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Sadly, this just in from Adrienne Jones, Treasurer and Membership Director of the Black Documentary Collective:

We regret to inform everyone that St Clair Bourne, our founder, has passed away.

Details of his passing will follow. Also, information about his memorial service will be sent as soon as we have it.

Members have expressed interest in making donations to the family. We would like to contribute money through our BDC/St Clair Bourne fund. If you wish to make a donation, please forward payment to:

P.O. Box 610
Hamilton Grange Station
New York, NY 10031.

In the memo line please write BDC/St Clair Bourne Fund.

At the Renew Media blog, Agnes Varnum has more and collects several links about the great documentary filmmaker and his career, including this piece on the Media Rights website:

Over the past 35 years, St. Clair Bourne has been the producer, director and writer of some forty-five film productions, including documentaries for HBO, PBS, NBC, BBC and National Geographic in addition to his own independent work. He has produced the feature-length documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks for HBO. With actor Wesley Snipes as narrator and executive producer, Bourne directed John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk and also directed Paul Robeson: Here I Stand!, a two-hour documentary for the “American Masters” PBS series. He was also a co-producer on the HBO dramatic feature Rebound, the true story of playground basketball legend Earl “The Goat” Manigault as well as Woodie King’s independent theatrical feature The Long Night. Bourne is the executive producer for Visitors, Melis Birder’s documentary about the family and friends of the incarcerated and Filiberto: Dead or Alive about the Puerto Rican nationalist Filiberto Ojeda Rios. Bourne is currently shooting a film about veteran photographer Ernest Withers and a documentary series about the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party for PBS.

In a short piece by Chester Higgins in The New York Times, Bourne said about his work, “What I do is explain people’s lifestyles and choices, and I show the consequences of those choices.” Discussing his film on Paul Robeson, he says, “You get a portrait of an individual, but at the end of the two hours you end up knowing why Paul Robeson does all the things he does, even some of the things that are negative, and you can understand why he does them.” The New York Times also produced a short video featuring Bourne discussing his work; it can be seen here, and he also maintained a blog, which be read here. And on his blog, Chuck Tryon has a comment.

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