True Vision Productions co-founder and BAFTA winning director Deborah Shipley (pictured) has passed away following a long battle with cancer.
Shipley, who established the prodco with husband Brian Woods in 1995, died peacefully at her home on Sunday (November 22). In a statement, Woods described Shipley as True Vision’s “moral compass,” and “the inspiration for anything good and worthwhile I have done in and with my life.” She was 60 years old.
The filmmaker first began her career in media as an actor at one of South Africa’s first multi-racial theater companies, where she performed anti-apartheid plays, and later chased her acting career to the UK in the 1980s before opening True Vision.
Shipley, who worked on a number of the company’s productions as researcher, administrator and producer, most notably directed the BAFTA-winning Orphans of Nkandla and The Dying Rooms, as well as the BAFTA nominated Lost Girls of South Africa.
“It has been a privilege knowing Debs over the years,” said Charlotte Moore, BBC1 controller, in a statement found on a memorial page at True Vision’s website. “She has always been a real inspiration in the world of television, in the way she dealt with colleagues and contributors, in her commitment to the art of documentary-making and in the way she felt driven to give a voice to the vulnerable and disadvantaged and to out the injustices of the world so often on our doorstep. And for the last 15 years she has been an inspiration to all of us whose lives have been touched by cancer. She was a remarkable woman and I feel lucky to have known her – and spent so many enjoyable awards evenings in her company. She will be truly missed by many.”
True Vision was named to realscreen‘s annual Global 100 list in 2011 for its work on the documentary Poor Kids, among other projects.