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Production Biographies

Joe Kennedy: Writer/Producer/Director
Joe Kennedy has worked as a television producer, director and writer since 1987. He began his career at the BBC in Bristol, England and subsequently went on to work with numerous independent television companies in the UK. He has made films for numerous international broadcasters including the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, PBS, Animal Planet, NHK, ZDF, ARTE, France 3, Channel 4, ITV, Five and CBC.

Selected credits include: Great White Shark: A Living Legend, Producer/Director/Writer (One hour HD special for BBC series Natural World); Bishop of the Arctic, Producer/Director/Writer (One hour documentary for BBC religious series Everyman); Ocean Voyagers, Director/Writer (Feature Film for Animal Planet, ZDF, NHK, Narrated by Meryl Streep); Kidnapped, Producer/Writer (1 hour special for Discovery Channel); Secret Shark Pits, Director/Writer (One hour HD film for National Geographic Channel).

Nicholas Young: Director
Starting off as a performer with various touring theatres in the UK in 1981, Nic moved on to become a Demonstrator at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry by 1983, which is where his appreciation of History developed. By 1984, he moved on to Renegade Audio Visual and trained as an Audio Visual Engineer and Producer. By 1994, having been in the industry for ten years, Nic started pursuing his passion for writing and started out as a freelance Writer/Director on The Maths Program that won the Basel SSR 1995 for Good Reactions. He has become one of the Documentary Industry’s most sought after Drama Directors, with approximately twenty-four documentaries under his belt, seven of which were up for various nominations. Nic’s experience extends to almost twenty years as a Writer/Director. Nic lives in London with his wife and two children.

Ellen Windemuth: Executive Producer, Off the Fence
Ellen Windemuth is the founder and owner of Off the Fence. After graduating from Brown University in the U.S., Ellen worked in sales and co-productions for leading international companies such as Fremantle and Alliance Atlantis before starting OTF in Amsterdam in 1994. She is a board member of the Wildscreen Trust, of the Jackson Hole Film Festival and of the Wild Talk festival in South Africa, and on the World Science Congress Steering Committee.

OTF’s high quality nonfiction library comprises mainly science, history/culture, adventure/travel and natural history. Off the Fence’s 8-person sales team covers all territories worldwide. As true non-fiction specialists, the entire team is very familiar with the production process and the company is proud of its close relationships with the filmmakers it represents. Its biggest clients are the Smithsonian Channel with its award-winning HD output of 100 hours a year, NHNZ, the New Zealand Natural History Unit, and the WE Channel from the United States.

Ellen has executive produced over 400 hours of factual television that have won numerous international awards. In 2005, Off the Fence launched a UK production arm based in Bristol, followed by production and sales offices in Singapore and Cape Town in 2007.

Selected Executive Producer credits include: Changemakers Asia, a 6 part Environmental series (Discovery Channel); China’s Last Elephants, a 1 Hour HD Special (Animal Planet, BR, Arte); Kidnapped, a 1 Hour HD Special (Discovery Channel); Deep Water, a 2 Hour HD Special (Animal Planet), and Deep Water Giants (National Geographic).

William R. Grant: Executive in Charge
William R. Grant is director of history, science and nature at WNET.ORG, parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW 21 in New York. He joined WNET in 1995 after 12 years at WGBH in Boston, where he was managing editor of Frontline and executive editor of Nova. At WGBH he also served as executive producer of Living Against the Odds and Made In America?

At WNET.ORG, Grant is in charge of one of a documentary production department which brings to national broadcast programs in the areas of natural history, science, history, business, travel, and other topics. While at WNET.ORG he has also been executive producer of Innovation and Going Places and numerous miniseries, including America on Wheels, Savage Skies, Savage Earth, Savage Seas, Knife to the Heart, Stephen Hawking’s Universe, On the Trail of Mark Twain, The American President, In Search of Ancient Ireland, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, Slavery and the Making of America, African American Lives, The Supreme Court 1, Looking for Lincoln and the continuing series Secrets of the Dead. He has been responsible, as executive in charge of production, for Nature, one of public television’s most watched continuing series, and the miniseries Savage Planet, Secrets of the Pharaohs, Warship, Africa, 1900 House, Frontier House, Manor House, The Secret Life of the Brain, Colonial House, Texas Ranch House, Warplane, Ground War and the Human Spark.

Prior to joining WGBH in 1983, Grant was for 14 years a reporter and editor at two of the nation’s largest daily newspapers – the Detroit Free Press and the San Francisco Chronicle, where his work won numerous awards. In 1979-80 he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. He was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 2001, and in 2005 was named to the University of Kentucky’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni.

Programs produced under his supervision have won 13 national News and Documentary Emmy awards, including one for the 2005 series Slavery and the Making of America, and one for the 2004 series DNA, and six George Foster Peabody awards, including one for the 2002 series The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow.

Jared Lipworth: Executive Producer
From 2007 to 2010 Jared Lipworth was director of science programs at WNET. In addition to Secrets of the Dead, he executive produced Ground War, Curious, The Human Spark, and The Mysterious Human Heart, which won a 2008 Emmy for Science, Technology, and Nature programming.

Prior to becoming executive producer and then director of science programs, Lipworth was the series producer for the department’s technology series, Innovation. He also served as series producer for Warrior Challenge, Secrets of the Pharaohs, the Emmy Award-winning Frontier House and The Secret Life of the Brain, Warship, Taxi Dreams, Echoes From the White House and Savage Planet. Additional credits at THIRTEEN include post-production producer for The American President and 1900 House and production assistant for Savage Seas, On The Trail of Mark Twain, The Great Balloon Race and Stories of Lupus.

He is currently the executive producer of science and nature at National Geographic Television.