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Veteran U.K. Documentary Filmmaker Jess Search Dead At 54

Jess Search, a seasoned documentary producer and co-founder of the U.K.-based nonprofit film foundation Doc Society, has passed away. She was 54 years old, and she was announced to be deceased through to a poignant statement penned by Doc Society in early August.

Source:  Fred Hayes / Getty Images

What was the cause of Jess Search’s death?

The renowned British documentary filmmaker died on Monday in London following a brief fight with brain cancer that began in June, which she announced via the website for Doc Society with the words: “I’m currently under the care of a neurosurgeon because like 300,000 others every year around the world, I’ve been diagnosed with a brain tumor.” She is survived by her spouse, Beadie Finzi, her co-founder at the Doc Society, and their children, Ella and Ben. A memorial service for Search and a celebration of her life is being planned in the coming months.

Source: Getty Images

“As a fierce supporter of independent artists and co-founder of Doc Society, Jess spent the weeks following her diagnosis focused on her passions laid out in her recent announcement, No Time Like The Present, Her greatest wish was to continue to secure the Doc Society mission of unleashing the transformational power of documentary film to address the two critical and intertwined issues of climate change and democracies in crisis.”

Doc Society in the announcement about Jess Search

What was Jess Search’s legacy in documentary filmmaking?

Source: Doc Society

Search, who was born on May 15, 1969, worked as a documentary commissioning editor for Channel 4 in the United Kingdom before establishing the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation to assist and fund local nonfiction production. Search was also a co-founder of Shooting People, an online filmmakers network, and a Cass Business School MBA. The Doc Society has helped with the financing of several films, including the Oscar-nominated Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour, The Look of Silence, Hooligan Sparrow, Whose Streets, The Square, and Virunga,