A miniature circus is brought to life by a Massachusetts craftsman. Funding:  Bowling Green Films, Inc.

Time:  04:12                        All Ages


Director:  Jack Ofield

Producer:  Daniel Wilson

Writer:  Joseph Hurley

Narrator: David Wayne

Cinematography:  Richard Francis A.S.C.

"This inspirational, beautifully directed program illustrates the resurgence of American handicraft with a judicious cross-section of artisans--young and old, male and female, from East to West..."

                                     --Dallas Morning News

"...an impressive hour of informative entertainment."


“…Written and directed by Jack Ofield, this production was extremely candid in its criticism of the government’s system of handling Native Peoples…”

                        --Ottawa Gazette

Jack wrote and directed over 40 episodes over 4 years for the long-running ABC “Discovery” series.  Winner of numerous awards, the weekly, half-hour, network show focused on the cultures of many lands.  Following are examples of Jack’s films:

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation began as a radio network in 1929 and was launched in 1952 as the principal national TV network (similar to the BBC in the United KIngdom).  Most of Jack's productions for the National Film Board of Canada aired on the CBC and are available today through the NFB website.  Some of Jack's American productions were licensed to the CBC, such as Different Sons -- but all of Jack's national U.S. shows and series are seen throughout Canada over-the-air, or via satellite and the Canadian Retransmission Collective.

ABC was launched in 1943.  In the period of the "big three networks" ABC was supreme, rising to the top of the ratings between 1965-85, the period when Jack's films and series were airing on ABC. The company was the first to form a motion picture division and develop sports as a powerhouse programming source.

PBS was launched in 1965, along with the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities under the "Great Society" programs of President Lyndon Johnson.  Jack has had a long affiliation with PBS and both endowments. He has produced hundreds of programs for PBS.  Following are a few examples:

Life among the Chipewyan Indians on a reserve in northern Saskatchewan, where new ways of living do not conflict with traditional activities. Far from rich in a material sense, the Chipewyan have a sense of community and a close connection to the forests and animals that sustain them.

Time:  28:00                                           Ages 10-Adult

National Film Board of Canada / www.nfb.ca

A revealing look at the integration of Indian children into non-Indian schools that raises important questions:  Why do some Indians object to mainstreaming their children? Have the government and the church damaged Indian culture and pride?

Time: 28:00                                   Ages 14-Adult

National Film Board of Canada / www.nfb.ca

Daily life in an old order Amish family in Indiana.

Elephants log teak in the Thai jungles.

A Swedish company town, where glass-making is an art.

The floating market on the klongs in Bangkok.

The art and anthropology of Mexico.

Reindeer herding in Lapland.

Life on the historic island.

The story of the Mississippi River.

Jack directed this beautiful ABC special for Johnson Wax. The show featured eight preeminent American artist-craftsmen (Toshiko Takaezu is seen above) and won many awards.  After the national premiere, the show toured Europe with "Objects USA," the exhibition of U.S. crafts also sponsored by Johnson Wax.  The Smithsonian Institution chose the film for the U.S. Pavilion at the Montreal World's Fair.

Also see Inheritance

Paul Solder, famed potter and sculptor, at home in Aspen, Colorado.

Peter Voulkos, renowned sculptor

and potter, creates a new work

in his Berkeley, California foundry.

J.B. Blunk carves an epic sculpture

with a chain saw in Marin, California.

CBS began as a radio network in the 1920s, branched into television late in the 1930s, and temporarily became the dominant network for investigative journalism.  Jack's documentary on fishing was an unusual departure with its down-home charm and unabashed enthusiasm for America's natural beauty and waterways.

Director:  Jack Ofield

This one-hour special for CBS became a cult classic among fishermen everywhere as it romped through America’s rivers, lakes and bayous in search of the “big one”.  Jack’s “A” team included long-time colleagues, the cinematographer Richard Francis and producer Daniel Wilson.

Howard Thompson, writing in the New York Times, said it best:

“Fishing, anyone?  You may be and soon if you catch “You Should’ve Seen the One that Got Away” over the CBS network…charming, relaxing documentary…lovely photography…easy, unhurried pacing…sensible comments on ecology and wild-life conservation…the program, directed by Jack Ofield, informs us that ‘last year over 55 million Americans bought fishing licenses.’  How much does one cost?”

Also see River.

Producer:  Fern McBride

Director:  Jack Ofield

Jack directed this twice-weekly, 90-minute live and tape show for WNET/13 New York.  The show ranged through the city covering politics, the arts and social movements.  John Lennon and Yoko Ono, poet Allen Ginsberg, Bobby Seale and the Black Panthers, rebel Abbie Hoffman, Race Pictures and other notables gave the show its no-holds-barred reputation.

Producer:  Steve Rabin

Director:    Jack Ofield

Funding:   National Endowment for the Humanities, New York State

   Council on the Arts

Jack directed this 26-part, one-hour series on the arts, featuring such artists as Nicol Willamson in "Hamlet," composer Luciano Berrio and the sculpture of David Smith.  The first show featured The Doors and won critical praise. 

Said the Washington Post:

   "Critique is [an] energetic answer to pablum TV talk shows…Jim Morrison did 45 minute’s worth of his thing for the television audience..putting better visible rock onto a TV screen than "Woodstock" did in multi-supremo-apavision."

The show was reportedly the sole TV appearance by The Doors and featured an extensive interview. The footage is on the world-wide web on several sites and receives thousands of hits each week.

Producer-Director:  Jack Ofield

Cast:  Martin Treat, David Gale, Bryarly Lee, Ben Hammer, Mia Dillon, Thomas Connolly, Christopher Carrick.

Cinematography:  Richard Francis, A.S.C.

Funding:   National Endowment for the Humanities

This 90-minute original drama centered on the travails of an Irish immigrant family of iron molders in Troy, NY in the early, violent years of the U.S. labor movement.  Jack shot the film on location in several parts of New York State, including a 19th century foundry that produced iron in the old way.  The film was praised for its authenticity, beautiful photography and emotional intensity.

Funding:  New York State Bicentennial Commission

Like the old showboats that plied the Mississippi, the New York State Bicentennial Barge floated up the Hudson River from New York to traverse the state's waterways en route to 32 towns and cities, carrying the stirring story of the birth of New York State to its own people.   The 875-ton, 250-foot, free, festival barge featured two tiers of historical exhibits and drew huge crowds at every stop.

Jack produced eight short historical films that played continuously in a special, life-size format aboard the barge.  The films captured life before, during and after the American Revolution, including artisans and travelers on British taxes, the tea party incident, an Indian orator discussing land fraud, runaway slaves, an infantryman loading a musket, a woman coping on the home front, President Washington's inaugural, and class struggle and the new constitution.

The Bicentennial Barge was one-of-a-kind that has not been replicated before or since.

Producer-Director:  Jack Ofield

Writer:  Helen-Maria Erawan

Funding:  National Endowment for the Humanities

This Special-of-the-Week made the covers of 90% of PBS program guides, was widely praised, and won many awards. As the "classic study of vanishing crafts and changing work patterns in America," the program is the sole existing portrait of the five indigenous craftsmen. The program was rerun for two years and is in distribution today as an important historical and sociological document.  Also see clips on www.folkstreams.net.

Available film is excerpted from the original hour.

Time:  28:00             Ages 12 and over


Following are portraits of the individual craftsmen excerpted from the original hour and available as short films:

Harvey Ward, 87, carves

beautiful grain shovels with a double-edged ax.

Time: 10:21       Ages 12 and over

$15 -----------------------

John Forshee, 91, makes

gleaming tinware

with inherited tools.

Time:  11:21        Ages 12 and over

$15 ----------------------

Elizabeth Proper, 50,

weaves split

white oak baskets.

Time:  07:00        Ages 12 and over

$15 ----------------------

Delbert Smith, 88, a hereditary blacksmith, illuminates

life around the forge.

Time:  5:30        Ages 12 and over

$15 -----------------------

 The story of weaving from the

     hand-loom to mass production

     with its brilliant inventions

     and bleak child labor.

Time:  06:32        Ages 12 and over

$15 -------------------

An Onondaga father and

son make lacrosse

sticks in the traditional way.

Time:  06:00       Ages 12 and over

$15  --------------------

Patriotism and loyalty in an economically depressed community. Showcased on the PBS "Americana" series. Funding:  New York State Council for the Humanities.

Time:  28:30---------------Ages 14 and over


On the road with the Vietnam Veterans Against the War. The first documentary on the viewpoints of returned Vietnam combat veterans. Funding:  Volunteer labor from New York Film Industry for Peace Excerpted from the original hour that aired on EEN, France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, The Netherlands, CBC, BBC, Scandinavia.  Winner of many awards.

Time:  28:00                                  Ages 17 and over


The last of the "logger minstrels"; a cultural

carrier of American mountain folk music.

Funding: New York Foundation for the Arts.

Time:  19:00-----------------Ages 12 and over


Producer-Director:  Jack Ofield

Writer:  Helen-Maria Erawan

Funding:  National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, American Film Institute. This remarkable one-hour special is the sole portrait of three diverse American folk painters:  Ralph Fasanella, New York; Mario Sanchez, Key West; and Queena Stovall, Lynchburg. Their work appears in major museums and galleries today. The film is another example of Jack's extensive work in anthropological and ethnographic filmmaking. Also see his work on www.folkstreams.net

Fasanella, "the painter of the

labor movement" grew up in

New York's Little Italy.

Time:  12:08            Ages 12 and up

$19.95            -------------

Queena Stovall of rural Virginia

portrays an interlocking black and

white world in the South.

Time:  06:00        Ages 12 and over

$10           -------------

Mario Sanchez' colorful wood cuts

depict Cuban-American life in

old Key West.

Time:  13:30          Ages 12 and over

$19.95            -------------

Voices from the American Revolution seen through the lives of those who fought it. Funding: New York State Bicentennial Commission. Excerpted from the PBS one-hour special

Time:  28 minutes                 Ages 12 and over


Life and lore along the legendary Hudson River with a special appearance by Pete Seeger. Funding:  New York State Council for the Humanities. Excerpted from the original PBS hour special.

Time:  16:00                    Ages 12 and over


When Chuck Marino came out of the closet, the Boy Scouts asked for his uniform. GLAAD Award Funding:  KPBS-TV

Time:  28:30                    Ages 18 and over

not currently available

Balboa Park: A Living Legend beautifully presents

the history of this superb urban space. Emmy Award.

Time:  30:00                        Ages 12 and over


The Barns at Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center and where they came from. Funding:  National Endowment for the Arts

Time:   15:00                    Ages 12 and over

Contact the Wolf Trap Foundation

The work and lives of some mentally disturbed writers and artists. Funding:  Creative Arts Consortium

Time:  30:00                    Ages 18 and over


Annabelle Whitford dances in Thomas Edison's

famous Black Mariah in this vintage film. Funding:  FilmWorks

Time:  03:00                        Ages 10 and over


The 1906 murder case and "An American Tragedy" excerpted from Jack's 6-week symposium on Dreiser's novel. Funding: California Council for the Humanities.

Time:   15:00                    Ages 18 and over

Available in Reference in Love Library, SDSU

Also see Factory Girl  in Animation

Commissioned by the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Time:  08:49                        All Ages

Iron parlor stove, 1850s, made in Troy, NY

Martin Treat

David Gale

Bryarly Lee

Thomas Connolly

Riot between scabs and union organizers.

The story of the Declaration of Independence.

"This is more than a highly entertaining show--it is an important sociological document."

                               --Christian Science Monitor

Joe White

The Venice of the North.

Breeding and racing Champions.

Gateway to the new world: New York