Ric Burns is a documentary filmmaker whose work has appeared on national public television for nearly two decades, earning significant recognition, and many of our nation's most prestigious awards. Burns is perhaps best known for his epic PBS series, New York: A Documentary Film. The sweeping, seven-part, fourteen-and-a-half hour series chronicles the city's rise from a tiny, 17-century Dutch trading post, to New York's preeminence today as the economic and cultural capital of the modern world.
Variety called New York "a monumental documentary series," and the film received numerous awards, including an Emmy (for outstanding editing), and a Columbia-DuPont award, for excellence in broadcast journalism. When the most recent episodes of the film premiered last September, The Wall Street Journal declared that Ric Burns' New York was "documentary filmmaking at its best" and The New York Times cheered, "This is a story of resilience, a lucid reminder of how often New York City has rebuilt itself."
Ric Burns' other work includes the celebrated public television series The Civil War, which he produced with his brother, Ken and co-wrote with Geoffrey C. Ward. In the ten years between Ric's work on The Civil War and New York, he has written and directed some of the most distinguished historical documentaries to appear on PBS. These films include Coney Island, a study of the amusement empire, which the Chicago Tribune called "one of the best documentaries you will ever see" and The Donner Party a ninety-minute history of the ill-fated pioneer group, which Time magazine named one of the top ten television programs of 1992 . Between 1992 and 1995, Ric wrote and directed a four-part film on the history of the American West. His latest film, a biography of the great American photographer Ansel Adams was broadcast on PBS in the spring of 2002.
Ric is currently working on new film biographies of the playwright Eugene O'Neill and the artist Andy Warhol, as well as the final chapter of New York: A Documentary Film.