March 17th, 2018
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Tracy WolffTracy Wolff
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March gives us books to "roar" over

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Theodosia Browning investigates a Charleston steeped in tradition and treachery

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How far would you go to get justice for the one you love?

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The trick is to marry for love—a task easier said than done!

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They are part of an elite unit. On task. Off grid.

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True love deserves a second chance . . . .

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Shocking evidence hits close to home...

Stephen Ives

In his nearly two decades of work in public television, Stephen Ives has established himself as one of the nation's leading independent documentary directors. He is currently at work on a three-hour series for American Experience on the history of Las Vegas, which will be broadcast in conjunction with the city’s centennial in 2005.

Ives’ recent PBS series Reporting America at War, a two- part, three-hour historical documentary about the history of American war correspondence, was praised by critics as “thoughtful and ambitious . . . uncommonly intelligent and provocative television.” “This is television that matters, that should be seen,” the Los Angeles Times declared. “[It is] a visual document of power and clarity . . . [that] uses graceful and muscular language to convey complicated and sometimes contrary ideas. . . At its best moments, and there are many, Reporting America at War goes beyond the facts, capturing a bit of poetry’s shine.” Broadcast in November 2003, the series received an Emmy nomination for Best Documentary.

In 2002, Ives completed Seabiscuit, a profile of the Depression-era thoroughbred racehorse, which was broadcast nationally on the PBS series American Experience. Variously praised as “essential viewing,” “superior television,” and a “wire-to-wire winner,” the film was named best documentary of the year by Sports Illustrated magazine and awarded a 2003 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing.

Ives has also produced and directed a pair of verité films about some of America’s most vibrant artistic instutions. The first, Amato: a love affair with opera is a portrait of New York's Amato Opera -- the world's smallest opera house - - and its 50th anniversary season. The film had its world premiere at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, and was later shown at the South-by-Southwest Film Festival, the Los Angeles Film Festival, and the Doubletake Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award. Ives also received a nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement by the Directors Guild of America. Ives’ debut verité piece, Cornerstone, followed the innovative Cornerstone Theater Company’s national tour of A Winter’s Tale. The film was co- produced and co-directed with Michael Kantor, and aired on the inaugural season of HBO Signature.

In 1996, Ives finished a five-year effort as the producer and director of the landmark twelve-and-a-half-hour PBS series The West, which was seen by more than 38 million viewers nationwide in the fall of 1996. Caryn James of the New York Times wrote that The West was "fiercely and brilliantly rooted in fact. . . ," and, in The New York Daily News, Eric Mink called the programs a "breathtakingly beautiful series of films. . . that make riveting TV." The West was awarded the Erik Barnouw Prize from the Organization of American Historians in 1996.

Ives’ directorial debut, a portrait of the reluctant American hero Charles A. Lindbergh, premiered the third season of the PBS series American Experience in 1990. Walter Goodman of the New York Times called the film a "sensitively made documentary that . . . captures the public and private Lindbergh, " while the Los Angeles Times' Martin Zimmerman declared it "a powerful slice of engrossing study of a complex figure." The film has since been rebroadcast nationally four times on PBS.

In 1987, Ives began a decade-long collaboration with filmmaker Ken Burns, as a co-producer of a history of the United States Congress, and as a consulting producer on the ground-breaking series, Baseball and The Civil War. In 1988, he formed Insignia Films to pursue his own filmmaking interests, and his company oversaw the production of The West series, which Burns executive-produced.

Ives is 43 years old, married to the landscape designer Anne Cleves Symmes, and the father of Campbell Symmes Ives. He is a graduate of Harvard College, and lives in Garrison, New York.




Las Vegas, October 2005


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