Filmmaker Lynn Novick has been directing and producing landmark documentaries about American history and culture for more than twenty-five years. A Peabody and Emmy award winner, she has been a creative partner and principal collaborator of Ken Burns since the early 1990s; together they have co-directed more than 60 hours of programming, some of the most critically acclaimed and top-rated documentaries to have aired on PBS.
Novick is currently completing a ten part, 18 hour film series about the history and meaning of the Vietnam War, directed with Burns and produced with Sarah Botstein and Burns. Slated for release in 2017, the series will be the first major documentary assessment in a generation of one of the most divisive and consequential events in American history. With unprecedented access to eyewitnesses in the U.S. and Vietnam, and exhaustively researched archival material from around the globe, Novick and Burns’s series is a visceral and immersive 360 degree narrative of the war, from the bottom up and the top down.
In 2007, Novick and Burns co-directed The War — produced with Sarah Botstein – a seven-part, nearly 15 hour series that examined the human dimensions of the Second World War, interweaving eye-witness testimony of 40 men and women from four American towns.
Novick is currently collaborating with producer Sarah Botstein on College Behind Bars: The Bard Prison Initiative (working title), a feature length documentary slated for release in 2018 about a small group of men and women imprisoned for serious crimes in New York State, who are struggling to turn their lives around in an unusual, rigorous, and highly effective liberal arts college degree program – the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI). The film shines a light on the fundamental relationship between incarceration and education, puts a human face on America’s criminal justice crisis, and challenges conventional wisdom about the human capacity for emotional, moral, and intellectual transformation. Ken Burns is executive producer.
Novick’s next directorial collaboration with Burns will be a two part biography of Ernest Hemingway, slated for completion in 2020. Her additional director/producer credits include Prohibition, (2011) a five and a half hour film series, The Tenth Inning, (2010) a four hour update of Burns’s 1994 series, Baseball, and a two part biography, Frank Lloyd Wright, (1998). Novick was also producer of Burns’s 10-part series, Jazz, (2000), and his nine-part, 18 hour series, Baseball, (1994). A magna cum laude graduate of Yale with honors in American Studies, she lives in New York City.