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by Indiewire
December 17, 2007 4:59 AM
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Remembering St. Clair Bourne: 1943 - 2007

Acclaimed filmmaker St. Clair Bourne passed away yesterday (Saturday) at the age of 64. The documentarian, who died from complications following surgery, had been working on a film about civil rights photographer Ernest Withers, according to an obituary by Richard Prince (fourth item), in addition to a film about the Black Panthers. Bourne's many films included "Making 'Do the Right Thing'," "Paul Robeson: Here I Stand!," Let the Church Say Amen," "In Motion: Amiri Baraka," "The Black and the Green," "Langston Hughes: The Dream Keeper," "New Orleans Brass," and "John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk," among numerous others. A biography on his own website indicates that St. Clair Bourne was born in Harlem on February 16, 1943. After a time in the Peace Corps, Bourne studied filmmaking at Columbia University, but was subsequently expelled for demonstrating on campus. Shortly thereafter, he produced public television's first Black public affairs program, "Black Journal," later forming the film collective, Chamba. He served as a guest lecturer at the UCLA film department in the mid-70s, created documentaries for L.A.'s KCET and was on the selection committee of the Los Angeles film festival, FILMEX.

St. Clair regularly shared thoughts, tributes and information via his frequent Chamba Notes email dispatches, so in that spirit, we decided to publish an email from that we received tonight from his good friend, filmmaker Floyd Webb.

We invite others to share their thoughts about St. Clair Bourne and his films in the comment space at the bottom of this page.

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Hi Eugene,

Thanks for getting in touch. What can I say? I am shocked to the core by his passing.

I can tell you how I met him and what my experience was.

I first heard of St. Clair Bourne when he was producing for "Black Journal," the first black public affairs television series in the United States that began in 1968. I met St. Clair in the mid 1980s between his two films, "In Motion: Amiri Baraka" and "The Black and the Green." I am not really sure how we met, but I think it was through Jim Taylor of the Community Film Workshop in Chicago. It might have been through Professor Abdul Alkalimat, who was head of Timbuktu Books. My memory fails me.

St Clair had come to town to prepare for a production he was doing and he always made an effort to hire black technicians and crew people at a time when people always said there were none. He went out of his way to find good people of color to work with. He was a hard taskmaster, he expected the utmost in professionalism from you.

We got along really well because of our mutual taste in music (duh sho nuff blues) and barbecue and backgrounds as social social activists. I was pretty much a cultural activist with roots in the black nationalist community. Like St Clair, I had been involved in sieges of college buildings in the name of making Black Studies part of the curriculum. We had both been either suspended -- in my case -- or expelled -- in his -- for being part of the mass movement for Black Studies (he in 1967 and me in 1972). He became pretty much a big brother and mentor to me, as he was to so many up and coming filmmakers. We shared a commitment to social justice in deed and action. We did not always see eye to eye, but we were able to respect each other's points of view.

I had lived through the Panther years in Chicago, and had immigrated to Tanzania. I had gone with the intention of aligning myself with the liberation movements of Frelimo or the ANC. St. had worked in South America with the Peace Corps. St. was one of the few people I met who knew anything about Umkonto Wa Sizwe, the military arm of the ANC. We always had a lot to talk about. We knew a lot of people in common who were expatriates abroad in Europe and in Africa.

He was one of the first people to see my experimental film, "Flesh, Metal, Wood" when I was working with Chicago Filmmakers and the Community Film Workshop. He was very encouraging of that rough hewn early work. These were the years of Chicago's first black mayor Harold Washington. There was a progressive tone in Chicago back then. I had founded and was also head of the Blacklight Festival of International Cinema. St Clair was doing a journal titled Chamba Notes. It was a major source of information for us back then. Saint scoured everything he could find related to Black international film news and pulled it all together into Chamba Notes. The Notes were our Internet. Between me doing the festival and him doing the notes a lot of calls passed between us.

We would spend hours on the phone comparing notes, passing on phone numbers and info on films we had seen. We shared information and resources because I was always going to festivals around the world in my capacity as festival director. I became a frequent visitor to his big apartment on 105th and Broadway going to and from Europe and Africa back then. For me, his home was the crossroads for information on the black film world.

I did production stills for his film "Big City Blues" in Chicago, worked with him on "Making 'Do The Right Thing'," and did animation and 3D effects for him on the Wesley Snipes documentary production of "Dr. Ben." We travelled together to a festival in Kenya, East Africa and presented films in the Western Provinces and other areas there. Travels with St. Clair Bourne are legend, ask anyone who has ever spent any time with him at festivals and after screenings.

St. had the kind of social commitment that a lot of people thought was better left in the 1960s. He was bold enough to say whatever was on his mind and confronted the issues of exclusion and forces of cultural domination head on. You could not help but like him. As serious as he was he also had a wry sense of humour. Like Harold Washington, St. had this ability to metaphorically smack you with one hand and then have you laughing so hard afterwards you forgot he did it.

Did he get the recognition he deserved? I keep hearing people ask this question. Hell, did he get the opportunities to do work that he was deserving of is the better question. It does not matter. St. never stopped working and as hard it got, he continued and struggled through. When St. had down time he was always thinking of things to do to bring people together and to share information. In New York, he helped found the Black Documentary Association (BDA) and in LA he was instrumental in founding the Black Association of Documentary Filmmakers (BAD). His mission was to leave something behind that others like himself could benefit from. He never compromised his principles and beliefs and never lost his sense of humour.

St. Clair was diagnosed with a tumor on his brain a few years back. He told me it was a bit of a concern but that it was benign. Recently he had starting having some issues with coordination. He called me after he came back from Mississippi after attending a New Media conference. He spent the night in the hospital while he was there. When he got back to New York a decision was made for him to go into the hospital to have the tumour removed. He went in for the operation on Thursday Dec 6. I spoke with his sister, Judy on Friday Dec. 7th, not wanting to bother him in the hospital. She was reassuring, he was having a few issues that were expected to pass. She was hoping he would be coming home the following Sunday or Monday.

His recuperation was not as rapid as expected and he was preparing to be transferred to White Plains, NY for rehab on Friday, Dec 14th. On Friday morning he had a bood clot in his lung. He was stabilized and was under observation. He died Saturday morning.

There will not be a funeral. His family is participating in a cremation and the interning of his ashes. There will be a public memorial later in January, the time and date will be announced.

Meanwhile, the Independent film community is discussing how best to remember him in the coming weeks of holiday. I have suggested we do a big New Years Day's bash in his memory New Orleans style and dedicate the New Year to his spirit.

I hope this is helpful Eugene. I am just telling it like I remember it. Let me know if you need anything else.

Floyd Webb


indieWIRE readers are invited to share thoughts about St. Clair Bourne and his films in the comments section below.

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25 Comments

  • bluesman1962 | February 17, 2008 8:58 AMReply

    I do have fond memories of St. I thoroughly enjoyed reading his chambanotes and passed other filmmakers from NC email to him so they could get on the list as well...and he was very articulate and wonderfully socialable when I would see him at Full Frame..I remember sitting at his table and learning so much in just that short times...I was lookin forward to his piece on the Black Panthers...St., you will definitely be missed and you were truly an inspiration...I am glad that we at the Hayti Heritage Center chose to honor you by showing three films you were involved in during our annual Black Diaspora Film Festival.

  • bluesman1962 | February 17, 2008 8:56 AMReply

    I do have fond memories of St. I thoroughly enjoyed reading his chambanotes and passed other filmmakers from NC email to him so they could get on the list as well...and he was very articulate and wonderfully socialable when I would see him at Full Frame..I remember sitting at his table and learning so much in just that short times...I was lookin forward to his piece on the Black Panthers...St., you will definitely be missed and you were truly an inspiration...I am glad that we at the Hayti Heritage Center chose to honor you by showing three films you were involved in during our annual Black Diaspora Film Festival.

  • jbourne | January 11, 2008 1:58 AMReply

    I am Saint's sister. Thank you all for your comments and reminiscences. The aching sense of loss may not get lighter, but knowing that it is shared somehow makes it easier to bear. His Memorial Service will be on Friday, 25 January at 7 PM at the Riverside Church in Manhattan (Riverside Drive from 120 to 122 Streets.

    Judy Bourne

  • ceison | January 2, 2008 4:28 AMReply

    St. impacted my life. In the early 80's he gave me the opportunity to shoot and edit his film "In Motion: Amiri Baraka." This experience was life altering. We remained friends up till the end. When he heard in November that I received a grant from Sundance for my current documentary "Shadows from the Lynching Tree" he sent me a very important book with a note of congratulations, telling me how important this work is going to be. I deeply appreciate this gesture. I will always remember this beautiful man, his extremely warm heart and his relentless commitment to documenting the black experience. Rest in peace my brother, I will always love and and hold you in highest regard. Carvin Eison

  • susanwales | December 29, 2007 4:36 AMReply

    My husband and I had a wonderful weekend with St. Claire at Ralph Wilcox's SW Georgia Film Festival over Labor Day Weekend this year. I not only took St. Claire's classes, but I also sat with him at the banquet. He was an encouraging generous filmmaker. It brings a smile and comfort to know that he enjoyed himself so much that weekend! We were with a group of Christian filmmakers from LA. We really showered him with the love and attention he deserves. He was very suspicious of us at first, but his heart soon melted. His final comment, "I'm not a Christian but if I stay here five more minutes, I probably will be, so I'm going to leave now!" We had so much that weekend. My husband and I are so sad he's gone. We were enjoying our friendship with him via email. His legacy is definitely our challenge. I am more committed than ever to produce my documentary. Please extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and associates. Rest in Peace, St. Claire Bourne . . . .you were a great man with a big heart who influenced and inspired not only the culture, but many lives as well.

    Susan Wales

  • susanwales | December 29, 2007 4:34 AMReply

    My husband and I had a wonderful weekend with St. Claire at Ralph Wilcox's SW Georgia Film Festival over Labor Day Weekend this year. I not only took St. Claire's classes, but I also sat with him at the banquet. He was an encouraging generous filmmaker. It brings a smile and comfort to know that he enjoyed himself so much that weekend! We were with a group of Christian filmmakers from LA. We really showered him with the love and attention he deserves. He was very suspicious of us at first, but his heart soon melted. His final comment, "I'm not a Christian but if I stay here five more minutes, I probably will be, so I'm going to leave now!" We had so much that weekend. My husband and I are so sad he's gone. We were enjoying our friendship with him via email. His legacy is definitely our challenge. I am more committed than ever to produce my documentary. Please extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and associates. Rest in Peace, St. Claire Bourne . . . .you were a great man with a big heart who influenced and inspired not only the culture, but many lives as well.

    Susan Wales

  • susanwales | December 29, 2007 4:34 AMReply

    My husband and I had a wonderful weekend with St. Claire at Ralph Wilcox's SW Georgia Film Festival over Labor Day Weekend this year. I not only took St. Claire's classes, but I also sat with him at the banquet. He was an encouraging generous filmmaker. It brings a smile and comfort to know that he enjoyed himself so much that weekend! We were with a group of Christian filmmakers from LA. We really showered him with the love and attention he deserves. He was very suspicious of us at first, but his heart soon melted. His final comment, "I'm not a Christian but if I stay here five more minutes, I probably will be, so I'm going to leave now!" We had so much that weekend. My husband and I are so sad he's gone. We were enjoying our friendship with him via email. His legacy is definitely our challenge. I am more committed than ever to produce my documentary. Please extend our heartfelt sympathy to his family and associates. Rest in Peace, St. Claire Bourne . . . .you were a great man with a big heart who influenced and inspired not only the culture, but many lives as well.

    Susan Wales

  • ayoj | December 24, 2007 9:04 AMReply

    A great filmmaker and a generous person, too, always willing to share his expertise. I first contacted St. Clair back in the early 1990s in NYC, a beginning filmmaker from Sierra Leone who needed all the guidance I could get. He was quick to offer advice. Years later I sought him out in L.A. to ask him to exec produce my current project. He quickly agreed after asking some challenging questions, and followed through with emails. I, too, am saddened to hear that he has left us. But his legacy is our challenge. May we all rise to the challenge.

    RIP, St.

  • moanman | December 22, 2007 8:49 AMReply

    This is sad news, indeed. However, I feel the need to thank you for this article and notice. It's quite possible his passing would have gone UNACKNOWLEDGED by the general media.

    Short story: I once held a conversation with Brotha Bourne back in the late 80s. I was young, green, and trying to get my first play produced. I had no clue. Reaching out to several notables for advice and guidance proved unsucessful and very discouraging to my spirit.

    Enter: St. Clair Bourne. I'd written him a letter and sent him a query about my lil fledging play (as I'd done with many, many others), and HE ACTUALLY ANSWERED IT! He then followed through with a fairly lengthy phone call. How rare! I was totally ignorant to his contributions at the time, and he was much too humble with me to have named them.


    What I remember, to this day, is that he was very kind to me when he didn't have to be. He gave me some valuable instruction, but MORE than that, he gave me encouragement. He gave me HOPE!

    Maybe he saw something in me, and wanted to foster it. Who knows? Today, I am a published poet and author of two well-received novels.

    I am so saddened to read of his passing here. Yet, I, like countless others, feel so fortunate and even Blessed that he lived and inspired, and manifested in a way that he WILL BE REMEMBERED.

    My deepest sympathy to his family, loved ones, and to the artistic community at large.

    Rest In Peace, St Claire Bourne!

    One Love.

    Lin

  • moanman | December 22, 2007 8:47 AMReply

    This is sad news, indeed. However, I feel the need to thank you for this article and notice. It's quite possible his passing would have gone UNACKNOWLEDGED by the general media.

    Short story: I once held a conversation with Brotha Bourne back in the late 80s. I was young, green, and trying to get my first play produced. I had no clue. Reaching out to several notables for advice and guidance proved unsucessful and very discouraging to my spirit.

    Enter: St. Clair Bourne. I'd written him a letter and sent him a query about my lil fledging play (as I'd done with many, many others), and HE ACTUALLY ANSWERED IT! He then followed through with a fairly lengthy phone call. How rare! I was totally ignorant to his contributions at the time, and he was much too humble with me to have named them.


    What I remember, to this day, is that he was very kind to me when he didn't have to be. He gave me some valuable instruction, but MORE than that, he gave me encouragement. He gave me HOPE!

    Maybe he saw something in me, and wanted to foster it. Who knows? Today, I am a published poet and author of two well-received novels.

    I am so saddened to read of his passing here. Yet, I, like countless others, feel so fortunate and even Blessed that he lived and inspired, and manifested in a way that he WILL BE REMEMBERED.

    My deepest sympathy to his family, loved ones, and to the artistic community at large.

    Rest In Peace, St Claire Bourne!

    One Love.

    Lin

  • moanman | December 22, 2007 8:46 AMReply

    This is sad news, indeed. However, I feel the need to thank you for this article and notice. It's quite possible his passing would have gone UNACKNOWLEDGED by the general media.

    Short story: I once held a conversation with Brotha Bourne back in the late 80s. I was young, green, and trying to get my first play produced. I had no clue. Reaching out to several notables for advice and guidance proved unsucessful and very discouraging to my spirit.

    Enter: St. Clair Bourne. I'd written him a letter and sent him a query about my lil fledging play (as I'd done with many, many others), and HE ACTUALLY ANSWERED IT! He then followed through with a fairly lengthy phone call. How rare! I was totally ignorant to his contributions at the time, and he was much too humble with me to have named them.


    What I remember, to this day, is that he was very kind to me when he didn't have to be. He gave me some valuable instruction, but MORE than that, he gave me encouragement. He gave me HOPE!

    Maybe he saw something in me, and wanted to foster it. Who knows? Today, I am a published poet and author of two well-received novels.

    I am so saddened to read of his passing here. Yet, I, like countless others, feel so fortunate and even Blessed that he lived and inspired, and manifested in a way that he WILL BE REMEMBERED.

    My deepest sympathy to his family, loved ones, and to the artistic community at large.

    Rest In Peace, St Claire Bourne!

    One Love.

    Lin

  • moanman | December 22, 2007 8:44 AMReply

    This is sad news, indeed. However, I feel the need to thank you for this article and notice. It's quite possible his passing would have gone UNACKNOWLEDGED by the general media.

    Short story: I once held a conversation with Brotha Bourne back in the late 80s. I was young, green, and trying to get my first play produced. I had no clue. Reaching out to several notables for advice and guidance proved unsucessful and very discouraging to my spirit.

    Enter: St. Clair Bourne. I'd written him a letter and sent him a query about my lil fledging play (as I'd done with many, many others), and HE ACTUALLY ANSWERED IT! He then followed through with a fairly lengthy phone call. How rare! I was totally ignorant to his contributions at the time, and he was much too humble with me to have named them.


    What I remember, to this day, is that he was very kind to me when he didn't have to be. He gave me some valuable instruction, but MORE than that, he gave me encouragement. He gave me HOPE!

    Maybe he saw something in me, and wanted to foster it. Who knows? Today, I am a published poet and author of two well-received novels.

    I am so saddened to read of his passing here. Yet, I, like countless others, feel so fortunate and even Blessed that he lived and inspired, and manifested in a way that he WILL BE REMEMBERED.

    My deepest sympathy to his family, loved ones, and to the artistic community at large.

    Rest In Peace, St Claire Bourne!

    One Love.

    Lin

  • delois | December 21, 2007 8:55 AMReply

    My heart is aching. St. Clair loved his people, and he wore his heart on his sleeve insofar as that was concerned. He also was about excellence; he not only inspired it, but required and expected it in others, and he led by example. There is nothing more attractive than a man who knows where he belongs and claims his space. That was St. An intellect, a wit and a bright spirit, I met St. Clair when my brother, Lawrence Hilton Jacobs, did an early film with him, and I went into the editing room with St. to look at the rough cut. From that moment, I was on his "list." He lived just blocks away from me in Manhattan and St. used to throw a big ol' pot luck New Year's day all-day party at his large pre-war apartment on 105th Street, and I would cook for it. I actually looked forward to cooking for it - usually curried chicken and peas and rice or beef stroganoff and noodles - but more so, I looked forward to the eclectic mix of personalities that he attracted and befriended, many who traveled from out of state just to attend. It is said that a man is known by the company he keeps, and it seemed to me that St. was always surrounded by, and associated with the smartest, the best and the brightest, much as he was. A cultural and social revolutionary, the very idea that he would document the lives of Black people when few others saw that as a timeworthy pursuit, or even possible, reflected his own independent spirit and way of thinking. He has left a legacy, and we are all the richer for it. Go well St., and thank you - for everything.

  • jackie g | December 19, 2007 10:38 AMReply

    Although St. Claire is my cousin, and I've known him all my life, I didn't really develop a relationship with him until about 5 years ago when he moved to LA. I'm the only one in the family who ventured out to the West Coast (from the East) and liked it enough to stay. Everyone else that came, eventually preferred the East Coast culture over LA and quickly returned to that environment. So when St. said he was moving out here, my hope was that he'd stay for at least a little while. After all, it was family. St. Claire and I actually became very close. We'd hang out together, share confidences, talk about his work, talk about mine, discuss the political climate of the day as well as a host of many other things. We'd check in with one another when he was in LA and touch base even when he was out and about on one of his many journeys his projects took him on. We became tight. I enjoyed having my "cuz" out here living near me and unlike the rest of the family, he actually enjoyed being in LA. Oh we talked about the differences in culture between LA and NY all the time and while we both agreed that our hearts were in the East, the West sure had its props to offer. I grew to love and respect my cousin. He became a big brother, friend and confidante. I called him "cuz". He called me "his adventerous cuz". We had great times together. He was one of the most genuine people I've ever met. I will miss him so much. I've experienced the death of people I've felt close to before but not many have ever affected me like this one has. My heart is truly broken. I've been eagerly awaiting the time for my cuz to move back to L.A. We were talking about the possibility of getting a place together for a variety of reasons that would have benefitted us both. I was so looking forward to that. I'm gonna miss my cuz. My heart is broken and for now, my tears continue to stain my face. Our parents made us cousins but hearts made us friends. I love you cuz and I miss you. But when did we ever talk since you're last visit to L.A. that I didn't tell you this. RIP my friend, RIP, Your adventerous cuz, Jackie

  • cheri withers | December 19, 2007 7:45 AMReply

    Hi From the Ernest C Withers family, trying not to scream from the pain of learning that this too great icon has passed away to a land of no return. Like my father-in-law, Ernest C. Withers and St Claire Bourne will be not only missed but well thought of by family, friends, loved ones and community alike. We met in August 07,07 when St Claire arrived at our family home to continue the filming. He was so warm and fun and had even promised to come back later for cake. A special cake I was baking from Mudears 49 year old recipe. I took pictures of St Claire that captured his essence of humor, style, love, peace and togetherness. I (We will miss him. He also had his filming crew at Daddy homegoing celebration. So sad to lose these two within 60 days of each other. Only God knows the beginning and the end. Love the One Withers Girl Cheri and one Withers Boy Andrew

  • cheri withers | December 19, 2007 7:44 AMReply

    Hi From the Ernest C Withers family, trying not to scream from the pain of learning that this too great icon has passed away to a land of no return. Like my father-in-law, Ernest C. Withers and St Claire Bourne will be not only missed but well thought of by family, friends, loved ones and community alike. We met in August 07,07 when St Claire arrived at our family home to continue the filming. He was so warm and fun and had even promised to come back later for cake. A special cake I was baking from Mudears 49 year old recipe. I took pictures of St Claire that captured his essence of humor, style, love, peace and togetherness. I (We will miss him. He also had his filming crew at Daddy homegoing celebration. So sad to lose these two within 60 days of each other. Only God knows the beginning and the end. Love the One Withers Girl Cheri and one Withers Boy Andrew

  • stephengong | December 19, 2007 7:36 AMReply

    This news is a great shock as I was at the New Media Institute in Jackson and saw St. Claire for the first time in at least fifteen years. It was on an excellent panel of veteran filmmakers and emerging digital media makers and St. Claire was just I had remembered, and just as Floyd, Ayoka, and Tony have stated, the self-deprecating humor, the passion for telling stories, the willingness to share, and the encouragement to create a larger community. He added all of us to Chamba Notes and in these few short weeks since the Jackson meeting I was just getting used to this re-new connection.

    St. Claire will be greatly missed by all of us in public media. I hope we can figure out a way to not only commemorate his memory but perhaps create a lasting memorial.

    Stephen Gong
    Executive Director, Center for Asian American Media

  • jewelle gomez | December 19, 2007 7:27 AMReply

    I met Saint in the 60' when we were all getting into media when I was at WGBH-TV in Boston. What an amazing spirit! I saw him about two years ago in New York by chance and we had a quick check in and he was as warm as always, as if we'd only spoken the week before. I'm so thrilled now that I overcame my reticence and told him that I mention him in my new novel, still being edited. It's about survivors of those heady activist days and he seemed happy to be included among them. Don't wait to tell people how much you appreciate them! Now have have that smile on his face to remember always.
    Saint, if there's a there there: tell Ray we miss him still. Jewelle Gomez

  • jewelle gomez | December 19, 2007 7:26 AMReply

    I met Saint in the 60' when we were all getting into media when I was at WGBH-TV in Boston. What an amazing spirit! I saw him about two years ago in New York by chance and we had a quick check in and he was as warm as always, as if we'd only spoken the week before. I'm so thrilled now that I overcame my reticence and told him that I mention him in my new novel, still being edited. It's about survivors of those heady activist days and he seemed happy to be included among them. Don't wait to tell people how much you appreciate them! Now have have that smile on his face to remember always. Saint, if there's a there there: tell Ray we miss him still. Jewelle Gomez

  • tgittens | December 18, 2007 11:29 AMReply

    In the history of black cinema, there are only a few true pioneers

  • ayo | December 17, 2007 10:44 AMReply

    I will miss him dearly. St.Clair was a wonderful mentor to many, including me. Chamba Notes was an inspiration to many of us who were just beginning to learn our craft. I still have some of the early issues. St, Clair understood the importance of producing work, supporting others, and creating strategies to foster and acknowledge the presence of the voices and visions of Black filmmakers. I will miss our interesting conversations about life, his warm smile and big heart.
    ayoka chenzira

  • skahn | December 17, 2007 9:04 AMReply

    For a few years in the 1990s, along with my business partner Susan Jacobs, I had the pleasure and good fortune of being St.Clair's publicist. He'd made over thirty films by then, had a slate of projects in the works, and had already been recognized with awards and a couple of major museum retrospectives. Yet--and I think this may be my favorite St. story--when I sent him the draft of a press release for the trades, he called me to ask whether putting the "Multiple Award-Winning Filmmaker" into the headline wasn't overly boastful. I had to explain that it wouldn't hurt his career if people in the business knew a few of the facts about his success.

    Here's what I will keep in my heart about St.: his kindness; his sly and perceptive sense of humor; his sense of truth, balance and perspective even about the issues in which he believed most deeply; his beautiful writing; and, of course, his eye-opening films, from which I learned so much. I thank him, too, for his friendship, and for continually introducing me to some of the most interesting people I've had the honor to work with.

    What a sad, sad loss. Along with the thousands of people whose lives he touched, I will miss him a lot.

  • mwblock | December 17, 2007 6:50 AMReply

    St. Clair will be missed. What a special man. Talent, brains, a vision, articulate, a strong voice in our community.

    It's such a shame that like so many of us he had to struggle to be heard, to get his films made.

    Mitchell Block (mwblock@aol.com)

  • bjanson | December 17, 2007 6:00 AMReply

    Saint was a wonderful advisor and advocate and he will be so missed. Is anyone organizing a new year's day celebration of his life? if yes, please email me at allaccess@tribecafilm.com Thank you, Beth Janson

  • rabbi | December 17, 2007 5:35 AMReply

    This is indeed sad news. "Saint," as his friends and colleagues called him (and I was lucky enough to consider myself one) was a strong and principled man, as committed to social justice as any. A dedicated filmmaker, St. will be greatly missed.