Freeheld Wins Oscar

Filmmakers Cynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth won 2008’s Best Documentary Short Academy Award for Freeheld, which chronicles the struggle of cancer-stricken New Jersey police officer Laurel Hester to bequeath her pension to her registered domestic partner. Ocean County Freeholders initially barred Hester from doing so, but she videotaped a plea that was shown to the freeholders, who reversed their decision and now provide pension benefits for registered domestic partners. Hester died in 2006 at the age of 49.