George C. Stoney

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George C. Stoney
Born George Cashel Stoney
(1916-07-01)July 1, 1916
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S.
Died July 12, 2012(2012-07-12) (aged 96)
New York, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Occupation filmmaker, educator
Known for documentary film, public-access television

George Cashel Stoney (July 1, 1916 – July 12, 2012) was a documentary filmmaker, an educator, and the "father of public-access television". Among his films were All My Babies (1953), How the Myth Was Made (1979) and The Uprising of '34 (1995). All My Babies was entered into the National Film Registry in 2002. [1][2] Stoney's life and work were the subject of a Festschrift volume of the journal Wide Angle in 1999.[3]

George Cashel Stoney was born in 1916.[4] He studied English and History at the University of North Carolina and Balliol College in Oxford, and received a Film in Education Certificate from the University of London. He worked at the Henry Street Settlement House on the Lower East Side of NYC in 1938, as a field research assistant for Gunnar Myrdal and Ralph Bunche's project on Suffrage in the South in 1940, and as an information officer for the Farm Security Administration until he was drafted in 1942. Throughout this time he also wrote free-lance articles for many newspapers and magazines, including the Raleigh News and Observer and the Survey Graphic. He served as a photo intelligence officer in World War II. In 1946, he joined the Southern Educational Film Service as writer and director. He started his own production company in 1950, taught at Stanford University from 1965–67 and directed the Challenge for Change project, a socially active documentary production wing of the National Film Board of Canada from 1968-70.[5] With Red Burns, Stoney co-founded the Alternate Media Center in 1972, which trained citizens in the tools of video production for a brand new medium, Public-access television.[6] An early advocate of democratic media, Stoney is often cited as being the "father of public-access television".

Stoney made over 50 documentary films on wide ranging subjects. All My Babies, one of his first films, received numerous awards and was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2002.

Stoney was an active member of the Board of Directors for the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) and the Alliance for Community Media (ACM). Each year, the ACM presents "The George Stoney Award" to an organization or individual who has made an outstanding contribution to championing the growth and experience of humanistic community communications.

In 1971, Stoney became a professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He was an emeritus professor there at this death. Stoney had been team-teaching a course with David Bagnall, his long-time film collaborator and former student.

He died peacefully at the age of 96 at his home in New York City.[1][7][8]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Vitello, Paul (July 14, 2012). "George C. Stoney, Documentary Filmmaker, Dies at 96". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Local Public Access TV Under Attack From Trio of Congressional Bills". Democracy Now!. September 30, 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Abrash, Barbara; Jackson, Lynne; Mertes, Cara, eds. (March 1999). "George Stoney Festschrift". Wide Angle. 21 (2).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Alexander, Geoff (2012). "George C. Stoney". Academic Film Archive of North America.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Weldon, Carolyne (16 July 2012). "Tribute to Challenge for Change Director George C. Stoney". National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 19 July 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "History of ITP". New York University.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Announcement on the ACM Facebook page by board chair Deb Rogers
  8. Posting to the ACM (non-public) listserv by Sue Buske, long time friend of George.

Further reading

External links