“What happens when the lights come up and the credits roll? What’s the ASK of the audience?”
This classic George Stoney question of social justice documentary filmmakers inspired the creation of Working Films in 1999. George was a founding member of our board of directors and we were deeply saddened to learn of his passing this past Thursday.
He instilled in us, and so many others, a sense of responsibility for the strategic use of film – and powerful storytelling – in fights for social and environmental justice. He believed, and taught us, that finishing a film is only 50% of the process; putting it to work to generate a deeper impact requires an additional effort of more than 50%. With the memory of George in our hearts, we will continue his work every day – reminding ourselves of his compassion, ethics, amazing sense of humor and deep love for humanity. We will miss him deeply. We will continue to be inspired by him – as we have since we started.
Every summer since 2000, we have offered a paid fellowship to a student or activist, named Stoneyships, in George’s honor. Stoney Fellows have continued to work in the field as award-winning filmmakers and Working Films staff. We look forward to a whole new generation of Stoney Fellows in the years to come and know that they, along with those of us who knew him, will be moved by his legacy – his devotion to his craft and by his belief in the power of film to transform the world.