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Sep 19, 2009 at 7:30 pm

George Stoney Weekend

With George Stoney, David Bagnall, Lynne Jackson and Deirdre Boyle

SATURDAY, September 19th – 7:30


THE CRY FOR HELP (1962, 30 minutes, 16mm-to-video)

BOOKED FOR SAFEKEEPING (1961, 31 minutes, 16mm-to-video)

George Stoney present with David Bagnall for a discussion following the screening with Lynne Jackson.

To foster cooperation between police and mental health professionals, the National Association of Chiefs of Police and the Louisiana Association for Mental Health sponsored in 1960 a series of training films that convey aspects of law enforcement unfa-miliar to most citizens (such as suicide prevention, and subduing violent mental patients). The need for a greater understanding of the problems shown will be discussed with representatives of the police and medical professions.

Lynne Jackson is Chair of the Communication Arts Department at St Francis College in Brooklyn.  She was formerly a documentary student of Stoney’s and received her PhD in Cinema Studies from New York University.


SUNDAY, September 20th – 7:30pm

ALL MY BABIES 1952, 54 minutes, 35mm.

ALL MY BABIES FOLLOW-UP WORK IN PROGRESS (2009, 10 minutes, video)

George Stoney will be on hand with David Bagnall for a post screening discussion with Deirdre Boyle.



Mrs. Mary Frances Coley, an African-American midwife in Georgia, demonstrates her skill and loving kindness in a 1952 film that, in 2002, was chosen by the Library of Congress “as a culturally, historically, and artistically significant work” for its National Film Registry. Teamed with David Bagnall, Stoney returned to Georgia in 2007 to record a “Reunion” in which 150+ people who had been helped into the world by Mrs. Coley participated. The original film and excerpts from the “Reunion” will be screened. Currently active midwives will be present to discuss their struggle to preserve their profession against the assaults of other branches of medicine.

Deirdre Boyle is Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Film at The New School and coordinator of their Graduate Certificate in Documentary Studies.  She is the author of several essays on George Stoney and has followed his work since first viewing a rough cut of “How the Myth Was Made” over 30 years ago.  She’s the author of “Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited” (Oxford UP), a history of seventies’ video collectives, among other books and essays about independent video and film.

Stoney Pic

(photo credit: Philip Pocock, VG-Bild / ARSNY.) 

George C. Stoney

George C. Stoney is a veteran maker of over a hundred documentaries, lifelong media activist and professor of film at New York University. A journalism student at the University of North Carolina, he worked as a photo intelligence officer in World War II and as an information officer for the Farm Security Administration. In 1946, Stoney joined the Southern Educational Film Service as writer and director and in 1953 started his own production company that made many documentary films on a multitude of subjects. All My Babies, one of his first efforts and a pioneering look at childbirth, received numerous accolades and was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2002.

Stoney was the director of the Challenge for Change project, a socially active documentary production wing of the National Film Board of Canada from 1968-70 and is perhaps most famous as the “godfather of public access to cable television,” a title he characteristically declines. Still, his advocacy for every citizen’s right to use the new media for public expression helped create the federal legislation which now enables community media. Stoney believes “films should do, not just be.”



Sep 19, 2009
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm

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