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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth 19 June 1917Hendersonville, North Carolina, USA
Nickname Kitty

Mini Bio (1)

In 36 years she directed 72 productions including sermon films, promotional films, multi-image presentations, and feature-length films. In 1950, Katherine Stenholm was directing a stage play of "Cyrano" when she was approached by Dr. Bob Jones Sr., founder of Bob Jones University, Greenville, SC, to take on the task of starting a Cinema Department for the school. She was surprised as his request since she had no experience in film, but continued on to gain an in-depth education in filmmaking, both in graduate study at USC and through contacts made within the industry. Peter Mole, founder of Mole-Richardson Co., provided all the lighting needs for the new studio built on the campus, called "Unusual Films." After directing a number of short ministry films for evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Sr., Katherine Stenholm swung into the feature length production of "Wine of Morning." This film is based upon a novel written by Dr. Bob Jr., a reinvention of the story of Barabbas, the murderer chosen to be released in place of Jesus, right before the crucifixion. In 1955, "Wine of Morning" won the National Evangelical Film Foundation awards for best film, best director, best actor, and best producer of the year. This was also selected by the University Film Producers Association (now University Film and Video Association) to represent the United States at the International Film Festival in Cannes, France for a meeting of the International Congress of Motion Picture and Television Schools in 1958. Katherine Stenholm was one of the keynote speakers at the Cannes Festival and later gave a keynote address at the International Congress of Motion Picture and Television Schools held in Paris soon after. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she continued to run the Unusual Films' studios until 1986. Film students gained a distinct advantage under her guidance as she held high standards of filmmaking. All students were required to read "American Cinematographer" cover to cover every month, and countless other texts. All students were required to write / direct / edit a 16mm short film their sophomore year (added in late 1970s). All students were required to put in a set amount of hours working at the film studio, in various positions, to complement their classroom time. Those who passed these rigors, while maintaining passing grades in all their other university courses, were then eligible to assist in the production of the feature films Katherine Stenholm directed. In addition, she required that EACH senior level student write / produce / direct / edit a 16mm film for their senior thesis, in order to graduate-all the while continuing to assist in the studio's productions. In 1986, while filming in Russia for her then-upcoming film, "The Printing," she suffered a minor stroke in Moscow. It was difficult to get through the red tape to get her a flight from Moscow to Helsinki because she and her team were with a tour group that was set to fly out from Leningrad to Helsinki. Once the task was accomplished and she returned home to the States, Tim Rogers was named as the director of Unusual Films and he directed "The Printing" in her place. During her illness, many students rallied to aid her in household chores and anything else needed. Though she retired from directing when her health recovered, she returned to teach the directing class until the 1999/2000 school year.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: cinegurl@aol.com; bfrigo@bju.edu

Spouse (1)

Gilbert Stenholm (1941 - 1989) (his death) (1 child)

Trivia (8)

Friends with author/cinematographer Joseph V. Mascelli. Photos from two of her films are featured in his book The Five C's of Cinematography.
Sheffey (1977) won the Silver Medallion at the International Film and Television Festival of New York in the Industrial and Educational Productions division.
Red Runs The River was selected to represent the United States at the International Congress of Motion-Picture and Television Schools in Budapest, Hungary, by the University Film Producers Association
She was a keynote speaker at Cannes in 1958.
Wine Of Morning won the National Evangelical Film Foundation awards for best film, best director, best actor, and best producer of the year; this film was also selected by the University Film Producers Association to represent the United States at the International Congress of Motion Picture and Television Schools in Cannes, France.
All In One Package won the Bronze Medallion at the International Film and Television Festival of New York in the Recruiting category. This film also won the Gold Camera Award at the United States Industrial Film Festival in Chicago
Mount Up With Wings won a Certificate of Creative Excellence at the United States IndustrialFilm Festival in Chicago. This film also won the Bronze Medallion at the International Film and Television Festival of New York in the Recruiting category.
Her grandson is currently working on "The Virgin of Juarez" (2005)

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