Cast and Crew
Voiceover Harriet "Harry" Dodge is a writer, director, visual artist and an award-winning solo performer who wrote and directed a critically acclaimed series of experimental theater pieces, among them, “Muddy Little River” and “From Where I’m Sitting” which won the Bay Area Award Show Prize from New Langton Arts Gallery in 1998. Her debut DV feature film, By Hook or By Crook was theatrically released in 2003. She recently earned her MFA from Bard College, and her visual work (sculpture, video) has been exhibited nationally. In 2000, she played “Dinah”, a supporting role in John Waters’ Cecil B. Demented. Dodge co-founded The Bearded Lady Café and Truckstop, a notorious literary/art/ performance/art venue in San Francisco through the 1990s.

Additional Voiceover Lawrence Ferlinghetti is the co-founder of the legendary City Lights Bookstore and City Lights Publishing. He is a prolific and esteemed poet, writer and painter, and is a former Poet Laureate of the City of San Francisco. Ferlinghetti’s A Coney Island of the Mind continues to be the most popular poetry book in the U.S. It has been translated into nine languages, and there are more than 1,000,000 copies in print. In 2003 he was awarded the Robert Frost Memorial Medal, the Author’s Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, and he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Editor Marc Henrich is a Bay Area-based filmmaker, film teacher and freelance editor. He has taught editing and film history at UC Berkeley Extension, the Academy of Art, and Film Arts Foundation. His films (The Visit, In the Shadow of Fear, and Unsettled) have been shown at festivals around the world. He is currently at work on his first narrative feature, Into the Wind.

Cinematographer Sophia Constantinou is senior producer and director of photography at Citizen Film, a San Francisco-based production company dedicated to telling personal stories with care and dignity. Her films have shown around the globe in festivals, museums and on TV. Her most recent feature-length documentary, Divided Loyalties, traces the history of Cyprus through the stories of exiles and immigrants, who reflect back on their lost homeland.

Sound Designer Kadet Kuhne is a Los Angeles-based sound designer, composer, filmmaker and installation artist. She has done sound design and sound editing on numerous independent films. As an experimental filmmaker Kadet has had multiple shorts screened worldwide; her most recent piece, The Couple, premiered at LA’s Outfest in 2004. Kadet’s video installation works involve sensors, live processing, and the dynamics of space as it relates to the individual. She has had exhibitions and performances at such venues as the Museum of Art Lucerne, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, New York Underground Film Festival, and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Co-producer Julie Dorf has been doing fundraising in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1989 when she founded the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. She has also worked as a fundraiser for the Vanguard Foundation and as a consultant for the Open Society Institute. She is now director of philanthropic services at Horizons Foundation in San Francisco. In 1990 she co-directed the first documentary about gay life in the former Soviet Union, Outcasts in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Co-producer Scott Noble has worked as a producer and associate producer on several San Francisco short film projects. Noble was also associate producer on Jenni Olson’s Blue Diary and has worked on numerous film festivals in both San Francisco and New York.

Executive Producer Tom Rielly is best known as the Founder and former CEO of PlanetOut.com, which joined forces with Gay.com to create the largest gay and lesbian online company with over 5 million monthly customers. Based in San Francisco, the company is now called PlanetOut, Inc. In 2006, Rielly co-founded the Queer Film Blog with Jenni Olson. Currently, Rielly is CEO of Griot Digital, LLC, a marketing, interactive and startup consulting firm. Rielly is also an accomplished actor, stand-up comic and satirist. His original satires, which close the annual TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) conferences, receive standing ovations year after year. His "warm up acts" have included evangelist Billy Graham and former Vice-President Al Gore. In 1980 he played the role of Reissman in the feature film, My Bodyguard.   He has also performed at the TYPO conference, the largest graphic design conference in Europe, and at YPO University in Florence, as well as the Aspen Design Conference.

Associate Producer Russ Gage has been involved in the world of LGBT film in various capacities over the years. Most recently he served as Operations Director for Frameline and the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival.

Associate Producer Paul Lee graduated from the University of Toronto with B.Sc. (biology) and MA (anthropology), and from York University with M.B.A. (arts & media administration) and M.F.A. (film). Since 1991 he has organized and curated film festivals in Canada, the US, Japan, and Thailand. In addition to his programming activities, Lee also specializes in producing films for first-time filmmakers, lesbian and gay filmmakers, and in international co-productions. His first short film Thick Lips Thin Lips, was screened at over 100 film festivals. His second film is These Shoes Weren't Made For Walking. His third film, The Offering, has won 47 awards to date, and has been screened at over 310 film festivals since its premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival. He is currently at work on his fourth film. He also associate produced Jenni Olson's Blue Diary.

Music Weldon Kees (1914-1955?) was a multi-talented writer, poet, painter, filmmaker, photographer, art critic, composer and musician of the ‘40s and ‘50s. Critically acclaimed and prolifically published in many of the best magazines and journals of the era (including The New Yorker and The Partisan Review), Kees relocated from New York City to San Francisco in 1950 where he was very actively involved in a variety of cultural creations, from a film review radio program on Berkeley’s KPFA (with the young Pauline Kael) to writing and performing New Orleans jazz music. In July 1955, after a long struggle with depression, Kees’s car was found at the Golden Gate Bridge. A presumed suicide, his body was never found. Holiday Rag, a CD of Kees’s collaborations with clarinetist Bob Helm was released in 1998 by Badger Press. Kees wrote and performed the song “The Coastline Rag” which plays under the opening text slates and the closing credits of The Joy of Life.

Final Sound Mix Jim Lively & Dave Nelson valiantly came to the rescue with their tremendous skills and facilities in typical last-minute cinematic emergency fashion. Click on their names here to find out more about how brilliant they really are!
   
Writer-director Jenni Olson
About Jenni Olson
Joy of Life writer/director Jenni Olson has been programming, researching, collecting, creating, and writing about lesbian, gay, bi and transgender (LGBT) film since 1986 and is one of the world's leading experts on LGBT cinema history. As director of e-commerce and consumer marketing at the LGBT film distribution company, Wolfe Video & DVD, she champions queer independent cinema on a daily basis. She is the former director of entertainment and e-commerce for PlanetOut.com and Gay.com, where she founded PopcornQ, a massive GLBT film website based on her book, The Ultimate Guide to Lesbian & Gay Film and Video (Serpent's Tail , 1996).

The Joy of Life is Olson's debut feature.

In 2006, Jenni co-founded the Queer Film Blog with longtime friend and colleague Tom Rielly.

Olson’s debut feature film, The Joy of Life (now on DVD from Strand Releasing) world premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival and has played a pivotal role in renewing debate about the need for a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge, as well as garnering praise from critics and audiences around the globe for its unique storytelling style. The Joy of Life will have its gallery debut as part of a group show, "Traces of light on the thin film of longing" at SF Camerawork in January 2007. A lengthy excerpt from the film’s script is also included in the Summer 2006 edition of the San Francisco literary journal, Instant City.

Olson’s pioneering archival coffee-table tome, The Queer Movie Poster Book (Chronicle Books), was a 2005 Lambda Literary Award nominee. Olson can be seen discussing many of the posters from her book in the new IFC documentary, Fabulous!: The Story of Queer Cinema. Two of Olson’s vintage movie trailer programs have recently been released on DVD: Homo Promo (from Strand Releasing) and Afro Promo (from Other Cinema DVD).

Olson serves on the Advisory Board of Outfest's Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation and is a proud collector of all manner of LGBT film prints and ephemera. As a film collector and archivist Olson’s historical movie trailer programs Homo Promo (1991), Neo Homo Promo (1993), Jodie Promo (1995), Trailer Camp (1995), Afro Promo (1997), Trailers Schmailers (1997) and Bride of Trailer Camp (2001) have been shown at film festivals around the world, as have her short videos: Levi's 501s Commercial (1991), Sometimes (1994), Blow-up (1997, co-directed with Kadet Kuhne), Meep Meep! (2000) and Matzo Maidels (2003, co-directed with Julie Dorf and Monica Nolan). Blue Diary (1997), Olson's first 16mm short as writer/director, has played at more than 75 film festivals internationally since premiering at the 1998 Berlin International Film Festival. Olson’s films have screened at festivals both prestigious and obscure -- from Antalya, Turkey to Zurich, Switzerland (including such notable venues as: The Sundance Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, the Pacific Film Archive, and the American Cinematheque).

Olson was consulting producer on By Hook or By Crook, the legendary queer movie by Harriet “Harry” Dodge and Silas Howard which premiered at Sundance in 2002. Her latest effort as producer is the playful 35mm short, Sing Along San Francisco (directed by Georgina Corzine) which premiered at the 2002 San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. Credits as associate producer include the 1996 British Channel 4 documentary, Jodie: An Icon (directed by Pratibha Parmar, the film is about Jodie Foster as an icon for lesbians); Canadian filmmaker Paul Lee's Technicolor, Cinemascope 35mm short, The Offering; and Jill Burnett’s This Way Out, a documentary about gay asylum seekers and their journey to escape persecution in their homelands. She continues to serve as an advisor to many filmmakers on a variety of projects.

Olson was the Co-Director of the San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival (working with queer film pioneer Mark Finch) from 1992-1994; in 1999 she launched the PlanetOut.com Short Movie Awards (the first LGBT online film festival) and she was also co-founder and longtime consulting programmer to the Minneapolis/St. Paul LGBT Film Festival (which, sadly, bit the dust in 2005). Olson has done extensive work as a film programmer and public speaker, as well as serving on numerous film festival juries and screening committees. She continues to write about LGBT film for The Advocate, indieWIRE.com, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, PlanetOut and QueerFilmBlog.com as well as doing occasional creative writing – most recently her short vignettes have appeared in the anthology Get On The Bus (CitySpace, 2006) and the website Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood. She does additional curatorial and archival work (in her copious free time) and is also in development on an exciting new film project called, Get Me Guinevere Turner.

She lives in San Francisco with her partner, Julie and their two daughters, Hazel and Sylvie.