About Us

Lynn Novick has been making documentaries about American history for nearly twenty-five years. A director and producer, she has been a principal collaborator of Ken Burns since the early 1990s and together they have been responsible for more than 60 hours of programming, some of the most critically acclaimed and top-rated documentary films and series that have aired on PBS. Currently Novick is directing and producing — with Burns — The Vietnam War, a 14-16 hour series about the history and meaning of the conflict, airing in 2017, and Ernest Hemingway, a two-part biography of the writer slated for broadcast in 2019.

In 2011, Novick directed and produced (with Burns) Prohibition, a three part, five and a half hour series that was viewed by 22 million in its premiere broadcast, and received three Emmy nominations. The film tells the story of the rise, reign, and fall of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution and all of its consequences – intended and otherwise. Prohibition raises vital questions that are as relevant today as they were 100 years ago – about means and ends, individual rights and responsibilities, the proper role of government, and finally, who is – and who is not – a real American.

In 2010, Novick was director and producer (with Burns) and writer (with Burns and David McMahon) of The Tenth Inning, a four hour update of the 1994 series, Baseball which brought the tumultuous story of our national pastime up to the present day.

In 2007 she was director and producer (with Burns) of The War, an epic seven-part series that told the story of the Second World War through the personal accounts of nearly 40 men and women from four American towns. The series explored the most intimate human dimensions of the greatest cataclysm in history and demonstrated that in extraordinary times, there are no ordinary lives. The War received 3 Emmy awards as well as the Television Critics’ Association award for best news and information program of 2007.

 In 1998, Novick was director and producer (with Burns) of two-part biographical documentary, Frank Lloyd Wright, for which she received a Peabody Award. The film was shown at the Sundance, Telluride, Edinburgh and Seattle Film Festivals.

A magna cum laude graduate of Yale with honors in American Studies, she lives in New York City.


Sarah Botstein has been producing award-winning documentaries since 1997. Along with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, she is currently producing an epic series about the history and meaning of the Vietnam War, scheduled to broadcast on PBS in 2017, and a two-part biography of Ernest Hemingway, slated for broadcast in 2019.

Most recently, she produced and curated the content for the Ken Burns App, which launched in February 2014. The app employs cutting technology and innovative design to highlight themes in American history.

Botstein (along with Burns and Novick) also produced Prohibition (2011), a three-part series about the rise, rule, and fall of the 18th Amendment, and The War (2007), a seven-part series about the American experience of the Second World War. The War and Prohibition each received numerous awards, including several Emmy Awards, and were among the most-watched series on PBS in the past ten years. Botstein was also an associate producer on Jazz (2001), the critically acclaimed ten-part series.

Botstein graduated from Barnard College/Columbia University with a degree in American Studies. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their daughter.


Salimah El-Amin is a co-producer on the upcoming PBS series, Vietnam. She is an Emmy Award-winning film researcher of theatrical and television documentaries and programs. Her work includes Martin Scorsese Presents: The BluesFahrenheit 9/11Taxi to the Dark Side; and Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest. More recently she produced the History Channel documentary How Bruce Lee Changed the World. She resides in Manhattan with her husband and young son.