Thumbs Up for Mother Universe: The Lonnie Holley Story


This story of survival, endurance, and triumph has much to say about race and social class in the American South. Lonnie Holley’s remarkable life and the improbability of his success are a true inspiration. Holley is particularly interested in encouraging the creativity of young people of color. Beyond the possibilities of TV and streaming video, to reach this audience, we intend to screen the film in community venues, with accompanying workshops with Holley.

After 21 years of filming Holley’s life, we have shot and acquired a unique record of an artist’s life and work. This archive of interviews, still photographs, scenes with Holley’s family, Holley collecting materials and making art and music will be made available to an institution where fans, students, and researchers can view and listen to unedited source materials.

And last, the feature length film, Thumbs Up for Mother Universe is really, the tip of the iceberg. We see the film as an introduction to a cornucopia of materials on the upcoming film’s website. Here viewers can go deeper, reviewing uncut interviews, photo galleries of Holley’s art, unreleased cuts of music recorded at Holley’s live performances, and short films created for the website of other important events and stories that we could not include in the film.


george-kingGeorge King & Associates is an ad hoc group of filmmakers producing innovative, independent documentary media for TV, radio, the web, and targeted screenings at community venues.

In addition, we also produce informational and educational media for commercial and nonprofit clients. Clients include: Target, Turner Original Productions (TBS), Alzheimer’s Association, National Voting Rights Institute, Neighborhood Housing Services, American Civil Liberties Union, American Friends Service Committee, National Lawyer’s Guild, Southern Regional Council, United Methodist Church, Voter Education Project, UNITE, Alternate ROOTS, Smithsonian Institute, State of California, United Way of the Bay Area, Rockefeller Foundation, Center for Documentary Studies, and the National Gallery of Art.


Current Projects

  • Thumbs Up for Mother Universe!

    The Lonnie Holley Story, a feature documentary in post-production. Lonnie Holley has been described as a poet, a prophet, a hustler, a visionary artist, and a shaman. The 67-year old Holley has ... Read more

  • Kick Like Me

    A tale of addiction and its consequences (In production). Warren dreamed of being a rock star. At 21, music industry moguls tagged him for stardom when a heroin overdose changes everything–as one ... Read more


    An anarchic, comedic script for a short animated documentary that addresses the failures of the economic marketplace through the story of the humble typewriter keyboard. Based on essays by economist Paul Krugman, ... Read more