George C. Stoney
George C. Stoney, a veteran filmmmaker of over a hundred documentaries, was a 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: A Midwife’s Own Story, 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 declined. 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 believed that “films should do, not just be.”
Stoney Filmography at Academic Film Archive of North America
George C. Stoney reflects on making documentaries, an interview by long-time collaborator David Bagnall