Although he made a relatively low number of 16mm films, Stuart Roe’s films were popular enough that they were commonly found in school film libraries, particularly those which served a Spanish-speaking population. His films on Mexican themes and “minority youth” are valuable cultural documents. Felicia, a film distributed by Roe, was added to the National Film Registry in 2014.
Stuart Joel Roe was born in Los Angeles in 1933. He attended UCLA, where he obtained a BA in Theater Arts and played drums in the Great Bruin Band. He earned a Master’s in Education with a concentration in AV from Indiana U. He returned to UCLA where he did postgraduate work in educational documentary film production. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War and was later employed by the Disney studios and Yale University’s film department.
His last position was as a professor at the Foothill-DeAnza (CA) College District, where he taught photography, radio broadcasting, script writing, film history, film analysis, and film, video, and TV production. He was a founder of the Foothill Film Festival. While teaching, he also owned one film company (Village Films) and co-owned another (Roman Films) along with Richard "Dick" Guttman, the co-producer of his Mexican films.
His last 16mm film was produced at Foothill College in 1976, after which he produced a number of video documentaries for various entities. He passed away on November 14, 2009.
Stuart Roe’s 16mm prints were donated to the AFA by his wife, Eliane Roe, who, along with son David Roe and daughter Cathy Groh, assisted us with the following filmography. Please contact us if you have any information on films not on this list.
Alviso (1955?) A history of a small town north of San Jose, California
Art and You (1958, Film Associates)
Cable-Car (1960) An unreleased documentary on San Francisco cable cars
Camping: An Experiment in Rehabilitation (1970?)
Choosing Your College Career (1963)
Conserving Our Natural Resources (1966)
Country Store in American History, The (1961)
Diary of an American Printer, 1840 (1963)
Eggs and Marrowbone (UCLA, 1954, dir. Ralph & Judith Hart; Roe was the cinematographer)
Evan’s Museum (1969)
First Twenty Years, The: An International Report (1960?) Unitarian Service Committee)
House Grows in Bremen, A (1955? Unitarian Service Committee)
Mexican subjects (see list below)
Minority Youth series (see list below)
Nature is for People (1969)
Nouns, Pronouns and Adjectives (1961)
Portrait of an Early American Village, 1840 (1963)
Raggle-Taggle Gypsies (UCLA c. 1950, prod. Stuart and Carol Roe)
Story of Tubesteak City, The (1976, Foothill College)
Water and the Land, The (1961)
What Do I See, How Do I Feel (1969)
Films on Mexican/Native American subjects:
- Mexican Fishing Village (also a Spanish language version, ‘Pueblo Mexicano de Pescaderos,’ 1962) Co-produced with Richard Guttman
- Mexican Olla Makers (also a Spanish language version, ‘Fabricantes Mexicanos de Ollas,’ 1962) Co-produced with Richard Guttman
- Mexican Village Copper Makers (also a Spanish language version, ‘Pueblo Mexicano de Caldereros,’ 1962)
- Mexican Cactus Growing (1965?) Co-produced with Richard Guttman
- Village Built of Cactus (1965?) Co-produced with Richard Guttman
Minority Youth series
- Felicia (1965, Stuart Roe Productions) Directed by Bob Dickson, Alan Gorg, and Trevor Greenwood, featuring Felicia Bragg, was added to the National Film Registry, 2014. Alan Gorg discusses the making of the film.
- Adam (1971), directed by Robert Moore, featuring Adam Nordwall
- Akira (1971), directed by David Espar. The subject of the film, Akira Tana, grew up to become a noted jazz drummer.
- Angie (1971) featuring Angie Gonzales of Sunnyvale, CA