Engaging with our past and illuminating our present



Dedicated to dynamic storytelling that entertains and inspires even as it informs, our work has garnered consistent critical acclaim and has been honored with recognition from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Director’s and Writer’s Guilds of America, and film festivals nationwide.


Founded in 1988 by Stephen Ives, and joined in 2001 by Amanda Pollak, Insignia Films has earned a particular reputation as one of the country’s foremost producers of historical documentaries. From America’s conquest of the West to the controversial role of the press in wartime to the amazing career of the Depression-era thoroughbred Seabiscuit, the nation’s history has been repeatedly and vividly brought to life by Insignia’s innovative approach to filmmaking.

Stephen Ives
Stephen IvesDirector
Stephen Ives has directed some of the most-watched films in the history of public television. His work has also appeared on HBO, in major film festivals across the country, and on the front page of the New York Times digital edition. His landmark series The West was seen by more than 38 million people nationwide… Read More
Amanda Pollak
Amanda PollakProducer/Director
Amanda Pollak has been making highly acclaimed documentaries for Public Television for over two decades. She began her career working with award-winning director David Grubin. In 2001, she joined Insignia Films, where she produced the series, Reporting America at War. She then moved on to…. Read More 

Dr. Gene Tempest
Dr. Gene TempestAssociate Producer
A historian of modern France and modern war, Gene Tempest received her Ph.D. with distinction from Yale University in the fall of 2013. Her specialty is the First World War. She is the Associate Producer and Chief Historian on Insignia Films’ innovative …Read More 

Lizzy McGlynn
Lizzy McGlynnArchival Producer
Lizzy McGlynn has been an ardent consumer of public broadcasting since childhood. So after a false start in academia, Lizzy knew she needed to switch gears to focus on documentary content. She cut her teeth at WNET and WNYC, New York’s flagship public television and public radio outlets. To this day, Read More  

Nazenet Habtezghi
Nazenet HabtezghiCoordinating Producer
Nazenet Habtezghi is a multimedia journalist and documentary filmmaker.She started her career as an editor at Essence, the premier lifestyle magazine for African-American women. As its arts and entertainment editor, Nazenet developed culture stories, covered major music, book and film releases and iconic Read More 

Bobby Johnson
Bobby JohnsonPost-Production Supervisor
Bobby Johnson graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2011. He has worked in both production and post-production on multiple films for PBS, and various independent projects. He was an Associate Editor on PBS’s Playwright from Page to Stage, and went on to serve as Read More 

Lillie Fleshler
Lillie FleshlerAssociate Producer
Lillie Fleshler joined Insignia Films in 2015. She holds a degree in Cinema Production from Ithaca College. Her thesis documentary film, Ma Chère Helen, explored the unique relationship between legendary New Wave filmmaker Francois Truffaut and publicist Helen Scott… Read More  
Eric Cotton
Eric CottonAssociate Archival Producer
 Eric Cotton joined Insignia Films in 2015. He recently graduated Ithaca College with a degree in Television and Radio and a concentration on Documentary Production. His thesis documentary film, Beyond the Border, examined the issue of undocumented immigration…Read More 

Kevina Tidwell
Kevina TidwellResearcher
Kevina Tidwell graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in American History. She interned for a year at the national nonprofit StoryCorps where she became enthusiastic about digital archives. She’s a killer researcher and knows all the tricks.


What’s Happening at Insignia

  • Filming in Rwanda and DRC

Filming in Rwanda and DRC

  • June 5th, 2017

Director Stephen Ives and the Insignia crew document the work of the Howard G Buffet foundation in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


Mikeno Volacano, DRC

Matebe Hydro Electric […]

  • The Great War reaches 9.6 Million Viewers

The Great War reaches 9.6 Million Viewers

  • May 15th, 2017

The Great War reached 9.6 million viewers during its April broadcast. If you missed it, you can still stream it here: http://to.pbs.org/2o8p48h

See below for reviews of our landmark […]

Promo for “The Great War”

  • November 14th, 2016

See the promo for our three-part, six-hour series on America’s involvement in WWI. Airing on PBS in April 2017.

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