Joe Wilson got involved in documentary filmmaking through his activism and long-time work as a foundation program officer for human rights. Frustrated by the limitations of traditional organizing and advocacy, he picked up a camera with hopes of reaching broader audiences with stories that would inform and compel people to act. His early short films on controversial and often ignored social issues have won jury and audience awards and official selection at more than 100 film festivals around the world, and received widespread attention for their role in promoting change.
In 2004, Wilson returned to his small hometown of Oil City, Pa. to direct and produce the Sundance-supported, Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary OUT IN THE SILENCE. Through more than 700 grassroots screenings across the country, this film became part of a national movement to open dialogue, counter school bullying, and support fairness and equality for LGBT people in small towns and rural communities, demonstrating the ability that films have to bring marginalized voices into the public square and promote grassroots participation for social change. The success of the OUT IN THE SILENCE campaign was highlighted as a case study in two recent reports: Designing for Impact by the Center for Social Media at American University and The Good Pitch Review by the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation.
Wilson is currently working on KUMU HINA, a film for public television, in association with ITVS and Pacific Islanders in Communications, that brings the powerful perspective of Pacific Island culture and values to bear on one of the most important and hotly contested issues of the 21st century: dignity, respect and human rights for transgender and gender nonconforming people around the world.
Wilson graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, and spent 20 years in Washington, DC. He now lives and works with his partner Dean Hamer on the north shore of O‘ahu, Hawai'i.
Producer/Director/Director of Photography
Scientist turned filmmaker Dean Hamer joined the journalism field after being invited to discuss his research on AIDS, human sexuality, and behavior genetics on numerous television news shows. He set out to communicate complex scientific and social ideas through compelling documentaries.
Hamer’s debut film, The Preacher and the Poet, was a winner at the PBS/Independent Lens Online Shorts Festival. His work also has been awarded the Audience Prize at the One-in-Ten Film Festival, and Best Short Film at the Barcelona Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, among other recognitions.
He and his partner, Joe Wilson, have produced over a dozen pieces for their company, qWaves, Documentary Films.
Hamer also has worked on productions for the BBC, Discovery Science, and network news channels. And he has written three award-winning books, including The Science of Desire, which was a New York Times "Notable Book of the Year" in 1994.
Documentary film editor Nels Bangerter has a keen sense of story and an alert eye for revealing moments.
His most recent feature, War Child, documents Emmanual Jal’s journey from Sudanese child soldier to hip hop artist and activist. It premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival and won the Audience Award at the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival.
Bangerter also worked with Whoopi Goldberg for MSNBC’s Mississippi Rising after Hurricane Katrina.
Visit Nels' Web site: http://nelsbangerter.com
Award-winning composer and sound designer Joel Douek’s work spans orchestral epics to cutting-edge electronics to the fusion of both.
His music has appeared in hundreds of television episodes, major documentary specials, and films including the winner of the HBO Documentary Feature Rocks with Wings, the BAFTA-nominated Munich: Mossad’s Revenge, and the 2004 Song Of The Year Contest winner King’s X.
Visit Joel's Web site: http://www.joeldouek.com/
Transgender singer/songwriter Namoli Brennet is a three-time Out Music award nominee and has been featured in Performing Songwriter Magazine, The Advocate, and the Chicago Free Press.
Her poetic, genre-breaking music has received airplay in Houston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, New York City, San Francisco, Portland, New Haven, and Chicago, as well as Australia and France.
Visit Namoli's Web site: http://namolibrennet.com
God-des & She
Lesbian hip-hop duo God-des & She is comprised of two talented small town girls with a knack for combining infectious lyrics with a soulful sound. They've appeared numerous times on The L Word and MTV's Logo channel and were recently nominated for the “Brink of Fame Music Award.”
Visit the God-des & She Web site: http://www.god-des.com/
- Presented by Penn State Public Broadcasting.