George Stoney, photo courtesy David Bagnall
George Cashel Stoney was a legendary documentary filmmaker who was considered by many to be a father of public access television. He has mentored hundreds of young filmmakers as a professor of production and media theory at NYU, where he taught beginning in 1970. At NYU, he co-founded the Alternate Media Center, and his interns eventually went on the start the Alliance for Community Media.
George was born in Winston-Salem, NC, on July 1, 1916. Prior to his film career, he worked as a freelance journalist, and a photo intelligence officer. He began making films in 1946, focusing on films primarily in the areas of health and social change. Eventually he became Executive Director of the National Film Board of Canada’s influential Challenge for Change series from 1966-1970. George passed away peacefully at home on July 12, 2012 at the age of 96. He was an exceptionally friendly, engaging, and intellectually interested individual who never tired of giving his time to anyone with an inquiring mind. He'll be missed.
George’s filmography is extensive, and continually growing. We have listed it here, chronologically by year, in alphabetical order within each year. The listed films were directed and/or produced by Stoney. From 1975 onward, many of Stoney’s titles were distributed on video, rather than 16mm film. Additional video projects are listed in the Series section at the end of this filmography.
1946-1949, Southern Educational Film Production Service (SEFPS), University of Georgia, Athens. Stoney worked on a number of films for SEFPS in several capacities, and George apparently didn't keep records of these. One he directed was River Basin Archaeology (may have also been titled River Valley Archaeology) with a distribution date of 1950, an account of archaeological work in the Allatoona Basin.
Feeling All Right (1944 - Cinematography: Gordon Weisenborn - D: Fred Lasse - Co-W: George Stoney - Produced by the Southern Education Film Production Service)
Mr. Williams Wakes Up (Director/Editor: Gordon Weisenborn - Written by: George Stoney - Sponsored by the North Carolina State Board of Health - Produced by the Southern Education Film Production Service)
Land and Life (1949) for the Tennessee Valley Authority's
Test Farm Program
Concept of Maternal and Neonatal Care, A (1950) for the Obstetric and Pediatric Divisions, George Washington University Hospital, Washington, D.C.
All My Babies: A Midwife's Own Story (1953) for the
Georgia Department of Health
Invader, The (1954) for the Georgia Department of Public
Secrets of the Heart (1955) for the American Heart
Boy Who Could See Through Walls, The (1958) for Ted Nemuth
Cerebral Vascular Disease: The Challenge of Management (1959) for the American Heart Association
Booked for Safekeeping (1960) for the Louisiana Association
for Mental Health
Probing Mind, The (1961) for the U.S. Office of Education
Back on the Job (1962) for the American Heart Association
Cry for Help, The (1963) for the Louisiana Association
for Mental Health
Fur-lined Foxhole, The (1964) for the Adult Education
Association as part of the Metropolis: Creator or Destroyer? series
Critical Decades, The (1965) for the American Heart
Community Mental Health (1966) for the San Mateo Department
of Mental Health
Autumn Flight (1967)
Family Life in India: Ten of Us (1968) for McGraw-Hill’s Family Life Around the World series
Family Life in Japan: Remember I'm Me (1969) for
McGraw-Hill’s Family Life Around the World series
God Help the Man Who Would Part with His Land (1971) for
the National Film Board of Canada, Challenge for Change series
Painting from Nature (1972), a documentary on naturalist
Puleston.St. Peter's: People on the Move (1973) for the Lutheran
congregation at 51st and Lexington Avenue, New York City
Community Control of Schools in New York City and
Philadelphia (1975) for the Ford Foundation
In China, Family Planning is No Private Matter (1977) for
How the Myth Was Made (1978)
Message From Brazil, A (1984) Stoney created this video letter with the Kraho Indians. Along with Anabia Andrade, Andrea Tonacci and Vivian Orni, they explored the tribe and shared perspectives (see also 'Krahos Revisted' (1990).
How One Painter Sees (1986, released 1999) for the Library
Paolo Freire at Highlander (1987) for the Highlander Educational Center
Southern Voices: A Composer's Explorations (1988)
Images of the Great Depression (1990) for the Museum of
The Uprising of ’34, The (1994) for First Run/Icarus Films
Paolo Freire Sampler (1996)
Rehabilitation Through the Arts: Drama at Sing Sing (1997)
Weekend with the Barnouws, A (1998)
1968-1970 Challenge for Change, for the National Film Board of Canada
1971-73 The51st State. For WNET's weekly series, he
produces thirteen short segments on pollution of the Hudson River, in
1972-76 Several video collections from material created by people working with help from Alternate Media Center, particularly early activists involved in community cable television (public access). Rory Pinto, primary editor.
1974-78 A series of community action video projects supported by the Ford Foundation's Office of Reports, including:
1983 at Clarke College, produced the following videos: