Jan Oxenberg

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Jan Oxenberg
Born1950 (age 72–73)
Brooklyn, New York, United States
EducationBarnard College,
California Institute of the Arts
Known forFeminist Lesbian Films,
Film Production

Jan Oxenberg (1950) is an American film producer, director, editor, and screenwriter. She is known for her work in lesbian feminist films and in television.[1][2]


Oxenberg was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1950.[3]

She attended Barnard College for two years where she was active in the experimental college, a collaborative, co-living, and self-directed schooling experiment between Barnard and Columbia University starting in 1968.[3][4] Oxenberg transferred to California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and initially she studied feminist art with Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro, but later transferring into the CalArts film school.[3] In 1972, Oxenberg was one of the many participants in Womanhouse, the first feminist art installation and performance art (specifically within the art pieces - Three Women, Birth Trilogy, Necco Wafers).[5]

In the 1970s she was involved with ELF (education liberation front), a traveling educational resource, carrying information and books on liberation movements, racism, ecology and more.[3] Around 1974 she was active in producing a radio series called "Lesbian Sisters" on KPFK Los Angeles.[3]

She has also worked as a producer and writer on Pretty Little Liars. Other credits include Nothing Sacred, Cold Case, Kidnapped, In Plain Sight, and Chicago Hope.

Since 2013, Oxenberg has been adapting James Ellroy's memoir, My Dark Places for a screenplay and film production by Myriad Pictures.[6][7]

Personal life[edit]

Oxenberg is Jewish,[8] and openly lesbian.[9][10] Oxenberg has been out as a lesbian since the early portion of the second wave feminist movement.[11] For many years she dated musician Sonia Wieder-Atherton.[11]


Year Title Type Role Notes
1973 Home Movie short film film director This film is regarded as one of the first feminist lesbian films[10] and was shown at the Womanspace Gallery in 1973.[12][13] It revisits old home movies but with a queer narrative.[14]
1974 I'm Not One of 'Em short film film director
1975 A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts film producer, film director, film editor [15]
1975 Films by Jan Oxenberg short film film director, film editor
1975 Woman to Woman documentary sound
1986 Rate It X documentary sound
1992 Thank You and Good Night documentary film producer, film director This documentary film is centered around a portrait of Oxenberg's dying grandmother, and about facing death.[16][17]
Year(s) Title Type Role Notes
1997 Relativity television series drama writer Oxenberg wrote the 1997 Relativity episode that featured the first kiss between two lesbian characters on American primetime television.[18][19]
1998–1999 Chicago Hope television series drama film producer (3 episodes)
1999–2001 Once and Again television series drama film producer, writer (43 episodes) She wrote for Once and Again, which had a pioneering storyline of a lesbian teenage couple.[20][21]
2001 The Education of Max Bickford film producer
2002 Robbery Homicide Division film producer
2003 Mister Sterling film producer (3 episodes)
2003–2004 Cold Case television series police procedural film producer (22 episodes)
2006–2007 Kidnapped film producer (12 episodes)
2008 Long Island Confidential film producer
2011 In Plain Sight film producer (2 episodes)
2013 Pretty Little Liars film producer (3 episodes)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wolf, Deborah Goleman (1980). The Lesbian Community. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520042483.
  2. ^ Citron, Michelle (March 1981). "The films of Jan Oxenberg: Comic critique". Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e "The Lesbian Tide (1974) March-April, 1976 — Independent Voices". voices.revealdigital.com. 1974. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  4. ^ Rosenberg, Rosalind (2004). Changing the Subject: How the Women of Columbia Shaped the Way We Think About Sex and Politics. New York City, New York: Columbia University Press. p. 277. ISBN 9780231501149.
  5. ^ "Artists Womanhouse". WOMANHOUSE. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  6. ^ "Jan Oxenberg". www.powerupfilms.org. Retrieved 2019-10-08.
  7. ^ Harris, Dana (2003-02-21). "Artisan goes to 'Dark Places'". Variety. Retrieved 2019-10-09.
  8. ^ Kaufman, Deborah (27 February 2009). "Filmmakers, Independent North American". Jewish Women's Archive.
  9. ^ Foster, Gwendolyn Audrey (1995). Women Film Directors: An International Bio-critical Dictionary. Greenwood Press. p. 87. ISBN 0313289727.
  10. ^ a b Savage, Ann M. (2008). "Women film directors and producers". Digital Commons at Butler University. p. 387. Retrieved 2019-10-01. Jan Oxenberg's experimental short Home Movie (1972 ), frequently regarded as one of the first lesbian feminist films, details the filmmaker's life as a young girl encouraged to be feminine, contrasted with coming out as an adult.
  11. ^ a b Lebow, Alisa (2008). First Person Jewish. University of Minnesota Press. p. 111. ISBN 9780816643547.
  12. ^ "the Woman's Building, Timeline 1968-1973". thewomansbuilding.org. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  13. ^ "Woman's Building: History Timeline". Otis College of Art and Design. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  14. ^ "Queer Subversion – Pleasure Dome". pdome.org. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  15. ^ "The films of Jan Oxenberg by Michelle Citron". www.ejumpcut.org. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  16. ^ Brody, Richard (2018-03-16). "A Vanished Film You Should See: Jan Oxenberg's "Thank You and Good Night"". The New Yorker. ISSN 0028-792X. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  17. ^ Holden, Stephen (1992-01-29). "Review/Film; And Now, the Sunny Side of Death". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-10-02.
  18. ^ Lowry, Brian (January 11, 1997). "When a Kiss Is Not Just a Kiss on 'Relativity'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  19. ^ Warn, Sarah (November 6, 2002). ""Relativity" and the First Lesbian Kiss on Primetime Television". AfterEllen. Archived from the original on December 22, 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  20. ^ Cody (December 21, 2010). "Once and Again: No Buts About It". First Choice for Last Place. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
  21. ^ Amazon, Nancy (July 21, 2008). "once and again". KissingFingertips. Retrieved 21 August 2019.

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