THOMAS LENNON, Producer
Lennon’s work in documentary film has won the field’s most coveted honors: an Academy Award (two nominations), a duPont-Columbia award, two George Foster Peabody and Writers’ Guild awards, and two Emmys (twelve nominations).
Lennon is co-founder with Ruby Yang of the Chang Ai Media Project (formerly The China AIDS Media Project), which launched the first major AIDS campaign in China. These AIDS awareness ads have been seen more than 500 million times in China. Lennon and Yang’s documentary, The Blood of Yingzhou District, won the 2006 Oscar for Documentary - Short Subject at the 79th Academy Awards in February, 2007.
In 2003, Lennon was series producer and lead writer of Becoming American - the Chinese American Experience, a six-hour, two-year collaboration with Bill Moyers that traced Chinese immigration from the early 19th century to the present-day. “This is a model documentary that gets almost everything right,” wrote the New York Times</ em>. “Moyers is clearly working with first-rate talent.” The series was cited by the International Documentary Association and the Writers’ Guild, and won a Christopher and four Emmy nominations.
More than ten million viewers -- double the PBS prime-time average -- tuned in to the 1998 premiere of Lennon’s The Irish in America: Long Journey Home. “The filmmaker is a consummate storyteller,” wrote the Boston Globe; the work, “...looks and sounds like a labor of love,” said the New York Times. Rated among the year’s ten best by TV Guide, the series earned, again, four Emmy nominations, and its companion CD won the Grammy for best folk album of the year.
The Battle over Citizen Kane (1996), co-produced with Michael Epstein, had its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. “A two-hour tornado of a documentary,”declared Time. After the film’s nomination for an Academy Award, Ridley Scott’s production company adapted it as an HBO dramatic film, starring John Malkovich.
Battle of the Bulge, co-written with Mark Zwonitzer, won the Peabody and duPont-Columbia awards for 1995. “Unforgettable,” the Chicago Tribune wrote, “as great and as moving a documentary as television has ever produced.” Lennon’s other films include his two widely-acclaimed collaborations with writer Shelby Steele, Seven Days in Bensonhurst (1990 and Jefferson’s Blood (2000), as well as The Choice (1992) and Tabloid Truth (1994), both written with Richard Ben Cramer.
Before setting up his own production company in 1987, Lennon worked for almost a decade in the Close-up Division of ABC News, with assignments in the Soviet Union, South America and the Middle East. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University.