Three years ago today, 27 year-old Sarah Jones was killed on the train tracks of Midnight Rider and several others were injured. On the third anniversary of the young camera assistant’s death, the first Sarah Jones Safety Grant has been awarded. Kyle Rehl, a film student at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, will receive the grant and must be used for on-set safety expenses incurred by the production of a narrative thesis film.
Those expenses range from gaining permits and street closure fees to the hiring of an on-set medic, professional stunt coordinators and providing police and fire department representatives on set. Sarah Jones Safety Grants are provided in the amount of $2,500 Moving forward, the Sarah Jones Film Foundation will continue to award Sarah Jones Safety Grants to University of Georgia film students as part of the Foundation’s mission to promote safety on the set “through awareness and accountability.”
The Sarah Jones Safety Grant program will gradually be expanded to include other film schools. “This is the a pilot program to work out the details of how to implement it and see how it goes,” said Richard Jones, father of Sarah. “We’ve already spoken to other schools including Columbia University in New York which is very interested in the program. So the plan is to roll it out nationally. In order to change the culture of the industry, we really do feel that you have to start with the youth. We believe this is a very good direction to affect permanent change.”
On this third year mark, her parents Elizabeth and Richard visited the student’s film set yesterday and — with the crew and the university’s faculty — observed a minute of silence in their daughter’s memory. The Foundation was set up about a year after Sarah Jones’ death.