Freeheld, a US documentary about a dying lesbian police officer trying to transfer her pension to her partner, is among the films nominated for a ‘Best Documentary Short Subject’ Academy Award.

Detective Lieutenant Laurel Hester spent 25 years investigating cases in Ocean County, New Jersey – often putting her life on the line.

She had no reason to expect that in the last year of her life, after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, that her final battle for justice would be for the woman she loved.

The 38 minute documentary film chronicles Hester’s struggle to transfer her earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie Andree.

With less than six months to live, Hester refused to back down when her elected officials — the Ocean County Freeholders — denied her request to leave her pension to Andree, an automatic option for heterosexual married couples.

The moving film is structured chronologically, following both the escalation of Hester’s battle with the Freeholders and the decline of her health as cancer spreads to her brain.

“I hope this film will inspire someone,” Lt. Hester explained in December 2005, six weeks before she passed away. “I hope it gives them courage if they’re dealing with discrimination, as I have… I hope if they have a terminal disease they somehow get hope from listening to my story.”

Since winning the Special Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, Freeheld has screened at 45 film festivals in seven countries and has garnering eleven additional film awards.

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