Between now and 2019, Ken Burns and Florentine Films intend to produce and broadcast at least six documentary films, totaling more than 52 hours of high-quality programming.
Upcoming is The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014) fully funded and in production. The remaining films — projected to total 50 hours of film — have a total budget of $71.7 million, for which $60.2 million in commitments has already been secured. These are projects that require additional funding and are among the films The Better Angels Society seeks to support.
The Address (2014) At the tiny Greenwood School in the small town of Putney, Vermont, its roughly 50 students, boys ages 11 to 16, are challenged each year with an assignment to memorize, practice and present a public recitation of the Gettysburg Address. This would be a daunting assignment for any student, but the students at The Greenwood School all face a range of learning differences and learning disabilities that have made their personal, academic and social progress extremely challenging. The ceremony is moving, dramatic, compelling, and represents in another unexpected way, what Lincoln himself had hoped for when he first delivered his celebrated Address: "a new birth of freedom."
1 episode, 2 hours, 2014 broadcast
Budget: 45% raised; 55% to be raised
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014) will tell the intertwined stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, the most prominent members of one of the most important families in American history. Through their lives, it will chronicle the times they helped shape from the Square Deal to the New Deal, San Juan Hill to D-Day, to the founding of the United Nations.
7 episodes, 2 hours each, September 2014 broadcast
Jackie Robinson (2015) will look at the life and times of Jack Roosevelt Robinson, a sharecropper’s son from rural Georgia who lettered in four sports at UCLA, served in the United States Army during the Second World War and went on to break baseball’s color barrier. A leader and icon of the civil rights movement, entrepreneur and devoted family man, Robinson continues to inspire Americans with his exemplary life and aspirational message of equality.
2 episodes, 2 hours each, 2015 broadcast
Vietnam (2016) will chronicle the most polarizing event in American history since the Civil War, in the process providing the possibility of healing a wound in our national psyche that has festered for more than 40 years. The film will grow out of the personal stories of dozens of people who fought in the war — and fought against the war — and had their lives transformed by it.
6 to 7 episodes, 12 to 14 hours, 2016 broadcast
Underwriting opportunities exist
Country Music (2018) will chronicle the history of a uniquely American art form, rising from the experiences of remarkable people in distinctive regions of our nation. From southern Appalachia's songs of struggle and heartbreak to the rollicking western swing of Texas, from rural honky-tonks to Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, we will follow the evolution of country music over the course of a century, as it eventually emerged to become America's music. Like our series on jazz, it will focus on the biographies of the fascinating characters who created the music, as well as the times in which they lived. And like the music itself, it will tell unforgettable, emotional stories — stories of the hardships and joys faced by everyday people.
Ernest Hemingway (2019) a two-part biographical film will examine the life and work of one of America’s greatest writers, a man who changed the course of literature with his spare, luminous, aggressively modern style, and his unflinching, hard-edged but deeply romantic and quintessentially American stories, novels and essays. His story is one that is both epic and intimate, profoundly personal and transcendently universal.