The late Gail Dolgin was best known for Daughter From Danang, which follows a Vietnamese mother and her Amerasian daughter as they reunite after a 22-year separation. Directed and produced with Vicente Franco, the film was the 2002 winner of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary and was nominated for an Academy Award. It was nationally broadcast on the PBS series American Experience. Her other films include Summer of Love, about San Francisco in the summer of 1967 (commissioned by American Experience and broadcast nationally in 2007), Cuba Va: The Challenge of the Next Generation, New Bridges, Face to Face and Why Vote.
Her path towards documentary filmmaking was a winding intersection of photography, storytelling, social activism and teaching. She served as a story consultant and mentor to many filmmakers in the Bay Area and sat on the selection committee for several film festivals, including Sundance. When working on The Barber of Birmingham, Dolgin, who had battled breast cancer for years, knew it would be her last film. She passed away in October 2010.
Robin Fryday, born and raised in Chicago, is a photographer based in Marin County, north of San Francisco. Her career as a child photographer spans almost 20 years and is linked to a commitment to use her work to help underprivileged children. Fryday co-founded and co-chairs the Bay Area Heart Gallery, a collaboration between photographers and public and private child adoption agencies. Her photographs have been used to raise money for nonprofit agencies designed to feed and school the impoverished in Peru, India, Bhutan and, most recently, Haiti. Fryday also runs an annual photography camp designed to teach teenagers photographic skills. The Barber of Birmingham is her first documentary film.