Jess Search, Doc Society Co-Founder, Dies at 54

Jess Search, Doc Society Co-Founder, Dies at 54

Jess Search, the veteran documentary producer and co-founder of nonprofit film foundation Doc Society in the U.K., has died. She was 54.

Search died Monday in London after a short battle with brain cancer that began with a diagnosis in June, Doc Society announced in an Aug. 1 letter.

“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,” which first revealed her brain tumor discovery, Doc Society said.

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“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,” the organization added.

Films the Doc Society has helped finance include the Oscar nominated Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour, Virunga, Whose Streets, Hooligan Sparrow, The Square and The Look of Silence.

Born on May 15, 1969, Search worked as a documentary commissioning editor for Channel 4 TV in the UK before she went on to set up the Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation to help finance homegrown non-fiction work. Search also co-founded Shooting People, an online filmmakers network and she had an MBA from Cass Business School.

She leaves behind her partner, Beadie Finzi, who also founded the Doc Society, and their two children, Ella and Ben.  A celebration of Search’s life is planned for the coming months.