A significant part of AFA's mission is to interview filmmakers who have done
significant work in 16mm academic classroom film. From these
interviews, we've been able to piece together important elements of the history
of the genre, and create filmographies for future researchers. We have made
attempts to find the following directors/producers, and have come up
short. If you know the whereabouts of these people, or, if they're no
longer around, have information about their lives, please contact
us. Thanks for your help.
___ . ___
These filmmakers are missing. Please help us find them:
John F. Criswell Criswell, believed to have been a
professor at the University of Arizona, made a series of geography and
science films, distributed by Gateway Productions. He lived for a time in
Knight's Ferry, CA. We believe he is no longer alive, but would like anyone
who knows anything about him to contact us.
Frank Gardonyi Maker of several exceptional films on Africa
(e.g. African Community: The Masai and African
Craftsmen: The Ashanti) for BFA in the 1970s. Filmmaker Frank
Lisciandro told us he returned to his native Hungary. Any other
information would be welcome.
Sparky Greene, who directed the 1977 Oscar-nominated documentary
American Shoeshine. Belived to be living near Malibu, CA.
Clifford J. Kamen directed a series of geographical films,
including Peruvian Plateau: Problem of Industry and Transportation (1954). He made film for Hollywood Film Enterprises, which may have
been his own company. He may have lived in San Francisco. Kamen's son
LCDR Clifford J. Kamen Jr., US Navy (September 4, 1938 - May 12, 1976), was
killed in Vietnam and is buried in Golden Gate Cemetery, San Bruno, CA.
Les Mitchel Last believed to have been living near Los
Angeles, Mitchel was a bush pilot/adventurer/filmmaker who produced a
wonderful ethnic portrayal of the Lacandon Mayans called Maya Are People
The following filmmakers have been found, based on input from our
visitors. Thanks for your help!
Bruce and Katharine Cornwell. They
made at least two outstanding films on geometrical shapes, Congruent
Triangles, and Journey to the Centre of a Triangle (1976).
Bruce Cornwell also contributed computer animation on the IBM 360 at MIT
Lincoln Labs for a 1972 film, Space-Filling Curves.
Living in Brooklyn, their son went to the same school as the son of filmmaker John
Barnes, and knew him.
Wilf Gray. Made exceptional nature films
shot primarily in the Canadian northwest, circa 1977, e.g. Yukon Territory.
Credits are pretty sparse in Gray's films, but in one (Desert Southwest),
Margaret Gray was Gray's soundperson, with narration by Bob Switzer.
Found in British Columbia. For more information,
visit our Wilf Gray page.
Steve Heiser. Made several outstanding films in the
mid-to-late1970s, on the subject of rural Americans. Among them were:
Baltimore: 99 Years, Lucy Covington: Native American Indian, and
Living in Portland, OR, and still thriving as a filmmaker.
Piers Jessop, who directed the
outstanding Middle Ages: a Wanderer's Guide to Life and Letters,
(1970, LCA) starring Nicholas Pennell. This film was also
called Voices From the Middle Ages in its European
version. Found! Jessop wrote to us:
"I was having dinner with some friends in Sussex - I am currently in
England, returning to Morocco next week - and among the guests was an editor
of The Times. He was apparently sufficiently interested in me to put my name
into a Google search, and that's how I found out about you..." Visit Piers' webpage at:
Gene Kearney, who directed a wonderful adaptation of Conrad
Aiken's 'Silent Snow, Secret Snow'. Gene Kearney
passed away on November 4, 1979. Nicole Kearney, who married his son
Jack, gave us the following data: Gene Raser Kearney was born March 2 ,1930
in New York City. He attended the Berkshire private high school in Massachusetts, then
served in the Air Force in the Korean War. He attended Harvard and graduated
with honors. He started his film career as a writer, making educational
films and got his first break doing the 'Night Galleries' with Rod
Sterling. He also worked on the 'Kojak' series for 7 of the 8 years
it was on.
Steve Marts, who made a wonderful documentary of Cuzco streetlife
in Inca Farewell. Found!
Reader D. C. Anstett pointed us to Steve's location on Whidbey Island, WA,
where Steve's a successful photo artist
Norman Miller, director/producer of ethnographic films, including
the 'Faces of Change' series (e.g.
and Jabar, American Universities Field Staff, 1974). Visit
Miller's AFA page.
Stuart Roe, the maker of wonderful ethnographic films such as
Pueblo Mexicano de Caldereros and Pueblo Mexicano de Pescadores. We
discovered that Roe passed away in
December, 2009, before we were able to find him. We are now in touch with
his family, and developing a filmography and biography.
Hermann Schlenker, maker of ethnographic films in Orinoco, Mali,
and Central Asia, among others, distributed in the U.S. by Julien Bryan's
International Film Foundation. Schlenker is living in Germany.
Tina Viljoen. A South African filmmaker who made a series of
films on developing nations for the National Film Board of Canada.
Living in London, with partner/journalist Gwynne Dyer. We interviewed
them in July of 2001.