Jean Carlomusto is an Emmy nominated filmmaker, activist, and interactive media artist whose work explores the complex nature of unique individuals and marginalized populations. Her work has been exhibited internationally in festivals, museums, and on television. In 2022, she was a recipient of the Visual AIDS Vanguard Award for her pioneering work in the AIDS activist video movement.
An award winning feature documentary about a pathbreaking cultural anthropologist, dog agility enthusiast and iconic butch lesbian. Now entering her eighth decade writing about queer communities, Esther Newton’s life’s work has influenced generations of activists and scholars.
LARRY KRAMER IN LOVE & ANGER, (Producer/director, documentary, HBO, 2015). A gripping, warts-and-all tribute to one of the most important gay activists of our time, Larry Kramer in Love and Anger is not just a hero’s tale. Filmmaker Jean Carlomusto crafts a compelling account of the onset and terrible escalation of the AIDS crisis in the United States, an epidemic that came to define Kramer’s life and work. Featured at the Sundance Film Festival and nominated for 2 Emmy awards.
COMPULSIVE PRACTICE, (Co-curatored by Alexandra Juhasz and Hugh Ryan, documentary, 60 min, 2016). Produced by Visual AIDS for A Day Without Art, this film focuses on nine extraordinary artists who, through the use of video, focus artistic expression on the daily experiences of living with AIDS. Also, in collaboration with Hugh and Alexandra, she co-curated, EVERYDAY, an exhibition for Visual AIDS, focused on artistic expression of the daily experiences of living with HIV/AIDS.
SEX IN AN EPIDEMIC, (Produced/Directed/Edited, documentary, 60min). A powerful documentary that tells the story of how the safer sex movement was born and how HIV prevention movements continue today. Premiered on Showtime on World AIDS Day, 2011.
OFFERINGS, , an interactive video altar that commemorates AIDS activists, has been featured at the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles and toured South Africa as part of the Stop AIDS/Make Art project. In 2016, it was part of EVERYDAY at LaMama Galleria, NYC.
SHATZI IS DYING, (Produced/Directed/Edited, documentary, 55 min, 2000), A multilayered treatise exploring queer culture, AIDS politics, life and death, traced through the near-death experiences of a beloved rescue dog.
TO CATCH A GLIMPSE, (Produced/Directed/Edited, documentary, 60 min, 1997). A film that delves into Jean’s family history by trying to find out if the rumors about her grandmother's death -- trying to rid herself of an unwanted pregnancy in 1939 -- are true. Museum of Modern Art, NYC, permanent collections.
L IS FOR THE WAY YOU LOOK, A short work that cobbles together lesbian history using whatever scraps of gossip and memory can be found, weaving a humorous portrait of a population’s creative tussle for visibility and inclusion. Aired on PBS/WNET.
Jean was an early pioneer in the AIDS Activist video movement. In 1987, she started the Media Unit at Gay Men's Health Crisis. She was a founding member of DIVA TV (a video affinity group of ACT UP) and a member of the Testing The Limits Video Collective. The numerous works that she collaborated on, included: Doctors, Liars and Women: AIDS Activists Say No To Cosmo, Target City Hall, Seize Control of the FDA, Testing the Limits:NYC, and Women and AIDS.