Atlanta filmmaker and LGBT activist Cindy Abel, hoping to close the gap between what she needs in cash and what she’s got in the bank to fund a compelling film project about openly gay elected officials, made some progress Thursday with cocktails and personal appeals.

Abel’s in the final stages of completing “Breaking Through,” but still needs to raise about $68,000 to make it through post-production efforts and bring the film to festivals around the country. Thursday’s posh event at 805 Peachtree helped bring in more than $15,000 in donations from the crowd during pitches from Abel and from Joel Burns (top photo). The gay Forth Worth City Council member knows a thing or two about the impact of video: The YouTube video of his impromptu coming out speech during a 2010 council meeting has received nearly 2.8 million views.

Though the film profiles the struggles of gay elected officials from around the country, it includes some hometown flavor. Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan and state Rep. Karla Drenner appear in “Breaking Through.” The film also includes Mayor Annise Parker of Houston, U.S. Reps. Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank and David Cicilline, and Arkansas state Rep. Kathy Webb.

Abel held a similar fundraiser in April 2011 at gay-owned Radial Café. She said Thursday that the project has raised about $168,000 in money and in kind donations.