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Joe Wilson (United States)

Joe Wilson got involved in documentary filmmaking through his professional work and social activism on human rights issues. 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. OTROS AMORES, his debut film, won the Videomaker National Documentary Film Challenge. Together with Qwaves co-founder Dean Hamer, his films on controversial and often ignored human rights issues have won jury and audience awards and official selection at more than 100 film festivals around the country and the world, and received widespread attention for their role in promoting social change.

In 2004, Wilson returned to his small hometown of Oil City, Pennsylvania, to direct and produce the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary OUT IN THE SILENCE. Through more than 700 grassroots screenings across the country, this film has become part of a national movement to open dialogue, counter school bullying, and support fairness and equality for all in small towns and rural communities.

Wilson is a frequent speaker at colleges and conferences about justice and film activism. He lives with his partner Dean Hamer on the north shore of O’ahu, Hawai’i.


  • Kapaemahu
  • Leitis in Waiting
  • Lady Eva
  • Archipels
  • Independent Lens
  • Kumu Hina
  • A Place in the Middle
  • Out in the Silence
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