Films by Filmmaker
Johnny Symons is an Emmy-nominated independent documentary filmmaker based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His film Daddy & Papa, about the personal, cultural, and political impact of gay men raising children, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, aired on PBS and international television, and garnered multiple Best Documentary awards. His feature documentary Beyond Conception, about the relationship between a lesbian surrogate and a gay male couple as they conceive and bear a child, premiered at the Florida Film Festival and aired on Discovery Health Channel. Ask Not, an award-winning feature-length documentary about the impact of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the US military, broadcast in 2009 on PBS’ Independent Lens and screened for Congress at the US Capitol. He is currently producing Out Run, a feature documentary about LGBT politicians running openly for elected office in conservative parts of the developing world. 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, about South Africa's search for truth and reconciliation, which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at Sundance and broadcast on HBO. He has worked as a freelance director, producer, and cinematographer on numerous award-winning documentaries.
Symons graduated with honors from Brown University and has a master’s in documentary production from Stanford University. He teaches film in various Bay Area institutions, including Stanford, University of San Francisco, and the California College of the Arts. Symons is currently a Fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program.