American Masters (2014 Season) – A Fierce Green Fire

Production Bios

Air date: 04/22/2014

American Masters A Fierce Green Fire


Premieres nationally Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 9-10 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) in honor of Earth Day



Mark Kitchell

Director, Producer and Writer

Mark Kitchell is best known for Berkeley in the Sixties, which won the Audience Award at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for an Academy Award, and won other top honors. The film has become a well-loved classic, one of the defining documentaries about the protest movements that shook America during the 1960s. Since, he has worked in non-fiction television, made films for hire, taught at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC), done freelance production and devoted over a decade to developing, making and distributing A Fierce Green Fire. Kitchell’s career began with Grand Theft Auto. He went to New York University (NYU) film school, where he made The Godfather Comes to Sixth St., a cinéma vérité look at his neighborhood caught up in filming The Godfather II — for which he received another (student) Academy Award nomination.


Marc N. Weiss

Executive Producer

Marc Weiss is best known as creator and executive producer of P.O.V., the award-winning independent documentary series now preparing for its 27th season on PBS. He has been a leader in the independent media movement for 40+ years as a filmmaker, journalist, organizer and innovator in using the Internet to engage people on social issues. In 2011, Marc co-produced When Strangers Click with Robert Kenner and Gun Fight with Barbara Kopple, both for HBO. Since then, he has put his film work on hold to become a climate change activist with several organizations.


Robert Dalva

Editor, Cut-down phase

From University of Southern California (USC) film school with George Lucas and early years at Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope to The Black Stallion, Jumanji, October Sky and Cadillac Desert, Robert Dalva is among the most eminent American filmmakers. Directing credits include The Black Stallion Returns and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Editing credits range from Lovelace, Captain America and The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio to Jurassic Park III, Conceiving Ada and The Joy Luck Club.


Ken Schneider

Editor, Fine-Cut Phase

Ken Schneider has lots of distinguished documentaries to his credit: Have You Heard From Johannesburg?; Sowing the Seeds of Justice; Orozco: Man of Fire; Freedom Machines; American Masters – Ralph Ellison: An American Journey; The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It; Born in the USA; Regret to Inform; School Colors; Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin and many more. With his wife, Marcia Jarmel, he produced and directed Speaking in Tongues and their latest is Havana Curveball.


Gary Weimberg

Consulting Editor, Fine-Cut Phase

Gary Weimberg has directed Soldiers of Conscience; Three Women and a Chateau; Teens; The Story of Fathers and Sons; The Story of Mothers and Daughters; The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez-Gomez and Loyalty and Betrayal: The Story of the American Mob. Editing credits include Have You Heard From Johannesburg?; Ballets Russes; And the Band Played On; Earth and the American Dream; Super Chief: The Life and Legacy of Earl Warren; Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam and many more.


Veronica Selver & Jon Beckhardt

Editors, Rough-Cut Phase

Veronica Selver, a veteran, and Jon Beckhardt, a newcomer, co-edited the rough-cut of A Fierce Green Fire. Veronica directed the seminal film about gays in America, Word Is Out. She also made KPFA on the Air and Raising the Roof. She has edited some great documentaries: On Company Business; You Got to Move; Coming Out Under Fire; Blacks and Jews; and Berkeley in the Sixties. Jon is a graduate of Oberlin. He worked as animator on Mark Kitchell’s previous project, Integral Consciousness. A Fierce Green Fire was his first big editing assignment.


Vicente Franco


Vicente Franco’s credits include The Storm That Swept Mexico; Waiting to Inhale; The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers; Speaking In Tongues; The Judge and the General; California and the American Dream; Thirst and Freedom on My Mind. He also produced and directed three films with Gail Dolgin: Cuba Va; Daughter From Danang; and The Summer of Love for American Experience.


George Michalski and David Denny, Garth Stevenson, Randall Wallace, and

Todd Boekelheide

Original Music

  • George Michalski wrote the theme song. A high school friend of Mark Kitchell (they built a driftwood house together) George has worked with Barbra Streisand and has numerous gold records. David Denny supplied vocals and guitar. He formed one of the seminal psychedelic bands, Frumious Bandersnatch, and in 1970 joined the Steve Miller Band, writing one of his hits, “The Stake.
  • Garth Stevenson is a bassist and budding composer of films, including Tracks, The Red Knot, The Young Lakota and The Jazz Funeral.
  • Randall Wallace is a supporter who stepped in to help with scoring in the rush to finish the film.
  • Todd Boekelheide is a popular film composer from the San Francisco Bay Area.


Susan Lacy

Executive Producer and American Masters Series Creator

Currently producing and directing films for HBO, Susan Lacy was an award-winning originator of primetime public television programs from 1979-2013, and created and launched the American Masters series in 1986.

As the executive producer of American Masters, she was responsible for the production and national broadcast of 200 documentary films about our country’s artistic and cultural giants, those who have made an indelible impact on the American landscape. Now entering its 28th season on PBS, American Masters has garnered unprecedented awards and is recognized by television critics as “the best biographical series ever to appear on American television.”

Under Lacy’s leadership, American Masters received 67 Emmy Award nominations and 26 wins, including nine for Outstanding Primetime Nonfiction Series, five for Outstanding Non-Fiction Special and the other 12 in various craft categories. The series received the 2012 and 2013 Producers Guild of America (PGA) Award for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television, the 2012 IDA Award for Best Continuing Series, 12 Peabody Awards, three Grammy Awards and an Academy Award.

Lacy is also an award-winning filmmaker. She produced, directed and wrote Inventing David Geffen, which premiered on PBS in 2012 to great critical acclaim. She produced LENNONYC, a film exploring John Lennon’s life in New York City; her Judy Garland: By Myself earned Lacy 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 films were for American Masters.

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 was honored again in Washington, DC, in 2010 as the recipient of the Cine Golden Eagle Lifetime Achievement Award. Lacy holds a B.A. 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. Lacy grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and splits her time between Manhattan and Sag Harbor, New York.


Stephen Segaller


Stephen Segaller joined WNET in September, 2008. He has primary responsibility for the coordination of all national and local programming from WNET’s producing subsidiaries – THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and Creative News Group. Among the acclaimed productions Segaller coordinates are: Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, Secrets of the Dead, PBS NewsHourWeekend, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, Cyberchase, NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, Women, War and Peace and Shakespeare Uncovered.

Segaller has been a journalist, producer, director, writer and author whose work has been broadcast and published on both sides of the Atlantic and all over the world. In the U.K., he worked for London Weekend TV and Granada TV in current affairs, then spent six years as an independent producer making documentaries for Channel 4. In the U.S., he worked at WGBH and supervised national production for Oregon Public Broadcasting – producing for PBS, CNN, Discovery, TLC, Channel 4, and other networks.

From 1999-2008 Segaller was Director, News & Public Affairs Programming for Thirteen/WNET. He created That Money Show in 2000-01; the international documentary series Wide Angle in 2002, and Exposé – America’s Investigative Reports in 2006. After 9/11, he and Bill Moyers jointly produced the specials that led to the creation of NOW with Bill Moyers. He also supervised documentaries and series such as The War of the World; Extreme Oil; Red Gold: The Epic Story of Blood; Local News; the Fred Friendly Seminars; Srebrenica – A Cry From The Grave; Kofi Annan: Center of the Storm; Maggie: Prime Minister Thatcher; Allies at War; The Blair Decade; City At War: London Calling and Legacy of War, both with Walter Cronkite; and the films of Frederick Wiseman, and Roger Weisberg.