Composer, historian, instrument builder, journalist, activist: Bob Ostertag’s work cannot easily be summarized or pigeon-holed. He has published more than twenty CDs of music, two DVDs, and five books. His writings on contemporary politics have been published on every continent and in many languages. He has performed at music, film, and multi-media festivals around the globe. His radically diverse collaborators include the Kronos Quartet, postmodernist John Zorn, heavy metal star Mike Patton, transgender cabaret starring Justin Vivian Bond, British guitar innovator Fred Frith, EDM star Rrose, and many others.
He is rumored to have connections to the shadowy media guerrilla group The Yes Men. In March 2006 Ostertag made all of his recordings to which he owns the rights available as free digital downloads under a Creative Commons license. Though his Living Cinema duo with Pierre Hébert has done live cinematic performances at major international film festivals around the world since 2000, this will be his first conventional feature film.
Jeremy Rourke is a self-taught animator, musician and performer. His experimental animation includes the use of photo-puppetry, line animation, claymation, glass, text, paint, pens, pencils, lights, shadows, flora and myriad paper ephemera. During live performances, he has been known to sing and tell stories in conjunction with instrumental music, sound samples, multiple projectors and real-time interactions with the screen. He has shared these expanded cinema performances around the San Francisco Bay Area (including the Exploratorium, Other Cinema, Shapeshifters Cinema, Recology AIR), around the country (including Ashland Independent Film Festival, Cinema Pacific Film Festival, Houston Cinema Arts Festival) and internationally at the Antimatter Media Art Festival.
Williams has received much critical acclaim for his film work since the 1990s, including his portrayals of real-life figures such as South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko, Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X, boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, football coach Herman Boone, poet and educator Melvin B. Tolson, and drug kingpin Frank Lucas. He has been a featured actor in the films produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and was a frequent collaborator of the late director Tony Scott.
Williams has received two Golden Globe awards, a Tony Award, and two Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor.
The Tin Hat Trio was an acoustic chamber music group. From their formation in San Francisco in 1997 to their transition to the Tin Hat Quartet in 2005, they produced an extraordinary string of CDs of acoustic music combines many genres of music, including jazz, southern blues,
Carla Kihlstedt is an American composer, violinist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist. She is a founding member of Tin Hat Trio (1997, renamed Tin Hat), Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, The Book of Knots, Causing a Tiger and Rabbit Rabbit. Other musical projects include 2 Foot Yard, Charming Hostess and Minamo (Carla Kihlstedt & Satoko Fujii). She is a recognized classical composer who has performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), has worked occasionally on projects with Tom Waits, John Zorn, and Fred Frith, and recorded numerous albums as a guest or session musician. Kihlstedt has studied at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and Oberlin Conservatory of Music.
Lea DeLaria is an actress and comedian best known for her portrayal of inmate Carrie “Big Boo” Black on Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black. She was the first openly gay comic to appear on a late-night talk show, with her 1993 appearance on The Arsenio Hall Show. In the 1980s she was deeply associated with the Valencia Rose, San Francisco’s first gay comedy club, co-founded by Hank Wilson.
Tom Ammiano is San Francisco’s highest profile politician since Harvey Milk. In the 1970s, Tom and Hank Wilson were inseparable friends and allies, starting the Gay Teachers Coalition and, together with Harvey Milk, the Bay Area Coalition Against the Briggs Initiative which played a key role in defeating the national wave of homophobic campaigns spearheaded by Anita Bryant. Tom is also a stand-up comedian, and the man who famously told then-CA Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to “kiss my gay ass.”
Blackberri is a singer, songwriter, and a longtime San Francisco Bay Area gay activist. He was a co-founder of Bay Area Gay Liberation (BAGL), and worked with Hank for many years at the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center (TARC)
Originally from Toldeo, Ohio, Donna Lisa Stewart toured with the Jewel Box Revue in the years before Stonewall before landing in San Francisco and becoming a regular performer at the legendary drag bar Aunt Charlie’s. For 12 years she worked with Hank Wilson managing the Ambassador Hotel. She continues to reside in the Tenderloin today.
Originally from Portland but moving to New York City in 1968, Gerry Kirby performed on Broadway with Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway in the all-black production of Hello Dolly!, opened for Bette Middler wearing nothing but a towel at the legendary gay bathhouse The Continental Baths (with Barry Manilow on piano), toured Europe with Donna Summers, and then moved to San Francisco where he was Sylvester’s back-up singer and dancer. He volunteered at the Tenderloin AIDS Resource Center for many years and continues to live in the Ambassador Hotel to the present day.