Directed by Joe Wilson & Dean Hamer
Emmy Award Winner for Outstanding Achievement in Documentary from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, Mid Atlantic Chapter.
Out in the Silence takes viewers on a very personal journey through rural America as the battle over gay visibility and equality unfolds over a three-year period.The film portrays, with emotion and candor from all sides, the ongoing struggle for justice and equality in rural communities across America, and it depicts the change that is possible when people search for what they have in common rather than what sets them apart.
Out in the Silence captures the remarkable chain of events that unfold when the announcement of filmmaker Joe Wilson’s wedding to another man ignites a firestorm of controversy in his small Pennsylvania hometown. Drawn back by a plea for help from the mother of a gay teen being tormented at school, Wilson’s journey dramatically illustrates the universal challenges of being an outsider in a conservative environment and the transformation that is possible when those who have long been constrained by a traditional code of silence summon the courage to break it. The aim of Out in the Silence is to expand public awareness about the difficulties that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face in rural and small town America and to promote dialogue and action that will help people on all sides of the issues find common ground.
THE FILMMAKERS: Joe Wilson, social activist and filmmaker, was frustrated by the limitations of traditional advocacy, and so he picked up a camera with hopes of reaching broader audiences with stories that inform and compel people to question and act. Wilson’s work has been awarded winner of the Videomaker Magazine National Documentary Challenge, Audience Prize at the One-in-Ten Film Festival, and Best Short Film at the Barcelona Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, among other recognitions. He and his partner, Dean Hamer, have produced over a dozen pieces for their company, qWaves, Documentary Films. Dean Hamer, Scientist turned filmmaker, joined the journalism field after being invited to discuss his research on AIDS, human sexuality, and behavior genetics on numerous television news shows. He set out to communicate complex scientific and social ideas through compelling documentaries. Hamer’s debut film, The Preacher and the Poet, was a winner at the PBS/Independent Lens Online Shorts Festival. His work also has been awarded the Audience Prize at the One-in-Ten Film Festival, and Best Short Film at the Barcelona Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, among other recognitions. Hamer also has worked on productions for the BBC, Discovery Science, and network news channels. And he has written three award-winning books, including The Science of Desire, which was a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year” in 1994.