NEW YORK, April 26, 2007 – Award-winning filmmaker Ric Burns will deliver the Spring 2007 Samuel Rudin Distinguished Visiting Scholar Lecture at The City College of New York (CCNY), 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 2, in The Great Hall, Shepard Hall. His address, “History and the Art of Making Documentary Films,” is free and open to the public.
Mr. Burns has been writing, directing and producing historical documentaries for nearly 20 years. He is best known for his epic series New York: A Documentary Film (1999-2003), which won two Emmys among numerous honors.
He began his career collaborating on the celebrated PBS series The Civil War, (1990), which he produced with his brother, Ken, and wrote with Geoffrey C. Ward. Mr. Burns received many awards for his work on the series, including two Emmys (for producing and writing), the Christopher Award, the Alfred I.duPont-Columbia University Award and the Producer of the Year Award from the Producer’s Guild of America.
Since founding Steeplechase Films in 1989, Mr. Burns has directed some of the most distinguished programs in the award-winning public television series, “American Experience,” including Coney Island (1991), The Donner Party (1992), The Way West (1995), Ansel Adams (2002), Eugene O’Neill (March 2006) and Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film (September 2006).
Among the honors Mr. Burns received for these films were: the Erik Barnouw Prize from the Organization of American Historians for Coney Island; the Peabody Broadcasting Award from the University of Georgia, a Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Achievement (1993) and the D.W. Griffith Award of the National Board of Review for Best Television Program (1992) for The Donner Party.
His laurels for The Way West included the Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Achievement, and the National Educational Media Network’s Gold Apple Award. Ansel Adams garnered an Emmy for Outstanding Cultural Programming and Eugene O'Neill earned a Peabody Broadcasting Award.
As an author, Mr. Burns co-wrote, with James Sanders and Lisa Ades, New York: An Illustrated History, the companion book to the New York series. He also was co-author, with Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, of The Civil War, a companion book to the eponymous epic documentary.
Mr. Burns was educated at Columbia University and Cambridge University. He lives in New York City with his wife and two young sons.
About The Rudin Lecture Program
The Samuel Rudin Distinguished Visiting Scholars Program, named for Samuel Rudin, the civic and philanthropic leader who graduated from CCNY in 1918, was initiated in 1996. Supported by a grant from The May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., it provides an opportunity for members of the City College community to interact with outstanding scholars, civic and business leaders, thereby enriching the educational experience on campus. The program is also intended to foster communication in the academic community of New York City.
Previous Rudin Scholars have included: Nobel Prize winner and cancer researcher Dr. Harold E. Varmus; veteran journalist Walter Cronkite; former Congresswoman Patricia S. Schroeder; Abraham H. Foxman, National Director, the Anti-Defamation League; author Walter Mosley (CCNY ‘91MA); journalist Tom Brokaw and authors Arthur and Barbara Gelb.
About The City College of New York
For 160 years, The City College of New York has provided low-cost, high-quality education for New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. Over 13,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of Architecture, the School of Education, the Grove School of Engineering, the Center for Worker Education and the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.