Production Bios

Image - peter-sagal-123x150.pngPeter Sagal, Host and Narrator became the host of Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!, an hour long comedy news quiz on NPR in May 1998. Since then, it has become one of the most popular shows on radio, heard by three million listeners a week, on more than 500 public radio stations nationwide, and heard by a million more via a top 10 podcast. He has interviewed John McCain, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Elvis Costello, Tom Hanks, Larry King, Randy Newman and dozens of other actors, writers, musicians, politicians, and celebrities.

Among Sagal's honors are a George Foster Peabody Award for Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me! Others include the Lannan Foundation Award for Best New American Play, a DramaLogue award for directing, grants from the Jerome and McKnight Foundations and a residency grant at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France.


Image - steve-ives-123x150.pngStephen Ives, Director, is one of the nation’s leading independent American history producer/directors. For more than 20 years, Ives and his production company Insignia Films, have been creating documentaries that explore America’s past, engage with its present, and illuminate who we are as a nation and what we believe. His landmark series The West was one of PBS’ most highly praised American history series. Ives’ credits also include a decade-long collaboration with filmmaker Ken Burns, including consulting producer on the groundbreaking series The Civil War and Baseball.

Other works by Ives include Seasbiscuit, a Primetime Emmy winner; Lindbergh; The Roads to Memphis and Custer’s Last Stand.


Image - amanda-pollak-123x150.pngAmanda Pollak, Producer, has been producing, researching and writing highly acclaimed documentaries for Public Television since 1992. Her investigative skills were rewarded early on when she received an individual Emmy for her leading role in researching TR: The Story of Theodore Roosevelt, which the New York Daily News proclaimed to be "one of public television's proudest achievements." Since then, she has produced numerous films for PBS, among them the Emmy Award-winning Truman; Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided; Money and Power: The History of Business; and one hour of the five-hour scientific series, The Secret Life of the Brain, which earned her an Emmy Award for producing. In 1995, Pollak returned to her specialty, historical narrative, by joining Insignia Films to produce Reporting America at War. Heralded as "television that matters. . . a visual document of power and clarity" by the Los Angeles Times, Reporting America at War earned a Cine Golden Eagle Award and was a 2004 Emmy nominee for Best Documentary. With Insignia Films, she has gone on to produce a half-dozen films for PBS's acclaimed history series, American Experience, including Las Vegas, New Orleans, Roads to Memphis, The Panama Canal, Custer's Last Stand and Grand Coulee Dam.

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Jaime Bernanke, Writer
, is an award-winning writer and producer with more than 25 years of experience in documentaries, including a decade on staff at National Geographic Television.  He has written and produced films that explore the secret lives of hummingbirds, the Amazon rainforest, and the hidden infrastructure of New York City.  He has investigated the Civil War Draft Riots and the crash of the Hindenburg, the lives of Albert Kinsey and Amelia Earhart, the demise of the dinosaurs and the killings of gorillas in the Congo. Among other honors, Jaime’s films have won three Emmy Awards, a Wildscreen Panda, a Cine Golden Eagle.  


 Image - catherine-allan-123x150.pngCatherine Allan, Executive Producer, tpt National Productions has created a highly lauded body of work on the history of America’s founding including the six-part series Liberty! The American Revolution (Peabody-winner); Benjamin Franklin (Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Nonfiction Special); Alexander Hamilton; and Dolley Madison. Her most recent American history project is Slavery by Another Name, the story of the re-enslavement of African Americans from the end of the Civil War through the beginning of World War II. Slavery by Another Name was one of 16 documentaries to be featured in competition at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

Allan also was co-executive producer of Hoop Dreams, a Peabody winner and voted by the International Documentary Association as the “#1 Documentary of All Time.



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