Gold Town to host live interview with director Ken Burns Saturday

The Gold Town Nickelodeon will host a live video Skype interview with director Ken Burns at the theater beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday, in between the 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. screenings of “The Central Park Five,” Burns’ latest release.


Burns, widely considered to be one of the most influential documentary makers of all time, is best known for the documentaries “Jazz,” “Baseball” and “The Civil War,” which was the highest-rated series in the history of American Public Television.

The Skype session with Burns at the Gold Town will be moderated by Pat Race and Aaron Suring, of Lucid Reverie and the Juneau Underground Motion Picture Society, and will include as many questions from the audience as time allows. The interview was set up by Gold Town manager Collette Costa during a conversation with the film’s distributor, Race said.

“She put the bug in their ear — ‘Hey it’d be great if we could talk to some filmakers,’ and they said, ‘Yeah, the director would be interested in talking to you.’ And it kind of clicked that, ‘Oh my gosh, that means I get to talk to Ken Burns!’

Unfortunately Costa had previous travel plans that conflicted with the interview time, so she asked Race and Suring, both filmmakers themselves, to step in. They happily agreed.

“We’re excited to talk to him,” Race said. “It should be a lot of fun.”

Burns’ new film, ”The Central Park Five,” traces the real-life story of five black and Latino teens, ages 14 to 16, who were falsely convicted of raping a white female jogger in Central Park in 1989. The screenplay is based on a book by Burns’ daughter, Sarah, who became interested in the story when she worked for a law firm involved with the case. To read a LA Times review of the film, see this week’s Arts section.

Race said those with questions for Burns are encouraged to email them to him in advance, but added that he plans to keep the tone of the discussion fairly casual. He can be reached at

“I’d love to have them in advance and I’m more likely to call on people if I know that they have something well thought-out that they want to ask, but we’ll just see how the flow of conversation goes.”

The discussion is free and open to the public, and is expected to last about an hour.

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