanently affordable housing; Wired for What? (1999; director/producer), part of the PBS series Digital Divide about the push to computerize education; Choosing Children (1984; director/producer), which explored the once seemingly impossible idea that lesbians and gay men could become parents; One Wedding and a Revolution (2004:Director/Co-producer), captures the frantic days leading up to the bold political decision of San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom to start issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. She is a graduate of Wellesley College, which honored her with its first-ever alumnae achievement award in documentary filmmaking. She lives in San Francisco. Her two sons have been the inspiration for many of her films.

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