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JSFS is saddened by the passing of "a one of a kind storyteller": Dick Ross

 

Dick Ross was a legendary teacher, educator and great friend to the JSFS.School founding director Renen Schorr pays  tribute to him:

 

 

THE HEALER


Dick Ross is dead. If we at JSFS had a flag, we would lower it to half-mast. Dick was the greatest storyteller of the short film genre. 

I did not understand the fullness of Dick's English. His English was erudite, directing you to recycle Aristotle and Milos Forman.

I understood it in 1990 in Blois, France - at the time when the CILECT congress was much smaller, intimate and roaring for revolution.

I enjoyed being with Dick. He shared with me his teaching at film schools over the world. He sought out on my behalf humanistic films which are not "black or bleak", we shared a strong belief that the Danish film school is the best at this. And that we should fight, together with others, for the international understanding - that student shorts are not a calling card for the industry, but a genre on its own.

...Dick was so damn optimistic. He knew already, passionately teaching, that non-stereotyped humanistic films will be made, and will change the big screen. I urged him to write his two volume book about short films.

In the early days of our school, I engaged him to present his own master class for screenwriting to our students. I enjoyed watching him drinking beer informally one-on-one with some of our students. He was glowing, he was at his prime. He listened open-eyed to all of the stories the students brought to the table and then, lifting his legs onto a stool, pin-pointed which was the one story to go for.  "That has not yet been seen on the screen" he laughed in a healing tone. On occasion, he lent his own stories. 

We called him the healer. Dick came back to Jerusalem for an annual master class for the whole school.

When I was appointed to the presidency of GEECT, I created the "Schools Best Kept Secrets" series of conferences. Dick built "the ladder" with me - 11 topics ranging from how to cast new students and ending with how to make dialogue with our graduates. The first conference was the 2001 Bratislava conference and ended with the sixth conference in 2015 in Jerusalem. His last time at JSFS was in 2005 for our 15th year celebrations. He celebrated his 70 years with us and was received with a standing ovation by our graduates to be.

The last time I spoke with Dick was this past July. I sent him the demo of our up-coming portal with all of our classic films to which he had so contributed. I will never know if he was able to watch the fullness of the portal. We spoke by phone and I knew that his health would not allow him to write - which is all that he wanted to do. I urged him to read the School's manifesto. "You, have a great stake here, Dear Dick". I said.

Let there be light, Dick!


Renen Schorr

Founding Director Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film School, 1989-2019

 


 

 

 

 

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