Frameline Acquires "Joy of Life"; Film is Part of Growing Discussion of Golden Gate Bridge Suicide Barrier

by Eugene Hernandez

Image provided by Jenni Olson, director of "The Joy of Life."

Frameline has announced a deal for North American rights to Jenni Olson's "The Joy of Life," which premiered this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Olson's film, an experimental documentary, has become part of a discussion about suicides at San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge as authorities considered the matter of placing a suicide barrier on the bridge.

With voiceover by Harriet "Harry" Dodge and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the film features two storylines: the history of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge as a site of many suicides over the years, and an exploration of a butch lesbian looking for love.

Prior the film's debut at Sundance, Olson published an op-ed piece in The San Francisco Chronicle, seeking a barrier to prevent suicides and relating the death of her friend Mark Finch, who was a former head of the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. Olson also distributed copies of her film to the Bridge's board of directors. Last month the board approved the funding of a study examining the installation of a barrier.

The film will have its local premiere at this month's San Francisco International Film Festival, followed by screenings at other festivals.

Frameline's Maura King told indieWIRE that the film will open theatrically in San Francisco, with a roll out to New York and Los Angeles. A release date is still pending. The company is known as the only non-profit group aimed at funding, distributing, exhibiting and promoting media arts. It maintains a library of some 200 films and also presents the annual the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival.

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