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Career > > 2017 > Ken Burns: America’s Storyteller

Ken Burns: America’s Storyteller

March 06, 2017 | PBS Television | 90 minutes
Ken Burns loves America. The Brooklyn-born filmmaker's passion for his country is evident in his award-winning films for PBS, which have encompassed American characters (Mark Twain, Frank Lloyd Wright, the Roosevelts), American pastimes (baseball, jazz), American icons (the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty), and our most momentous historical events (the Civil War, Prohibition). Since the nomination of Brooklyn Bridge for an Academy Award in 1982, Ken Burns has gone on to direct some of the most acclaimed and commercially successful documentaries ever made.
Cast: Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, George Lucas, Wynton Marsalis, Yo-Yo Ma, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Sam Waterston, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Ken Burns’s passion for telling America’s stories is evident in his choice of subjects, from American icons (Mark Twain, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jackie Robinson, The Roosevelts) to American pastimes (baseball, jazz and the National Parks), from American landmarks (the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty) to the country’s most momentous historical events (the Civil War, the Dust Bowl, Prohibition and World War II). Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, productions by Burns have won 15 Emmy Awards and two Oscar nominations, and Burns himself has been the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Burns has been aptly described as “America’s storyteller.” Over the course of almost 40 years, he has carried on a deep and probing conversation with Americans about themselves and their country, its past and its future. Perhaps more than anyone else, he has elevated documentary filmmaking to an art form and made American history come alive.

The tribute also includes an extended interview with Burns, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the making of his films and providing fascinating insights into his thought process, philosophy and creative methods. Filled with clips, photographs, outtakes and “making of” footage, “Ken Burns: America’s Storyteller” will remind viewers once again of the originality and craft behind the “Ken Burns effect.”

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