Thomas Lennon

Thomas Lennon’s work in documentary film has earned him an Academy Award and four Academy nominations, as well as national Emmys, two duPont-Columbia awards and two George Foster Peabody awards. In 2017, Lennon completed Knife Skills, a film about a high-end French restaurant staffed almost entirely by men and women with criminal records, which was nominated for an Academy Award. His film Sacred, which explored the role of prayer and ritual in daily life, drew on contributions of 40 filmmaking teams around the world. After premiering at the Tokyo Film Festival, and screening at 25 international festivals, it is due to air on PBS in 2018. Lennon, in partnership with Ruby Yang, made a trilogy of films set in China, including The Blood of Yingzhou District, which won an Oscar in 2007, and The Warriors of Qiugang, nominated for an Oscar in 2011. This film follows a farmer’s multi-year campaign to halt the poisoning of his village’s water and land; two weeks after the film’s nomination, the local authorities announced a massive multi-year cleanup of the toxic site that averted untold numbers of deaths. He and Yang founded the China AIDS Media Project; their groundbreaking AIDS awareness messages were seen over a billion times on Chinese television and the Internet, probably the largest AIDS campaign in the history of the disease. He created two documentary series for PBS: Becoming American, with Bill Moyers, tracing the Chinese experience from the early 19th century to the present-day, and The Irish in America: Long Journey Home (1998.) made for the Disney Co. His first Oscar nomination was for the feature documentary The Battle over Citizen Kane (1996), which screened at Sundance and Berlin.

Known For: Directing


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Thomas Lennon