° The old Butch.org site is a conceptual worldwide safe space dedicated to butches everywhere. °
Jenni Olson is a writer, archivist, historian, consultant, and non-fiction filmmaker based in Berkeley, California. Her two feature-length essay films — The Joy of Life (2005) and The Royal Road (2015) — premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and, like her many short films, have screened internationally to awards and acclaim. Her work as an experimental filmmaker and her expansive personal collection of LGBTQ film prints and memorabilia were acquired in April 2020 by the Harvard Film Archive (more info here about: Harvard's Jenni Olson Queer Film Collection), and her reflection on the last 30 years of LGBT film history, in The Oxford Handbook of Queer Cinema, was published by the Oxford University Press. She was named to the Out Magazine Out 100 list in 2020. In 2021, she was recognized with the prestigious Special TEDDY Award at the Berlin Film Festival.
Jenni is currently co-director of The Bressan Project, devoted to restoring and re-releasing the films of pioneering gay filmmaker Arthur J. Bressan, Jr. Her work as a film historian includes the Lambda Award nominated The Queer Movie Poster Book (Chronicle Books, 2005) and her many vintage movie trailer presentations (Homo Promo, Afro Promo, etc.). Jenni's film criticism has appeared in numerous publications including Filmmaker Magazine, The Advocate and the San Francisco Bay Guardian and she is currently a film columnist for Logo TV’s NewNowNext.
Jenni is a former co-director of the San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival, the oldest and largest queer film festival on the planet, and served as director of marketing at LGBT film distributor Wolfe Video for more than a decade where she also created the global LGBT streaming VOD platform WolfeOnDemand.com. She co-founded the pioneering LGBT online platform, PlanetOut.com as well as the legendary Queer Brunch at Sundance. She is also the proud proprietor of Butch.org.
Jenni has been widely honored for her creative writing and innovative non-fiction storytelling. She holds a BA in Film Studies from the University of Minnesota and is currently an independent consultant in marketing and digital film distribution. A 2018 MacDowell Fellow, Jenni is now in development on her third feature-length essay film, The Quiet World and an essayistic memoir of the same name.
Press materials like film production stills and headshots on Jenni and her various projects can be found at this link. For an ongoing set of spreadsheets linking to press coverage of Jenni's films and projects, as well as her own writings and film criticism, etc. — click here.
* Thank you to photographer Scott McDermott for the front page headshot.