Rochester, N.Y., June 17, 2010—George Eastman House welcomes back filmmaker Ken Burns, along with his long-time writing partner Geoffrey C. Ward, for an intimate talk on the Dryden Theatre stage at 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13. “An Evening with Ken Burns & Geoffrey C. Ward” will offer an insider’s look at their artistic approaches and processes, as they talk about advancing an idea into an award-winning film. Burns and Ward each will receive the George Eastman Medal of Honor.
The evening at Eastman House also will feature a video tribute to Burns’s and Ward’s careers and will feature highlights from their joint projects. Following the talk — moderated by Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director of George Eastman House — Burns and Ward will sign books and DVDs. Tickets go on sale to Eastman House members July 1 (and WXXI members July 8) and to the general public on July 22.
The George Eastman Medal of Honor is awarded for meritorious service to the advancement of the principles embodied by George Eastman. Burns and Ward are being recognized for their significant contributions to cultural and racial awareness through their filmmaking. The two previous recipients are Congresswoman Louise Slaughter and film critic Jack Garner.
Burns is among the leading filmmakers who preserve their motion pictures in the George Eastman House archive. This will be the second time George Eastman House has honored him. In 1995, Burns was the museum’s first George Eastman Honorary Scholar, bestowed for artistic achievement. In the 15 years since he received that award, Burns has produced and directed award-winning documentaries about subjects ranging from jazz and baseball to World War II and our national parks.
Burns and Ward first collaborated in 1984 on the documentary Huey Long, which Ward wrote and Burns directed. More than 40 million viewers watched their collaboration The Civil War when it debuted on PBS in September 1990. Ward has had a major role in the writing process for nearly every film Burns has directed since, including The War, Mark Twain, and Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
Along with his motion picture projects, Ward has written 16 books, including companion books to the Florentine Films documentaries made with Burns. Ward’s current writing projects include another documentary with Burns — this one about Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt — and a book about the life of his great-grandfather, Ferdinand Ward, who has Rochester roots.
Tickets to “An Evening with Ken Burns & Geoffrey C. Ward” will go on sale to Eastman House members July 1 at $20 per ticket. Because of Burns and Ward’s long history with PBS, advance tickets for WXXI Public Broadcasting members go on sale beginning July 8 at the $20 rate. The general public will be able to buy tickets at $25 beginning July 22. Tickets for the event may be purchased at the Eastman House’s Lipson Welcome Center; by calling (585) 271-3361 ext. 218; or online at www.eastmanhouse.org.
This event is made possible by Harter Secrest & Emery LLP.