Sally Gearhart documentary receives enthusiastic support
The feature documentary “Sally” takes a deep dive into the life of iconic lesbian-feminist activist Sally Gearhart. Besides helping co-found the Women Studies Department at San Francisco State University, Sally Gearhart worked side-by-side with Harvey Milk to defeat the 1978 Briggs Initiative (which sought to ban homosexuals from working in California’s public schools), wrote classic lesbian fantasy novels and co-founded a women’s land community in Northern California.
SF State Public Health lecturer and filmmaker Deborah Craig encountered Gearhart in 2014, while shooting a short documentary about lesbians and aging. After completing that film, “A Great Ride,” in 2018, Craig and team promptly embarked on a longer documentary focusing on Gearhart. Craig’s film hopes to highlight Gearhart’s continuing relevance. Although she’s now almost 90, and somewhat isolated in the California woods, Gearhart’s key concerns — violence against women and environmental devastation — are more relevant than ever.
The team’s Kickstarter campaign launched the Sunday before International Women’s Day and reached its $30,000 goal within 48 hours (not the usual 30 days)! “We always believed that Sally deserved a film dedicated to her,” Craig said. “What surprised us was how many people connected with Sally’s story and how quickly the donations came pouring in.” Because of their initial success, the filmmakers are now going for a “stretch goal” of $50,000 that will help pay for animations, the rights to archival footage and additional filming.