The Stroll
Directed by Kristen Lovell & Zackary Drucker
Produced by Matt Wolf
2023, 85 minutes

Official Website | Watch The Film: HBO, International

The Stroll Trailer from Matt Wolf on Vimeo.

When Director Kristen Lovell moved to New York City in the 1990s and began to transition, she was fired from her job. Like most transgender women of color from the era, she began sex working in the Meatpacking District neighborhood to survive. Trans women congregated in the area called “The Stroll” for sex work, and forged bonds as sisters to protect each other from harassment and violence.

As much as The Stroll is a film about transgender life, it is also a startling account of gentrification. The film shows the relentless police harassment that trans sex workers faced through the Giuliani era, and how the “quality of life” policies he enacted laid the groundwork for the rampant gentrification that pushed them out of the neighborhood. Despite the forces that threatened their survival, Kristen and her sisters fought back. They may no longer have The Stroll, but they are at the center of a civil rights movement. In this new era of visibility, Kristen and her community remind us that trans women of color and sex workers paved the way for future generations, and through their resilience and sisterhood, they will continue to thrive. 

The Stroll premiered in the US Documentary Competition at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and won a Special Jury Prize for Clarity of Vision. It was the opening night gala of BFI Flare, won Best Documentary at the Provincetown Film Festival, and screened at True/False, Hot Docs, and with Rooftop Films and NewFest outdoors in the center of the Meatpacking District.

The Stroll won a Peabody, GLAAD Media Award, and Best Broadcast Film at the Cinema Eye Honors. It’s now airing on HBO and streaming on Max. 

HBO Documentary Films  
Produced by Matt Wolf
Executive Producers Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller, Sara Rodriguez,
Carlos King, Scott Shatsky
Edited by Mel Mel Sukekawa-Mooring
Cinematographer Sara Kinney
Polari Pictures & Kingdom Reign Entertainment

Press & Reviews

A remarkable document of the self-determination of the women and workers who learned, in the face of the worst odds, to fend for themselves and each other. - New York Times, Critic’s Pick

The Stroll is a powerful piece of trans history-making, a document that feels wounded, lived in, and yet joyfully alive. - Variety

Powerful and Poignant… A story of survival, sisterhood, and erasure told by the trans women of color who lived it. - Hollywood Reporter

The film stands with Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver as a stark portrait of the naked city as it used to be… Lovell knows there was something vivid, real, and, most important for these purposes, cinematic about her old haunts. The Stroll is a vital work of recent urban history. - Rolling Stone

The Stroll is a staggering work of conjuration. Lovell, her friends, and her interviewees unpack the history of the place and all the vibrant spirits who once teemed in the street - Paste Magazine

A beautifully done and frank documentary, The Stroll is a reminder that trans people, sex workers, and those who exist in between won’t be destroyed, no matter how hard society (and the city of New York) may try to blot them out. - Shadow and Act

Drucker and Lovell have created both a necessary history and a powerful homage to inner strength as well as collective power.  - The Wrap

By celebrating these women’s humanity and spirit without minimizing their hardships, that duality is what makes “The Stroll” so markedly different than what’s come before it.  - Indiewire

It’s a film about gentrification, not just of a community, but of an entire identity, and the way that individuals will attempt to drive out and change anything undesirable… a truly essential piece of trans cinema. - Into

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