Filmmaker Talk with Dayton Duncan

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Streams on Wed., Nov. 1, 2023 at 8pm ET | 5pm PT

Program Description:

PBS Books hosts a conversation with award-winning filmmaker and writer Dayton Duncan to discuss his latest projects: “THE AMERICAN BUFFALO” a film by Ken Burns and “Blood Memory: The Tragic Decline and Improbably Resurrection of the American Buffalo”. The conversation is especially important as we celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November.

"Blood Memory" by Dayton Duncan book cover

Join us to hear from Ken Burns’ long-time collaborator Dayton Duncan and learn about his work and process in exploring the American Buffalo, their relationship with Native Americans, the impact of calculated Westward expansion, and the unlikely advocates for saving them from extinction.

About the Film:

The American Buffalo poster image

THE AMERICAN BUFFALO” a film by Ken Burns, is the biography of America’s national mammal that has found itself at the center of many of the country’s most mythic and heartbreaking tales; this docuseries is a new two-part, four-hour series that premiered Oct. 16 and 17 at 8pm ET and can now be viewed on and on the Passport App.

Guest Biography:

Dayton Duncan is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. He is the author of fourteen books and for more than thirty years has collaborated with Ken Burns as a writer and producer of historical documentaries, including “The West, Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery”, “The Dust Bowl”, “Benjamin Franklin”, “Country Music”, and “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea” (for which he won two Emmy awards). 

Dayton Duncan - Headshot

During those thirty years, he has also served as a consultant or consulting producer on virtually all of Burns’s other documentaries, including “The Civil War”, “Baseball”, “Jazz”, “The War”, “Hemingway” and many others.

His most recent collaboration with Burns is as the writer of a four-hour documentary, “THE AMERICAN BUFFALO”, to be broadcast by PBS in October. His book, “Blood Memory: The Tragic Decline and Improbable Resurrection of the American Buffalo”, will be released at the same time.

Duncan has also been involved in many conservation organizations. President Bill Clinton appointed him chair of the American Heritage Rivers Advisory Committee and Secretary of Interior Bruce Babbitt appointed him to the board of the National Park Foundation. In the spring of 2009, the director of the National Park Service named Duncan as an Honorary Park Ranger, an honor bestowed on fewer than 50 people. He has served on the boards of the Student Conservation Association and the National Conservation Lands Foundation, and as a member of the advisory committee for the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service.

He and his wife Dianne split their time between homes in Rindge, New Hampshire, and Savannah.

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