We are deeply saddened to hear of Jamie Redford’s passing and want to take a moment to celebrate a passionate storyteller who leaves behind a legacy of positive activism for people and our planet.
Though he learned he had sclerosing cholangitis in 1987, Jamie never let it slow him down. As the Co-founder and Chairman of The Redford Center, Jamie steered the organization’s core mission of using the power of positive stories to enact change. Jamie said this about his work at The Redford Center:
“Our role has always been to take complicated issues that are important and challenging and render them coherent, digestible, and hopefully inspiring so people can get engaged.”
In the last two decades, Jamie directed and produced on over a dozen films, including the award-winning HBO documentaries Toxic Hot Seat, The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, and The Kindness of Strangers about organ transplants.
Jamie was also an alumnus of the Utah Film Center Fiscal Sponsorship Program and over the years, we had the privilege of presenting many of his films:
Paper Tigers follows one high school’s unlikely success story as it changes its discipline strategy to help kids overcome traumatic events. Resilience delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress in children. Watershed: Exploring a New Water Ethic for the New West tells the story of the threats to the once-mighty Colorado River and offers solutions for the future of the American West. Happening: A Clean Energy Revolution follows Jamie on his journey around the US to meet pioneers of clean energy technology. With each film, he eagerly participated in Q&A sessions and discussions about the issues.
Utah Film Center Founder Geralyn Dreyfous reflected on her friendship with Jamie saying, “Jamie was above all generous and kind. He made things better and always focused on new pathways and solutions whether it was rethinking trauma or how people learn differently. He always approached life with curiosity and compassion trying to understand what we still did not know versus trying to course correct. He was addictive and expansive. My favorite film Jamie directed is Resilience. It really has been a shapeshifter culturally and scientifically. We will always be grateful for Jamie’s support of the Utah Film Center. And we will never forget him jamming with his band the Olive and the Dirty Martini at our ‘We Didn’t Start The Fire’ party in 2016.”
His most recent film is a gentle reminder of how precious each day is. Playing For Keeps: The Upside of Downtime is about the benefits of having fun and the importance of play for people of all ages. In his honor, we encourage everyone to try something they may not normally do today. Take a dance break, try juggling some oranges, walk a new route or call a friend you haven’t talked to in awhile.
His legacy of positive storytelling will live on through his films and through his family.