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Iconic filmmaker releases curated portfolio on iTunes

The Ken Burns app takes advantage of digital distribution platform to present works The Brooklyn Bridge and The Dust Bowl in a whole new way, including exclusive interviews and excerpts.
February 10, 2014

Iconic documentary filmmaker Ken Burns now has his own app.

Launched Monday in Apple’s App Store, the Ken Burns app offers users the chance to explore the American filmmaker’s work in a whole new way, from The Brooklyn Bridge to The Dust Bowl. 

The iPad app features excerpts from two centuries of U.S. history, using Burns’ canon of more than 25 documentaries, which viewers can watch via the timeline, theme or film view.

Burns is featured in exclusive interviews, as well as in introductions, which see him putting stories into context, with behind-the-scenes information and more.

The app — which offers free content, with the full version priced at US$9.99 — was created, directed and produced by Burns’ friend Don MacKinnon, and made along with Florentine Films producer Sarah Botstein. Big Spaceship worked with the duo to create the platform.

In addition, will launch a website this month dedicated to Burns and Florentine Films, called Ken Burns America, created by PBS and WETA, and developed by Kapow.

The website will include photographs, primary source materials and interview excerpts that span Burn’s filmography — including Jazz, The Central Park Five, Baseball, Prohibition and The Civil War — as well as essays, biographies and a screening room.

“Our films are made in a small town in New Hampshire over many years, with images and stories woven together in a way that we hope brings experiences of the past into the present,” said Burns. “Working with some of the most talented people in tech today, we’ve tried to rethink how we can tell the story of America using our films and technology.”

“Through his films, Ken Burns reinvented how we experience the stories of our history,” added MacKinnon. “With this app, we’re able to bring his films together in a way that allows them to cross-pollinate one another, revealing the most relevant themes of the American story.”

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