American Masters (2010 Season) – I.M. Pei: Building China Modern

Production Biographies

Air date: 11/21/2010

American Masters I.M. Pei: Building China Modern


Production Biographies

PACEM productions and PACEM team

Eugene B. Shirley, Jr.

Producer and Executive Producer, PACEM productions


Eugene B. Shirley, Jr.  is a long-time producer of documentary films for PBS and international broadcast that focus on big ideas. He founded PACEM productions in 1982 to produce a human rights film in the Soviet Union – making him the first U.S. independent to film there.  The film premiered at the White House.


I.M. Pei: Building China Modern is Shirley’s first production in China, a project he initiated over a decade ago to explore the tension in the fast-developing China of today between the lure of the modern and the pull of history and tradition.


Shirley divides his time between PACEM and Alexandria Investment Research and Technology, where he is Managing Partner.  A former Jennings Randolph Fellow at the

United States Institute of Peace and former Associate Fellow in Film Studies at Dickinson College, Shirley is currently Adjunct Fellow at the Hudson Institute.


With SCETV, Shirley has produced two prime-time programs for PBS:

Candle in the Wind, telling the story of religious persecution in the Soviet Union.  The film aired in more than two dozen countries.

I.M. Pei: Building China Modern (for American Masters with THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG), following the architect I.M. Pei over eight years designing and building the Suzhou Museum in his ancestral home.  A preview of the film and specialist discussion was part of The People’s Republic at 60, an international conference held at the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.


With WNET.ORG, Shirley has produced two series and one stand-alone film:

Messengers From Moscow (with BBC), a four-part series telling the story of the Cold War from Moscow’s perspective. Distributed to twenty-some countries, the series was highly honored in the U.S., Britain, and internationally.

Beyond Wall Street: The Art of Investing television series with Jane Bryant Quinn and Andrew Tobias: an eight-part series that was the first of its kind to tackle complex investment strategies for a broad audience.

I.M. Pei: Building China Modern (also with SCETV, above).


With WETA, Channel Four/U.K. and YLE/Finland, Shirley has produced:

The Real Boris Yestin, a 90-minute film that aired in a half-dozen countries internationally.


PACEM has produced for more than two dozen broadcasters worldwide (including BBC, Channel Four, and ORF/Austria); U.S. institutions (CPB, ITVS, NEH, NEA, and the U.S. Institute of Peace); U.S. foundations; corporations, and international arts and cultural institutions (Miho Museum/Japan; China Intercontinental Communication Center).


Significant additional productions include:

A.K.A. Creek: educating a big city schoolboy, a 90-minute feature following the story of an Hispanic youth from South-Central Los Angeles attempting to make it through a semester of school.  Broadcast nationally over public television, the film was honored in festivals internationally.

– Discovery Channel, various productions (producer and writer);

– Yale University, educational productions.


Anne Shirley

Executive Producer, PACEM productions


Anne Shirley joined PACEM productions in 1994 and launched PACEM Distribution International in 1995, successfully distributing programming to more than 20 countries worldwide.  Since 1997, Shirley has overseen the company’s slate of development projects and has served as executive producer or executive-in-charge for those in production, having helped secure federal, corporate, foundation and private grants (both domestic and international), including funding from such sources as NEH, NEA, CPB and BBC.


Caroline Courtauld

Co-Executive Producer


Caroline Courtauld is a writer, photographer, and documentary film producer and researcher, with a specialty on Burma, Hong Kong and China.  From 1992 to 1997 she worked with Jonathan Dimbleby and Francis Gerard on a BBC documentary project The Last Governor.  Courtauld’s involvement in a television documentary on the history of Hong Kong led to another book, The Hong Kong Story (Oxford University Press).  She is co-author of the widely acclaimed book The Forbidden City–The Great Within, a companion to a dramatized documentary of the same name (Discovery Channel).  She is former chairman of the

Keswick Foundation.


Tom Parry

Co-Executive Producer


Over a thirty-five-year career, Tom Parry has held senior management positions in film, television, computer games and new media companies.  As a production executive at Untied Artists and then VP Production at Paramount, he helped supervise film slates that included One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Rocky, Hair, Saturday Night Fever, Grease and Heaven Can Wait, and was directly responsible for supervising the production of a half-dozen films – among them Star Trek – The Motion Picture, and Airplane.  He spent a number of years as an independent producer, then as one of three principals at Pacem Productions, he helped conceive and package I.M. Pei: Building China Modern.  Switching gears, Parry transitioned to electronic media, acting as VP Business Development for two computer game companies and then for an Internet start-up that aggregated educational science and technology content for teenagers.  Currently, he and his business partners are launching a massively multiplayer online game company featuring content aimed at casual gamers.  Over the years, Parry has been active in the LGBT civil rights movement and currently lives in Los

Angeles with his husband Juan Bastos, a well-known portrait artist.


Anne Makepeace

Director and Co-Writer


Anne Makepeace is the Emmy award-winning filmmaker of Robert Capa in Love and War (for the acclaimed PBS series, American Masters).


Emmy nominated Rain in a Dry Land was the lead show on PBS/POV in 2007 and won many awards; Coming to Light: Edward S. Curtis and the North American Indians (also for American Masters and winner of numerous prizes including Best

Documentary at Telluride Mountain Film Festival, the O’Connor Award for Best Documentary from the American Historical Society), Baby It’s You (the lead program for the PBS series, POV), and other films have established her as a premier documentary filmmaker.


Two of her recent films have focused on seminal artists, which uniquely qualify her to write and direct a project about the creation of a major work by I.M. Pei.  A finalist for the 2000 Academy Awards (Coming to Light), she has been honored by the 2000 Whitney Biennial, the Sundance Feature Documentary Competition, the Chicago International Television Festival, American Film Festival, and many others.  Her work has appeared on PBS, Showtime, Bravo, HBO, USA Network, Channel 4 (UK), ABC Australia, ZDF Germany, and Thames Television (UK).  Makepeace has twice been a writer/director fellow at Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute and was a resident of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center.


Brian Funck

Co-Writer and Editor


Brian Funck is a film and television editor based in Los Angeles and Boston.  His work has been seen in theaters, at film festivals, and on TV networks, including CBS, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Learning Channel, MTV, and History Channel, among others. Recent projects include: Build it Bigger (editor), an in-depth look at some of the most remarkable feats of architecture around the world (Discovery-Science Channel); and Goal Keepers (editor and co-writer), a feature documentary about a team of grade-school Arab and Israeli boys who learn to compete together when they find themselves on the same soccer team.


George Adams

Director of Photography


George Adams has a history of some forty years in film, television and documentary production—from Europe to Africa, the Middle East to Russia, Asia to South America, in addition to domestically.  He has worked with PACEM since 1982, in addition to his own extensive freelance work.  He has shot and/or edited hundreds of films for television, in addition to corporate and industrial use, and is skilled in 35mm film, 16mm film, digital and analog video.  George is a sought-after instructor, and has taught graduate-level courses in non-linear editing.



Polly Spann Kosko

Executive-in-Charge, SCETV


Polly Spann Kosko is Vice President, National Programming, at SCETV.  Polly is responsible for national programming activities through all phases from the development of the initial concept through the promotion and broadcast of the program.  This division of the Network is responsible for securing underwriting from foundations and corporations to support the production of both national and local programming.


Kosko served as ETV’s executive in charge of production for the season premieres of Critical Condition with Hedrick Smith, an in-depth examination of America’s healthcare crisis; Juggling Work and Family with Hedrick Smith , which focuses on one of our nation’s critical issues; Schools That Work with Hedrick Smith, an analysis of this nation’s educational reform; Global Warming: The Signs and The Science, hosted by Alanis Morissette, a cautionary look at the forces of climate change; Imagining America: Icons of 20th Century American Art, a visual journey through the words and works of the century’s most significant artists; and World@Large with David Gergen, a 10-part series developed in association with U.S. News & World Report.  Kosko was ETV’s producer of The American Tenors from the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.  Her efforts have made possible the production by ETV of over 80 other programs and series, including the popular children’s series The Dooley and Pals Show.


A native of Charleston, South Carolina, Kosko is a graduate of the University of South

Carolina.  She is a 30-year veteran of the network, beginning her career as assistant to the president and general manager.  Over the years she has served in a senior fundraising and development positions to include the Development Advisory Committee for the Public Broadcasting Service.  She is a lifetime member of the board of directors of CINE and Director of the Charleston School of Law Foundation.



Sally Jo Fifer

President and CEO, ITVS

Sally Jo Fifer is the President and CEO of Independent Television Service [ITVS], an institution supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to fund, produce and oversee the public television launch of over 70 independently produced documentaries every year.  ITVS programs have garnered the highest awards, including nine Academy Award nominations, along with numerous other industry accolades, such as Golden Globe for Waltz with Bashir.  Fifer is also executive producer of ITVS’s primetime, Emmy Award-winning PBS series, Independent Lens, and in 2005 launched the organization’s foray into international programming, the Global Perspectives Project, which has opened up a two-way pipeline to fund independently produced international programs for U.S. television audiences and take American indie documentaries abroad.


Key Scholarly Consultants*

William C. Kirby

Chief Consultant


William C. Kirby is Geisinger Professor of History, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor, and the Director of the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies at Harvard University. A historian of modern China, Professor Kirby’s work examines China’s economic and political development in an international context.


Peter G. Rowe

Chief Consultant


Peter Rowe is the Raymond Garbe Professor of Architecture and Urban Design and University Distinguished Service Professor at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, where he has taught since 1985.  Between 1992 and 2004, he served as Dean of the Faculty of Design.  He is a specialist in Chinese architecture.


Charles Jencks

Architectural Historian and Author


Charles Jencks is one of the country’s leading authorities on architecture. He is consulting on issues that pertain to architecture, the garden, and the relationship between design and the philosophy of worldview.


James C.Y. Watt

Brooke Russell Astor Chairman of the Department of Asian Art,

Metropolitan Museum of Art


James C.Y. Watt is one of the country’s leading authorities on Asian art.  He will consult on Suzhou culture, history, art and museum-related matters.


*Not a complete list


Susan Lacy

Series Creator/Executive Producer, American Masters


Susan Lacy has been an award-winning originator of primetime public television programs since 1979.  As the creator and executive producer of American Masters, she has been responsible for the production and national broadcast of more than 160 documentary films about our country’s artistic and cultural giants, those who have made an indelible impact on the American landscape.  Now celebrating its 24th season on PBS, American Masters has garnered unprecedented awards and is consistently recognized by television critics as “the best biographical series ever to appear on American television.”

In addition to her executive producing role, Lacy is an award-winning filmmaker.  Her 2004 Judy Garland: By Myself earned her an Emmy award for writing and an Emmy nomination for directing.  She wrote, directed and produced Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind (IDA nomination for Outstanding Documentary) and Leonard Bernstein: Reaching for the Note (Emmy award and DGA nomination).  She produced the Peabody award-winning Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time, directed and produced Rod Serling: Submitted for Your Approval, and directed and produced Lena Horne: In Her Own Voice – all for American Masters.


Under her leadership, American Masters received the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series in 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008 and 2009 as well as 12 other Primetime Emmy awards – four for Outstanding Nonfiction Specials and the other eight in various craft categories.  In addition to eight Peabody awards for John Hammond: From Bessie Smith to Bruce Springsteen, Unknown Chaplin, Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow, Paul Simon: Born at the Right Time, Alexander Calder, F.

Scott Fitzgerald: Winter Dreams, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan and Andy

Warhol: A Documentary Film, she received Grammy awards for Lou Reed: Rock and Roll Heart and No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, 25 additional Emmy nominations, an Academy Award and three nominations.

Lacy’s career in public television began in 1979, as deputy director of performance programs at Thirteen/WNET New York.  She was senior program executive for Great Performances and worked as director of program development with The American Playhouse, where she was a founding member.  Lacy then ran the East Coast office of Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute from 1984 to 1987.  She was a consulting producer at Time-Life Video during the launch of Time-Warner’s new initiatives in long-form documentary production.  Lacy also led programs at both the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Lacy was one of the select 2005 honorees at the Museum of Television & Radio’s “She Made It” event, which recognized 50 exceptional women who have created and informed the genre, and a 2008 Washington, DC Women of Vision Awards recipient, honoring those in film and video who inspire and mentor.  She serves on the board of governors of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, on the board of the Film Forum and is a trustee of the Independent Documentary Association.  Lacy is a member of the Directors Guild of America, the Writers Guild of America, the Independent Features Project and New York Women in Film & Television.


Lacy has a BA in American Studies from the University of Virginia, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and an MA in American Studies from George Washington University.  She was a Graduate Teaching Fellow, a Smithsonian Fellow and completed a residency at the American Academy in Rome.  In 1994, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Long Island University and in 1996, she was named Distinguished Alumnus of the Year at Mary Washington College, the women’s college of the University of Virginia.