Johnny Symons

Johnny Symons

Associate Professor
M.F.A. Coordinator, Documentary Coordinator, On Leave Spring 2024
Phone: (415) 405-2841
Location: Fine Arts Building, Room 546
Office Hours:
Thu: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.Sign-up via Zoom

Sign up for an office hours timeslot.

Office hours Zoom link.

If you are not available at this time, please email me to set up a separate appointment.


Johnny Symons is an Emmy-nominated Bay Area independent filmmaker. His feature documentaries include Daddy & Papa (2002), which premiered at Sundance, aired on PBS and international television, and garnered multiple Best Documentary awards; Beyond Conception (2006), which broadcast on Discovery Channel; Ask Not (2008), which aired on PBS and screened at the US Capitol for members of Congress; and his current project, Out Run. His work has been screened at more than 200 international film festivals and is used by hundreds of college educators and community organizers.  

Symons is the co-producer of the Academy Award-nominated feature Long Night’s Journey Into Day (2000), which won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at Sundance. He graduated with honors from Brown University and has a master’s in documentary production from Stanford.  Prior to coming to SF State, he taught film in various Bay Area film programs, including Stanford, the University of San Francisco, and the California College of the Arts. He is currently a Fellow at the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program.


  • M.A., Stanford University, Stanford
  • B.A., Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island


Persistent Visions