The Vietnam War
Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick
FREE screening of selections from THE VIETNAM WAR takes place on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at the Balboa Theatre.
THE VIETNAM WAR is a ten-part, 18-hour documentary film series directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick that will air on PBS in September 2017.
In an immersive 360-degree narrative, Burns and Novick tell the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film. THE VIETNAM WAR features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from both the winning and losing sides. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward, produced by Sarah Botstein, Novick and Burns, it includes rarely seen, digitally re-mastered archival footage from sources around the globe, photographs taken by some of the most celebrated photojournalists of the 20th Century, historic television broadcasts, evocative home movies, revelatory audio recordings from inside the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon administrations and more than 100 iconic musical recordings by many of the greatest artists of the era.
THE VIETNAM WAR is a production of Florentine Films and WETA, Washington, D.C. Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Written by Geoffrey C. Ward. Produced by Sarah Botstein, Lynn Novick and Ken Burns.
Funding for THE VIETNAM WAR is provided by Bank of America; Corporation for Public Broadcasting; PBS; David H. Koch; The Blavatnik Family Foundation; Park Foundation; The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations; The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; National Endowment for the Humanities; The Pew Charitable Trusts; Ford Foundation Just Films; Rockefeller Brothers Fund; and Members of The Better Angels Society: Jonathan & Jeannie Lavine, Diane & Hal Brierley, Amy & David Abrams, John & Catherine Debs, Fullerton Family Charitable Fund, The Montrone Family, Lynda & Stewart Resnick, The Golkin Family Foundation, The Lynch Foundation, The Roger & Rosemary Enrico Foundation, Richard S. & Donna L. Strong Foundation, Bonnie & Tom McCloskey, Barbara K. & Cyrus B. Sweet III, The Lavender Butterfly Fund.
**The screening event is supported by WETA and organized by KPBS as part of the GI Film Festival San Diego.**
Ken Burns has been making documentary films for almost 40 years. Since the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Burns has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; The Statue of Liberty; Huey Long; Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery; Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson; The War; The National Parks: America’s Best Idea; The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; Jackie Robinson; and, most recently, Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War. His newest film, The Vietnam War, a 10-part, 18-hour series co-directed by long-time partner Lynn Novick, will air on PBS in September 2017.
A December 2002 poll conducted by Real Screen Magazine listed The Civil War as second only to Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North as the “most influential documentary of all time,” and named Ken Burns and Robert Flaherty as the “most influential documentary makers” of all time. In March 2009, David Zurawik of The Baltimore Sun said, “… Burns is not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker period. That includes feature filmmakers like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. I say that because Burns not only turned millions of persons onto history with his films, he showed us a new way of looking at our collective past and ourselves.” The late historian Stephen Ambrose said of his films, “More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source.”
Burns’s films have been honored with dozens of major awards, including 15 Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards and two Oscar nominations; and in September 2008, at the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, he was honored by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lynn Novick is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker. For nearly 30 years, she has been producing and directing films about American history and culture, among them some of the most acclaimed and top-rated documentaries to have aired on PBS. Her films include Prohibition, Baseball, Jazz, Frank Lloyd Wright and The War, a seven part, 15-hour exploration of ordinary Americans’ experiences in World War II.
The Vietnam War, Novick’s newest project co-directed by long-time partner Ken Burns, produced by Sarah Botstein and written by Geoffrey C. Ward, airs on PBS in September 2017. An immersive, 10-part, 18-hour epic, it is the first major documentary assessment in a generation of one of the most divisive and consequential events in American history. A groundbreaking 360-degree exploration of the war, the series features testimony from nearly 100 witnesses, including many Americans who fought in the war and others who opposed it, as well as Vietnamese combatants and civilians from the winning and losing sides.
Novick is currently working on a two-part biography of Ernest Hemingway, co-directed by Burns and slated for completion in 2020, and College Behind Bars (w.t.), a feature length documentary produced by Sarah Botstein, about a group of men and women imprisoned in New York State for serious crimes, struggling to earn degrees in a rigorous liberal arts college program – the Bard Prison Initiative. College Behind Bars asks several essential questions: What is prison for? Who in America has access to educational opportunity? Can we have justice without redemption? The film will air on PBS in 2018.
Director, Producer: Ken Burns, Lynn Novick
Producer: Sarah Botstein