| ||International cinema mourns the loss of a staunch supporter and critic. |
Born 26 November 1933 in Peoria, Illinois, USA, Ron Holloway studied at Loyola University Chicago, where he received his BA in Philosophy and MA in Religious Philosophy. Ordained as a Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1959, he worked at adult Education Centres, co-founded the National Centre for Film Study in Chicago and served there as Chaplain. He spent his summers in Latin America (in Mexico at the Ivan Illych Institute in Cuernavaca, and tramping through Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela).
Committed to civil rights, Holloway marched with Jesse Jackson in Chicago, and was living in Harlem when Martin Luther King was assassinated in April 1968. That same year he received a two-year grant from the Rockefeller Foundation to research the religious aspects of cinema.
Ron was the first Catholic to complete a doctorate in Evangelical Theology at the University of Hamburg, writing on the films of Carl Dreyer, Ingmar Bergman and Robert Bresson. His book Beyond the Image. Approaches to the religious dimension in the cinema was published in 1977 by the World Council of Churches (WCC) in co-operation with INTERFILM.
For over 30 years Ron was a Berlin-based correspondent in film, television, and the media for Variety, the Hollywood Reporter, Moving Pictures International and International Film Guide. He wrote articles on film, theatre and cultural affairs for the Financial Times and The Herald Tribune. The author of several books on film history and criticism, he also researched and originated a databank on film directors from the republics of the ex-USSR.
For 25 years together with his wife Dorothea Moritz he published without public subsidy the journal KINO German Film with more than 80 issues. He personally handed them out at the major international film festivals in Cannes and Berlin. But his support of German cinema went well beyond that publication alone. He and Dorothea collaborated on four documentaries and both served on juries at several international film festivals.
As a journalist Ron received several awards, including: Polish Rings (1982), together with Dorothea (given by Andrzej Wajda, Association of Polish Filmmakers); Verdienstkreuz am Bande des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (1999), given by the Berlin Senator for Cultural Affairs); the Golden Medal Cannes (2000), awarded by Gilles Jacob and Pierre Viot; and the American Cinema Foundation Freedom Award (2002) ‘for opening our eyes to the East’.
Ron Holloway contributed several articles to WACC’s international journal Media Development, most recently ‘Films in post-Taliban Afghanistan’ and ‘Documentaries on Afghanistan’ in the 1/2009 issue. He was always in the service of cinema, responding promptly and affably to any request. He had a particular interest in the films of Eastern Europe, but it was a ‘passion without borders’ and his deep and perceptive understanding will be greatly missed.