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Public Educational Media
July 7, 2023

Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick have received the 2023 Screenwriters Tribute Award for their significant contributions to storytelling through an esteemed body of work that includes AVDF-funded documentaries such as The Vietnam War and Hemingway. The award honorees were announced at this summer’s Nantucket Film Festival, a celebration of diverse screenwriting and storytelling of the human experience in American cinema.

Burns and Novick were honored during the festival with the Special Achievement in Documentary Storytelling. The achievement honors nonfiction filmmakers who completed works with a long-lasting and meaningful impact on audiences. Burns and Novick create multidimensional films with American cultural significance by documenting people and events that have shaped the nation’s history and present.

Award-winning documentarian Ken Burns began filmmaking more than 40 years ago and has a long list of acclaimed historical works, many of which AVDF has supported. AVDF provided its first grant to Burns in 1987 with funding for The Civil War. To date, AVDF has provided approximately $13 million in funding to support these epic films, including Jazz, Baseball, and Jackie Robinson. For his films, Burns has received 16 Emmy Awards, two Grammy Awards, and two Oscar nominations. In 2008, Burns also received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Novick was honored with the documentary achievement award alongside Burns as his creative partner and co-filmmaker for more than 30 years. Novick has collaborated with Burns to produce 100 hours of PBS content including AVDF-supported films The U.S. and The Holocaust, The War, and Prohibition. Like Burns, Novick has been honored with several awards including the Emmy, Peabody, and Alfred I. DuPont Columbia Awards.

The filmmaking duo’s next projects to be released on PBS include the AVDF-funded documentaries Crime and Punishment in America, LBJ & the Great Society, and Emancipation to Exodus.

For more information about the 2023 Nantucket Film Festival and the Screenwriters Tribute Award, click here.

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