I present you the first film: Born That Way

Today, I introduce you to Born That Way, a 2013 short documentary  made by Alina Chebes, a student at the American University in Bulgaria.

There were  many short documentaries to choose from but I  preferred Born That Way because of the sensitivity of the topic (LGBT rights) which is still hot news, good cinematography and clean sound. It had enough ingredients to interest some niche film festival and student film festivals, so I went ahead and started preparing the press kit and submitting it to film festivals.

Born That Way

Born That Way

To give you an idea what is Born That Way about here is a short synopsis and the films itself (9’26”)

Synopsis : Born That Way ,is the story of my two best friends. We are from different countries but study together at the American University in Bulgaria (AUBG.) It’s a liberal arts school expected to promote tolerance and acceptance. It’s located in the Balkan region where homophobia is widespread. My friends are gay. They are telling me their stories of being attracted to guys for the first time in their lives and the struggles they underwent of accepting themselves. I also learn about the horrible situation in Russia, their motherland, where the government has passed a bunch of laws promoting gay hatred. After living with this thought that they are gays for quite a while now my friends decide to come out at our university. What difficulties do they encounter along the way?


1. Fresh Film Festival (International Festival of First Features and Student Films ), Prague, Czech Republic

Status: Rejected (personal notification)

Born That Way was in the Student Film competition "Zlin Dog"

Born That Way was in the Student Film competition “Zlin Dog”

2. 54th Zlin International Film Festival for Children and Youth, Zlin, Czech Republic

Status: Accepted in the Zlin Dog-International Competition of Student Films

3. Hamburg International Queer Film Festival, Hamburg, Germany

Status: Rejected (no notification)

4. Frameline 37- San Francisco LGBT International Film Festival

Status: Rejected (personal notification)

5. Side by Side-LGBT International Film Festival, St.Petersburg, Russia

Status: Rejected (no notification)

6. Ljubljana LGBT International Film Festival, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Status: Unknown ( the festival did not take place yet)

7. 14th International Student Film Festival Písek , Písek, Czech Republic

Status: Rejected (no notification)

8. 13th International Festival of Debut and Student Films BEGINNING, St.Petersburg, Russia

Status: Rejected (no notification)

9. Molodist International Film Festival, Kiev, Ukraine

Status:Rejected (no notification)

10. Early Bird Student Film Festival, Sofia, Bulgaria

Status: Rejected (no notification)

Born That Way in the  SoIndependent Film Festival Program

Born That Way in the SoIndependent Film Festival Program

11. SOIndependent Film Festival, Sofia, Bulgaria

Status: Accepted (personal notification)

12. International Random Film Festival, Gydania, Poland

Status: Rejected (no notification)

13. International Student Film Festival “NEW WAVE”, Sofia, Bulgaria

Status: Unknown (Notification date Nov.17th)

As you can see under each film festival there is a status, if it was rejected or accepted (I will talk about the kind of letters you receive from film festivals on the status of your film, later on ). The personal notification or no notification is if the film programers/festival got in touch or not with you and let you know of their decision, whatever that may be (I will also talk as we move on about why there is or not any replies from programmers.)

Next coming up is Welcome Home, the longest ‘short’ from the three I chose to submit to film festivals.

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