Ken Burns will receive theInternational Documentary Association (IDA) 2002 Career Achievement Award atthe 18th annual IDA awards gala benefit at the Directors Guild OfAmerica Theatre on Dec 13. Burns has produced 19 documentaries including theOscar nominated Brooklyn Bridgeand the epic miniseries Jazz and TheCivil War.
'Ken Burns is in arelatively early stage of his career to receive this acknowledgement from hispeers,' said IDA President Michael Donaldson in a statement, 'but hehas already compiled an exceptional body of work that will stand the test oftime. Ken has found innovative ways to dig deep into the roots of our societyand tell stories that make an enduring impression. He has succeeded with hisintegrity as a film-maker intact, and that makes him a great role model forevery film-maker.'
After graduating fromHampshire College, the Brooklyn-born Burns worked as a freelance cameramanbefore moving into documentaries full-time. He went on to earn a number ofEmmy, Peabody and other awards and directed 18 of his documentaries. His workshave focused on an eclectic range of subjects that includes the Statue ofLiberty, radio pioneers and Mark Twain. In a 1998 interview he said,'People try to label me as an historian, but I'm not interested inexcavating dry dates, facts and events of the past. I'm a film-maker interestedin the art of the documentary and the resonance given off by the collision ofimages, ideas and words. I'm passionate about discovering what it means to bean American.'
He is currently working ontwo projects: Horatio's Drive,about the first cross-country car trip, and Jack Johnson, a profile of the first African American heavyweightboxing champion.