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Lights, Camera, and 30 Years of Action: NCLR’s 30th Anniversary Film

Original Staff

Sundance Award-winning filmmaker Melissa Regan teamed up with NCLR to produce NCLR at 30: A Short Film, a film looking back on the past three decades of NCLR’s progress, and highlighting where NCLR will go in the next three. Hear from NCLR staff, clients, and supporters, and join us in remembering all the milestones: from our humble beginnings as the Lesbian Rights Project to Rev. Jerry Falwell agreeing with Kate on CNN.

The ten-minute short film showcases the breadth of NCLR’s work and captures the struggles and victories of the organization and larger LGBT civil rights movement. NCLR began its fight over 30 years ago with two brave and determined women, fresh out of law school and eager to make a difference. Donna Hitchens and Roberta Achtenberg saw the courtroom as a way to change the world. What started out as the Lesbian Rights Project dedicated to helping lesbian mothers retain custody of their children eventually blossomed into the National Center for Lesbian Rights, a comprehensive legal advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the cause of all LGBT people.

The film is a celebration of the progress achieved and stands as a testament to the work that still needs to be done.

Melissa Regan

Melissa Regan is a Sundance Film Festival award-winning filmmaker. Her documentary film, No Dumb Questions, was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, appeared on HBO, Cinemax, PBS, and LOGO, and is used extensively in diversity education. Melissa’s other projects include a series of short films for The Coca-Cola Company documenting community-based water and sanitation projects underway in Africa with USAID and CARE.

Melissa works with the Stanford and Harvard business schools to produce electronic educational products for business leaders. She has a pre-filmmaking background as an entrepreneur and researcher in engineering, internet technologies, and educational product design. Melissa holds a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. She lives in San Francisco.

Melissa Regan









Photo courtesy of Lynnly Labovitz

NCLR at 30 | A Short Film

NCLR would like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their contributions:

Created by: Epiphany Productions LLC

Produced and directed by Melissa Regan

Editors: Eva Moss, Shirley Thompson

Assistant Editor & Production Assistant: Lyra Frederick

Camera: Eli Adler, Marsha Kahm

Re-recording Mixer: Paul James Zahnley, C.A.S.

Sound: Steven Balick, Louis Block, Eric Limcaoco

Lights & Grip: Luke Seerveld, Holt Manchester

Music search: Beth Hada

Graphics: Roman Flute

Make-up: Lisa Zomer

Footage Courtesy of:
Johnny Symons/Persistent Visions: “Daddy and Papa”
Women’s Educational Media: “One Wedding and a Revolution”
KTVU Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco
KNTV Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco

Photos Courtesy of:
Shad Reinstein and Jody Laine: “Mom’s Apple Pie”
Jean Kasota
Joan “JEB” E. Biren
Moonforce Media
Barbara “Boo” Price
Bob Hsiang

NCLR timeline | celebrating 30 years of advancing LGBT rights

Decade after decade, NCLR has been the only lesbian-led legal champion setting the trends for justice, equality, and legal protections for all LGBT people!