Johnny Symons

Associate Professor, Documentary Filmmaker
San Francisco State University

Johnny Symons is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker and Associate Professor in the School of Cinema at San Francisco State University.  His film DADDY & PAPA (2002) was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, aired on PBS and international television, and garnered more than a dozen festival awards. His feature documentary BEYOND CONCEPTION (2006) premiered at the Florida Film Festival and aired on Discovery Health Channel. ASK NOT(2008) broadcast on PBS’ Independent Lens, won the GLAAD award for Best Documentary and screened for Congress at the US Capitol. His latest film OUT RUN (2016, produced and directed with S. Leo Chiang) premiered at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, won Best Cinematography at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival and broadcast on public television in 2017. Symons’ work has screened at more than 200 international film festivals and is used by hundreds of college educators and community organizers.  

Symons is the co-producer of the Academy Award-nominated LONG NIGHT’S JOURNEY INTO DAY(2000), which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at Sundance and broadcast on HBO. He has been a Fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program, and has worked as a freelance director, producer, and cinematographer on numerous award-winning documentaries. His work has been funded by ITVS, Sundance, Tribeca, Frameline, Pacific Pioneer, the Horizons Foundation, and the California Council for the Humanities.

Symons graduated with honors from Brown University and has a master’s in documentary production from Stanford University.  Currently, he is Coordinator of the Documentary Program and Director of the Queer Cinema Institute at San Francisco State University. Prior to his work at SFSU, he taught documentary for 12 years in other Bay Area film programs including Stanford, University of San Francisco, and the California College of the Arts. 

Sessions in which Johnny Symons attends

Tuesday 25 September, 2018

Time Zone: PDT/(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
8:00 AM
8:00 AM
Registration 9 hours, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Cinerama Dome - Lobby

9:00 AM
9:00 AM
Welcome to Getting Real '18 15 minutes, 9:00 AM - 9:15 AM

Cinerama Dome - Theater

Claire Aguilar, International Documentary Associati (Participant)

Randy Haberkamp, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Participant)

Simon Kilmurry, International Documentary Association (Participant)

9:15 AM
9:15 AM
Keynote: Molly Thompson 30 minutes, 9:15 AM - 9:45 AM

Cinerama Dome - Theater

Keynote

Molly Thompson, A+E Networks (Participant)

9:45 AM
9:45 AM
Here's What Really Happened - Hero 1 hour 30 minutes, 9:45 AM - 11:15 AM , Signup required

Film L.A. - Meeting Room

Conversation

Hussain Currimbhoy, Sundance Film Festival (Moderator)

Navid Khonsari, iNK Stories (Participant)

10:00 AM
10:00 AM
Two Radio Guys Help Your Movies Look Better with Sound 1 hour 30 minutes, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

ArcLight Hollywood - Theater 8

Conversation

Bob Carlson, KCRW - UnFictional (Participant)

Matthew Holzman, KCRW (Participant)

11:30 AM
11:30 AM
Lunch 3 hours, 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study - Back Lot

11:45 AM
11:45 AM

ArcLight Hollywood - Theater 8

Panel

Jean Tsien, A-Doc / Independent Filmmaker (Moderator)

James Costa, International Documentary Association (Participant)

Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, Call Her Ganda (Participant)

PJ Raval, Unraval Pictures (Participant)

Marty Syjuco, Thoughtful Robot Productions (Participant)

Lisa Valencia-Svensson, Multitude Films (Participant)

1:30 PM
1:30 PM
Documenting the Present, Preserving the Future 1 hour 30 minutes, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM , Signup required

Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study - Linwood Dunn Theater

Panel

James Moll, BLIND VISION FILMS (Moderator)

Shola Lynch, Filmmaker (Participant)

Ross Lipman, corpus fluxus (Participant)

Linda Tadic, Digital Bedrock (Participant)

Todd Wiener, UCLA Film & Television Archive (Participant)

3:45 PM
3:45 PM
Challenge of Independent Film Distribution 1 hour 30 minutes, 3:45 PM - 5:15 PM

ArcLight Hollywood - Theater 8

Panel

Karen Konicek, Zipporah Films, Inc. (Moderator)

Alice Apley, Documentary Educational Resources (Participant)

Efuru Flowers, Flourishing Films (Participant)

Debra Zimmerman, Women Make Movies (Moderator)

Jonathan Skurnik, Skurnik Productions, LLC (Participant)

6:00 PM
6:00 PM
Opening Night Party 2 hours, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study - Back Lot

Wednesday 26 September, 2018

Time Zone: PDT/(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada)
9:00 AM
9:00 AM
Keynote: Michèle Stephenson 30 minutes, 9:00 AM - 9:30 AM

Cinerama Dome - Theater

Keynote

Michèle Stephenson, Rada Film Group (Participant)

9:30 AM
9:30 AM
#DecolonizeDocs—The Filmmaker 1 hour 30 minutes, 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM

ArcLight Hollywood - Theater 10

Panel

Loira Limbal, Firelight Media (Moderator)

Lyric R Cabral, Filmmaker (T)ERROR (Participant)

Jason DaSilva, AXS LAB INC. (Participant)

Ben-Alex Dupris, Bendigenous (Participant)

Deborah S. Esquenazi, Myth of Monsters Media, LLC (Participant)

Edwin Martinez, Nicole Films (Participant)

10:00 AM
10:00 AM
Collective Intelligence: Co-Creative and Emergent Documentaries 1 hour 30 minutes, 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM , Signup required

Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study - Linwood Dunn Theater

Performance

Katerina Cizek, Co Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab (Participant)

Sarah Wolozin, MIT Open Documentary Lab (Participant)

11:30 AM
11:30 AM
Lunch 3 hours, 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study - Back Lot

Budgeting Workshop with Robert Bahar 1 hour 30 minutes, 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

ArcLight Hollywood - Theater 10

Workshop

Robert Bahar, Semilla Verde Productions, Ltd. (Participant)

11:45 AM
11:45 AM
Reenactment Reconsidered: Staged Realities and Nonfiction Fantasies 1 hour 30 minutes, 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM , Signup required

Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study - Linwood Dunn Theater

Panel

Robert Greene, 4th Row Films (Moderator)

Yance Ford, Filmmaker (Participant)

Kitty Green (Participant)

Sandi Tan, Shirkers LLC (Participant)

1:15 PM
1:15 PM
What Is the Value of a Film School Education? 1 hour 30 minutes, 1:15 PM - 2:45 PM , Signup required

Film L.A. - Meeting Room

Panel

Marco Williams, Hiptruth Productions (Moderator)

Danielle Beverly, Petunia Productions (Participant)

Marshall Curry, Marshall Curry Productions (Participant)

Julia Haslett, UNC-Chapel Hill (Participant)

Rustin Thompson, White Noise Productions (Participant)

1:30 PM
1:30 PM
Getting In Early: Development Funding 1 hour 30 minutes, 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

ArcLight Hollywood - Theater 10

Panel

Lisa Chanoff, Catapult Film Fund (Participant)

Monika Navarro, Firelight Media (Participant)

Bonni Cohen, Catapult Film Fund/ Actual Films (Moderator)

Molly Thompson, A+E Networks (Participant)

Caroline von Kuhn, Sundance Institute (Participant)

Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (Participant)

Carrie Lozano, Sundance Institute (Participant)

3:30 PM
3:30 PM

ArcLight Hollywood - Theater 8

Panel

Danny Alpert, Kindling Group (Participant)

Laura Fallsgraff, Kindling Group (Moderator)

Michael Fequiere, Great Big Story (Participant)

Kristin Pichaske, Kindling Group (Moderator)

Jacob Kornbluth, Inequality Media (Participant)

Kathleen Lingo, The New York Times (Participant)

5:00 PM
5:00 PM
Keynote: Chi-hui Yang 30 minutes, 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM

Cinerama Dome - Theater

Keynote

Chi-hui Yang, Ford Foundation (Participant)

6:30 PM
6:30 PM
Gimme Truth! 1 hour 30 minutes, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM , Signup required

The Montalbán - Theatre

Game Show

Brian Babylon, Babylon Industries (Participant)

8:00 PM
8:00 PM
PBS Indies Party 2 hours, 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM , Signup required

NeueHouse Hollywood - NeueHouse Hollywood