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 during its PBS premiere. Caryn James of the New York Times wrote that The West was “fiercely and brilliantly rooted in fact. . . ,” and The New York Daily News called the programs a “breathtakingly beautiful series of films. . . that make riveting TV.”
After the premiere of The West, Ives turned his attention towards contemporary films, producing a profile of the innovative Cornerstone Theater Company for HBO and Amato:A Love Affair with Opera, a portrait of the world’s smallest opera company, which earned him a nomination from The Director’s Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement.
He has tackled subjects as varied as the Pentagon’s disastrous F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the failed efforts to reform American elections in the wake of Bush v. Gore, and the twisted racial politics of the Tawana Brawley episode. When not directing feature-length documentaries or digital content, Ives has conceived and directed prime-time television series with NPR’s Peter Sagal, and Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates.
Ives has made more then a dozen films for the PBS series American Experience, exploring stories such as the assassination of Martin Luther King, the roots of New Orleans culture, and the rags-to-riches saga of the racehorse Seabiscuit (which won two primetime Emmy awards.)
Ives most recently directed a landmark six-hour series for PBS on America’s role in World War I.