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“Drive-In Jesus” on NYT’s OpDocs

Insignia Films’ Lauren DeFilippo’s new short is now featured on the New York Times’ OpDocs . See how a community in Florida goes to church without leaving their car.

Filming in Rwanda and DRC

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.


Our crew with the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, and Howard Buffet.

Mikeno Volacano, DRC

Matebe Hydro Electric Plant, DRC

Villagers in Kurubara, Rwanda watching our drone.

The construction of a road that will eventually lead to a University 90 minutes south of Kigali (not yet built.)

Gorillas in Virunga National Park, DRC

The Great War reaches 9.6 Million Viewers

The Great War reached 9.6 million viewers during its April broadcast. If you missed it, you can still stream it here:

See below for reviews of our landmark 3 part series.

“PBS once again proves its irreplaceable value.”USA Today

“Enormously absorbing”The Wall Street Journal

“Detailed and entertaining…full of arresting images and startling snippets.” The New York Times

“Detailed and entertaining” – The New York Times

Review: ‘The Great War,’ When America Took the World Stage By Mike Hale


Speaking just over a century ago about national defense — at a time when he was still fervently engaged in keeping the United States out of World War I — Woodrow Wilson intoned, “While America contains every element of fine force and accomplishment, America does not constitute the major part of the world.”

It was a simple fact in 1916, and remains so, but it’s hard to imagine a politician — much less a president — stating it so baldly today. The “American Experience” documentary “The Great War,” a three-night, six-hour production beginning Monday on PBS, paints a detailed and entertaining picture of the years when America began to think of itself as the major part of the world.

The documentary is pegged to the centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I, but it feels as if it could be responding to current events, with alliances born out of the Great War being called into question and American politics warped by the desire to turn back the clock.

Read the rest of the review in the New York Times

By |April 11th, 2017|featured, News|0 Comments|

“The Great War” in USA TODAY

Read about “The Great War” in USA TODAY

Promo for “The Great War”

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

By |November 14th, 2016|featured, News, Uncategorized|0 Comments|

Director Amanda Pollak Talks Space Men with Leonard Lopate

Listen to writer/director Amanda Pollak and U.S. Air Force pioneer Colonel Joseph Kittenger discuss Space Men on the Leonard Lopate Show.


1964 premieres January 14th @ 8pm on PBS


In myriad ways, 1964 was the year when people began to take sides, when the comfortable consensus that had ruled the country since the New Deal began to disintegrate, and when the future of the nation was fiercely and passionately debated.  1964 will tell the story of the momentous choices faced by Americans during that year: between the liberalism of Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater’s grass-roots conservatism, between support or opposition to the civil rights movement, between an embrace of the emerging counter-culture or a defense of traditional values.

In addition to the historical narratives that dominated the headlines – the presidential campaign, Freedom Summer, rioting in America’s cities, The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, and Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement, to name just a few – the film also explores the seismic cultural shifts that first appeared in 1964, from the invasion of the Beatles, the sudden ascendance of Muhammad Ali, the debut of the Ford Mustang, and the publication of The Feminine Mystique.  A half-century later, the events and echoes of change from 1964 are still reverberating through the nation, from the deeply partisan divide in our politics, to the multicultural fabric of our culture, to the unsettled tensions over race and gender that define our society.  1964 was where, for better or worse, the outlines of the America we live in began to be visible.

American Experience, WGBH, Boston

Airing on PBS @ 8PM  January 14, 2014

By |December 11th, 2013|News|0 Comments|

Retro Report: The Truth Today About the Big Stories Then

Insignia was proud to help develop and launch this innovative documentary news organization that serves as a timely online counterweight to today’s 24/7 news cycle. Combining documentary techniques with shoe-leather reporting, it peels back the layers of some of the most perplexing news stories of our past with the goal of encouraging the public to think more critically about current events and the media.

Stealing J. Edgar Hoover’s Secrets

On March 8, 1971, a group of eight Vietnam War protestors broke into a Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in Media, Pennsylvania and stole hundreds of government documents that shocked a nation.

The stolen memos, reports and internal correspondence provided the first tangible evidence that J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI was systematically targeting and harassing hundreds of American citizens then known collectively as “the New Left.”

That discovery eventually led to Congressional investigations, more revelations of secret, illegal FBI actions, and sweeping reforms. But the burglars were never caught — despite a massive five-year investigation by the FBI — and their identities have remained secret – until now.

A new book by Betty Medsger, The Burglary, identifies the Media burglars for the first time. It also details the planning, execution, and consequences of the long-forgotten heist, which was carried out by a group that included college professors, graduate students, and a cab driver. Their story is also chronicled in a new documentary by Johanna Hamilton, 1971.


By |December 10th, 2013|News|0 Comments|

The Great Fire of 1910 in post-production


In the summer of 1910, hundreds of wildfires raged across the Northern Rockies. The Lolo National Forest in Montana was engulfed in smoke and flame. In Idaho, the Coeur d’Alene Forest blazed. Fires burned across Glacier National Park and were torching the mountain slopes above Priest Lake. For every fire successfully extinguished, others ignited. Smoke drifted across the country, darkening skies as far afield as Boston and Seattle, dumping soot on pristine snows in Greenland. Though the fires burned for three months, three quarters of the damage was inflicted over the course of two days when hurricane force winds whipped the flames into a frenzy, house-sized balls of fire rolled through the canyons, trees exploded, and storms of firebrands showered down the mountainsides. By the time it was all over, more than three million acres had burned and at least seventy-eight firefighters were dead

Ignited during the Forest Service’s infancy, the largest fire in American history had profound consequences. The stories of heroism in the face of an unprecedented inferno, increased public support for the protection of America’s wilderness and assured the future of the Forestry Service. But it had profoundly tragic ramifications as well. Rather than prompting debate about fire protection, the fire squelched all discussion. It ended the tussle between those who thought every fire should be fought promptly and aggressively and those who believed that fire suppression was not always the best way to protect the wilderness. And it set the Forest Service and conservationists on a century-long journey away from controlled burning that would in the end harm the ecology of the wilderness it was intended to protect.

American Experience, WGBH, Boston

By |December 4th, 2013|News|0 Comments|