GEORGE C. STONEY, the late documentary filmmaker, lifelong media activist and professor of film at New York University, is subject of a biographical documentary directed by Mike Hazard. The film is dubbed HAPPY COLLABORATOR.
To celebrate the centennial of Stoney's birth on July 1, 1916, FSTV will telecast the documentary soon.
Here’s a link to stream or download the documentary.
Watch a scene from the film, on propaganda.
Watch a clip of sound clips about George.
Legendary in the field of nonfiction film, Stoney was perhaps most famous as the "father of public access to cable television," a title he characteristically declined. Still, his advocacy for a citizen's right to use the new media for public expression helped create the federal legislation which now enables public access.
Watch a short video by Jeff Strate about the making of the documentary.
Stoney's students are everywhere: Paul Barnes (chief editor for Ken Burns), Cheryl Furjanic (SYNC OR SWIM), Jim Brown (THE POWER OF SONG: PETE SEEGER), John Whitehead (MAKE 'EM DANCE), Judith Helfand (THE UPRISING), and Mike Hazard (I'M SORRY I WAS RIGHT) to name only a few.
Honored with Emeritus status at NYU, the nonagenarian Stoney taught that "films should do, not just be."
Stoney made the documentary Uprising of '34 (1995) with Judith Helfand and Susanne Rostock. It documents the textile strikes in the South in 1934. The texture of the piece is like a textile.
You can also see two early films of Stoney's on line. Booked for Safekeeping (1960) was made to train police officers in the assistance and management of mentally ill and confused persons.
Palmour Street (1949) was Stoney's first film. One reviewer called it "a curious hybrid of soap opera, history lesson, race relation film, melodrama and Coronet instructional film about a poor family growing up in the South".
Stoney's papers and films have been donated to his alma mater, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Click to read the finding aid.
Watch Stoney reflect on why he made documentaries.
The sad headline is George died peacefully at home on July 12, 2012. Read an obituary in the New York Times.
The Stoney Project is directed by Mike Hazard, who has been awarded grants from Bush Foundation, Jerome Foundation, and Minnesota State Arts Board to support this film. Donations are tax-deductible. Hazard also serves as the late George Stoney's archivist.
BLESSED FOR LIFE
A wild-looking man I don’t know
from Adam begged a ride from the PO
to the Dorothy Day Center. He’s jazzed,
jazzed about a Thanksgiving feast.
With a shock of hair like a thundercloud,
he looks like an old Testament prophet.
He got out and paused next to the window.
Standing so I can’t see his face, I was
blessed for life when a rich voice said,
“This world is not altogether bad.”
Hazard is artist in residence at our Center for International Education. Please consider purchase of the book from Red Dragonfly Press.
It’s a collection of poems about people. The writer Freya Manfred writes, “I love the often playful, musical quality which enhances the vital/vivid images of each praise-worthy person. These people are real and the poetry honors them. The poems play off each other well—father, mother, old-timer, uncles—quite wonderful all together in this world, as the book surely lives up to its title.”