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Gail Dolgin (/ˈdɑːlɪn/; April 4, 1945 – October 7, 2010) was an American filmmaker. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Daughter from Danang, and The Barber of Birmingham.[1] Daughter from Danang also won the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary.

Gail Dolgin
Gail Dolgin.jpg
Born(1945-04-04)April 4, 1945
DiedOctober 7, 2010(2010-10-07) (aged 65)
OccupationAmerican documentary filmmaker
Spouse(s)Jairo Leclaire
ChildrenAmelia Leclaire Nardinelli
Parent(s)Diana Dolgin
Israel Dolgin
FamilyKalmon Dolgin (brother)
Neil Dolgin (brother)
Stuart Dolgin (brother)

Life and careerEdit

Dolgin was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn[2][3] the daughter of Israel and Diana Dolgin.[2] She had three brothers: Kalmon Dolgin, Neil Dolgin,[4] and Stuart Dolgin (deceased).[5] Her grandfather Kalmon Dolgin founded a New York-based real estate brokerage firm which her father and uncle expanded into real estate development. It is now known as Kalmon Dolgin Affiliates, Inc. and run by her two brothers.[6][7] She was raised in Great Neck, New York and earned a bachelor's degree in art history from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's in education from the University of Oregon. Interested in photography, she joined Newsreel, an activist film collective in New York, where she decided to pursue filmmaking professionally. In addition to Daughter From Danang, Dolgin's notable credits include Cuba Va about Cuban youth after the revolution, and Summer of Love, about San Francisco in the summer of 1967. She also collaborated filmmaker Vicente Franco on films.[8]

Her final project, a documentary film project on one of the unsung figures of the civil rights movement entitled The Barber of Birmingham was completed posthumously, co-directed and produced with still photographer Robin Fryday. The film premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, three months after Dolgin's death, and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2012.[9]

Dolgin was a mentor to Bay Area filmmakers, hosting monthly gatherings at her home in Berkeley, California to watch and discuss films with their directors via speakerphone, and served as a judge, board member and reviewer with the Sundance Film Festival, Independent Television Service, Berkeley Film Foundation and San Francisco Jewish Film Festival.[8]

Dolgin died in 2010, aged 65, following a 10-year battle with breast cancer.[1][8] She was candid about her illness, speaking about it during her 2002 acceptance speech at the Sundance Film Festival for Daughter from Danang and describing how she had found the courage to continue making films.[10] She had one daughter, Amelia Nardinelli.[8]


  1. ^ a b Obituary Los Angeles Times, October 19, 2010, page AA6.
  2. ^ a b Jewish Women's Archive: "Gail Dolgin Documentary filmmaker 1945 – 2010 retrieved July 20, 2014
  3. ^ Bloom, Nate (February 15, 2012). "Jewish Stars: Oscar time". Cleveland Jewish News.
  4. ^ Contra Costa Times: "Berkeley filmmaker Gail Dolgin dies at 65" By Kristin Bender October 15, 2010
  5. ^ New York Times Obituary: "Paid Notice: Deaths DOLGIN, STUART M., MD." July 4, 2001
  6. ^ Kalmon Dolgin Associates: "About Us" retrieved July 20, 2014
  7. ^ Real Estate Weekly: "Great real estate families" August 20, 2005
  8. ^ a b c d Jones, Carolyn (22 October 2010). "Gail Dolgin, Oscar-nominated documentarian, dies". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  9. ^ "TRIBUTE TO GAIL DOLGIN". IFC Center. Thom Powers. Archived from the original on 13 November 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ Goldsmith, Rick; Laurie Coyle. "Gail Dolgin Documentary filmmaker 1945 – 2010". We Remember. Jewish Women's Archive. Archived from the original on 21 September 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External linksEdit