Home » Advocacy Awards » 2023 Advocacy Awards » Hiding in Plain Sight

 

The ISADORE ROSENFELD AWARD FOR IMPACT ON PUBLIC OPINION is presented annually to a news media representative or other influential individual who has been extraordinarily effective in delivering medical, public health, or other health-related research advocacy messages to the public.

Mental illness is one of the most significant health crises in the world—as pervasive as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease—but it often exists in secret and is endured in isolation.

The two-part, four-hour film, Hiding in Plain Sight, follows the journeys of more than 20 young Americans from all over the country and all walks of life, who have struggled with thoughts and feelings that have troubled—and, at times—overwhelmed them. They share what they have learned about themselves, their families, and the world in which they live. Through first-person accounts, the film presents an unstinting look at both the seemingly insurmountable obstacles faced by those who live with mental disorders and the hope that many have found after that storm. In the process, they will directly confront the issues of stigma, discrimination, awareness, and silence, and, in doing so, support the ongoing shift in the public perception of mental illness today.

The award is going to the team that produced the film. The film was executive produced by Ken Burns, co-directed by Erik Ewers and Christopher Loren Ewers, produced by Julie Coffman, and written by David Blistein, Hiding in Plain Sight. It premiered June 27-28, 2022.

Ken Burns
Executive Producer
Ken Burns has been making documentary films for almost forty years. Since the Academy Award nominated Brooklyn Bridge in 1981, Ken has gone on to direct and produce some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War; Baseball; Jazz; Frank Lloyd Wright; Mark Twain; The National Parks: America’s Best Idea; The Dust Bowl; Jackie Robinson; The Vietnam War; Country Music; Hemingway; Muhammad Ali; and Benjamin Franklin. His next film, The U.S. and the Holocaust, will premiere on PBS in September 2022.

Erik Ewers
Co-Director and Editor
Erik Ewers has worked with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns for more than 30 years, editing nearly all of his single and multi-episodic films and serving as senior editor on Country Music and Hemingway. Erik is now the co-director and editor of Ewers Brothers Productions, a preferred collaborative company in the co-creation of Ken’s films. EBP projects include The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope, Science (2018) and Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness (2022).

 

Christopher Loren Ewers
Co-Director and Director of Photography
Christopher Loren Ewers has been working with Ken Burns for almost 20 years. With Ken as executive producer, Chris co-directed and served as Director of Photography on the feature length documentary, The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope, Science, which broadcast nationally on PBS in September 2018, and the two-part Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, which premiered on the same network in June 2022.

Julie Coffman
Producer
Julie Coffman graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design and worked as a graphic designer for ten years before joining Ewers Brothers Productions. In 2015 she joined Florentine Films in collaboration with EBP and Ken Burns. She produced The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope, Science, a feature length documentary which premiered on PBS in 2018, and, most recently, Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness, which broadcast on PBS in June of 2022.

Susan Shumaker
Producer
Susan Shumaker joined the Florentine Films / Ewers Brothers Productions family in 2002. She was an integral part of Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness (2022), Country Music (2019), The Dust Bowl (2012), and The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (2009). She is currently working on a film about the history of the American buffalo.

David Blistein
Writer
David Blistein spent 25 years as the owner and creative director of a regional advertising agency in Vermont, after which he began writing non-fiction books and documentaries. He was a writer on the PBS documentaries Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies (2015), The Gene (2019), the award-winning The Mayo Clinic: Faith, Hope, Science (2018), and Hiding in Plain Sight: Youth Mental Illness (2022).

Learn more about the Isadore Rosenfeld Award for Impact on Public Opinion.

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