Filmmaker and author of The Central Park Five
Photo credit: Michael Lionstar
About Sarah Burns
Sarah Burns is the author of The Central Park Five: The Untold Story Behind One of New York City’s Most Infamous Crimes and, along with David McMahon and Ken Burns, the producer, writer, and director of the documentary The Central Park Five, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. It was named the Best Non-Fiction film of 2012 by the New York Film Critics Circle and won a 2013 Peabody Award.
In The Central Park Five, Burns reexamines the wrongful convictions of five young Black and Latino teenagers in the 1989 rape and beating of a white jogger in Central Park. She sets out to prove wrong those who refuse to admit that a miscarriage of justice occurred and to answer the simple, nagging question: How did this happen? Burns will fascinate audiences by recounting this historic case for the first time since the young men’s convictions were overturned, telling, at last, the full story of one of New York’s most legendary crimes.
Most recently, she produced and directed, along with David McMahon and Ken Burns, the two-part, four hour Jackie Robinson, a biography of the celebrated baseball player and civil rights icon, which she wrote with McMahon. The film aired on PBS in April 2016 and she and McMahon were nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Nonfiction Program and won a WGA award for Documentary Script. She is currently working on a documentary about public housing in Atlanta.
Sarah was born and raised in Walpole, New Hampshire. She graduated from Yale University in 2004 with a degree in American studies, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, David McMahon, and their children.
Praise for Sarah Burns
You could hear a pin drop in the auditorium because the students and faculty were so interested in [Sarah’s] compelling talk. The overall conversations that ensued after she left where very positive from both students and faculty. The headmaster was impressed by her presentation. Overall, excellent work by Sarah. We would have her revisit Taft in a second.— The Taft School
Praise for The Central Park Five
Burns’s gripping tale may serve as an allegory for some of the most pressing criminal justice issues of our time.— The New York Times Book Review
Remarkable…Straightforward, thought-provoking reportage.— Booklist
Books by Sarah Burns
Media About Sarah Burns
- 212 572-2013
- Sarah Burns travels from Brooklyn, NY