The Next Generation


Filmmaker Bios

A white woman dressed in a khaki vest smiles next to two Vietnamese women, one younger and one older, dressed in black shirts.

Sandy Northrop
In 1997 Northrop moved to Hanoi, Vietnam, accompanying her husband, David Lamb, a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. That year, she began making Assignment Hanoi, her first program about Vietnam for PBS, telling the story of Pete Peterson, who had survived six years as a POW in the "Hanoi Hilton," and was returning to Vietnam as the United States' first Ambassador since 1975. Northrop produced, directed and edited the program, as well as taking on a new role as cinematographer. Her second program, Vietnam Passage: Journeys from War to Peace highlighted the Vietnamese perspective on the war and its aftermath. VIETNAM: The Next Generation is the final film in what has become a trilogy on modern Vietnam.

Northrop has been a filmmaker since 1972, when she graduated from Stanford University's master's documentary program. From 1976 to 1985, she was a location manager and editor for the National Geographic Society on its acclaimed television specials, covering topics from endangered elephants and gorillas in Africa to the impact of the computer on our lives. Northrop set out on her own in 1987, producing How Do You Get To Carnegie Hall?, the story of pianist Jimmy McKissic. Two years later she moved to Washington, D.C., and spent the next seven years producing the historical montages that have become the signature for PBS's National Memorial Day and A Capitol Fourth live concerts.

Since returning to Washington, DC, Northrop has been developing a weekly segment on American editorial cartoons for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. The concept grew out of Drawn & Quartered, a book she co-authored in 1996 on two hundred years of American editorial cartoons and their impact on political and popular culture.

Judith Dwan Hallett
Hallet is an accomplished director and producer of documentary programs. In 2001, she completed the award winning Witness to Hope: The Life of Pope John Paul II.

Pham Ba Hung
Pham is typical of Vietnam's next generation. He started as a production assistant on Northrop's first Vietnam film in 1998 and now is one of Vietnam's most sought-after cameramen. He also runs a successful graphic design house in Hanoi.

Jim Kessler
Kessler served for more than 20 years on the staff of the U.S. Army Band. He is best known for writing and/or arranging the music for PBS's annual spectaculars, The National Memorial Day and Capital Fourth Concerts on the Mall in Washington, D.C. Kessler has composed the music to each of Northrop's three programs on Vietnam.

David Lamb
Lamb was the Los Angeles Times Southeast Asia bureau chief from 1997 to 2001. His first overseas assignment was covering the war in Vietnam for UPI, from 1968 to 1970. Upon returning from Vietnam in 2001, Lamb wrote Vietnam Now: A Reporter Returns. After working for the Los Angeles Times for 34 years, he retired in June 2004. He has been the narrator for each of the three programs in Northrop's Vietnam trilogy.

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