Jean Hartley R.I.P - a tribute by Mark Deeble

Jean Hartley R.I.P - a tribute by Mark Deeble

28th September 2017

We have just heard the sad news that Jean died early this morning. 

She meant so much to so many.

For filmmakers who worked in East Africa, her ‘fixing’ company, Viewfinders, was both an efficient, professional outfit, and a safe haven. It didn’t matter whether you were David Attenborough or an intern, trying to get into the business, she treated everyone the same. Arriving at her gate, muddy and exhausted, from a film-shoot, was a step away from being to be able to relax, be served innumerable cups of tea, dinner, a bed if needed, and know that your filming gear and cans of precious film were in safe hands. 

To us, Jean was all that and more - for 25 years she was a good friend and champion.

To all her friends, she was loyal and fiercely protective. Her ‘no nonsense’ exterior, was a veneer to a soul that was extraordinarily compassionate and generous. To see her legacy, you have to look no further than what she did for others. She invested everything in people. She never shouted about it, but quietly got on with it. She helped them start their own businesses, got them jobs, kickstarted their careers, cleared their hospital bills, assisted refugees, paid their school fees, stepped in when they needed help… 
She asked for nothing in return. 

There are many people working in Kenya today who owe their lives and livelihoods to this remarkable woman.

She was one of life’s really good people.

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