The Joy of Life, the experimental documentary that premiered here this week at the Sundance Film Festival, has prompted the Golden Gate Bridge board of directors to renew discussion of the issue of a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge.

The topic was taken under consideration at this morning’s Building and Operations Committee meeting. Bridge District board member and San Francisco Supervisor Tom Ammiano expressed strong support for a new exploration of the issue. Golden Gate Bridge staff are currently preparing a draft plan of action regarding next steps for the committee to take under consideration at their February 24, 2005 meeting.

Joy of Life writer/director Jenni Olson provoked renewed public interest in the barrier with a January 14th San Francisco Chronicle Op-Ed calling for a barrier and announcing the Sundance premiere of her film, which is in part a history of suicide and the Golden Gate Bridge.

This morning’s agenda item on the history of Bridge District activities relative to Golden Gate Bridge suicide deterrent systems, cited “the high profile of this issue in recent press and community conversations.”

Local and national interest has developed further in relation to filmmaker Eric Steele’s recent revelation that he videotaped 19 bridge jumpers over the course of a 365 day, 24-hour shoot in 2003 for his planned documentary.

The Psychiatric Foundation of Northern California has also recently launched a public education campaign calling for a barrier on the bridge.

For more info, visit the “Joy of Life” website.

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