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Native America
A four-hour series for PBS
NATIVE AMERICA rediscovers a past whose splendor and sophistication is only now being realized, and whose story has for too long remained untold. The series explores Native America through cutting edge science and traditional indigenous knowledge. It is a world of massive cities, unique systems of science, religion, art, and writing, and 100 million people connected by social networks spanning two continents. This is the Americas as never seen before—featuring sacred rituals filmed for the first time, breakthrough discoveries, and rarely heard voices from Native America.

A Providence Pictures production for PBS
Funded by the Anne Ray Charitable Trust
Premiere Airdate: Fall 2018

Watch the trailer, check out the press release, and join our mailing list!


  Building Wonders of the World
Three new one-hour films.
We construct a lift and trapdoor system to release a wolf in the Colosseum, build an 8-ton model of Hagia Sophia and shake it to collapse, and carve a Petra style tomb in a cliff face.

A Providence Pictures production for NOVA/PBS
Co-produced with ARTE/France and ZED
Premiere Airdate: February, 2015

Watch the trailer and check out the press release here!


  Hagia Sophia - Istanbul's Ancient Mystery
Since the year 537 this wonder of the world has survived clashing empires, transforming from church to mosque to museum. Even more miraculously, it has withstood 1500 years of city busting earthquakes. Now scientists and builders construct an 8-ton brick and mortar model, place it on a shake table, and push it to collapse to discover Hagia Sophia's seismic secrets.

A Providence Pictures production for NOVA/PBS
Co-produced with ARTE/France and ZED
Premiere Airdate: February 25, 2015



  Petra - Lost City of Stone
Its temple-like tomb awed millions in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. How did an ancient people over 2000 years ago build this magnificent city in one of the most bone-dry locations on Earth? In a daring experiment a geoscientist and sculptors team up to carve a Petra style tomb. And archaeologists and hydro-engineers uncover a water system that would have made this desert city the Las Vegas of the ancient world.

A Providence Pictures production for NOVA/PBS
Co-produced with ARTE/France and ZED
Premiere Airdate: February 18, 2015



  Colosseum - Roman Death Trap
Sea battles in the morning and gladiator fights in the afternoon with wild beasts magically appearing in the arena? So says ancient Roman texts, but are these claims militaristic propaganda? A subterranean archaeologist investigates tunnels to see how the Colosseum could be flooded. And architects, engineers, and builders construct a lift and trap door system to attempt the release of a wolf into the most famous amphitheater in the world for the first time in 1500 years.

A Providence Pictures production for NOVA/PBS
Co-produced with ARTE/France and ZED
Premiere Airdate: February 11, 2015

Forensics on Trial
Innocent people go to prison while criminals walk free. But never fear! Virtual autopsies, 3D fingerprints, and avatar detectives are putting the science back in forensic science to make sure getting away with murder becomes a thing of the past.

A Providence Pictures production for NOVA
Premiere Airdate: October 17, 2012 on NOVA/PBS


  Building the Great Cathedrals
These skyscrapers of stone dominated skylines for nearly a thousand years. Now, a team of scholars and builders investigates how they we went up, and why some of the tallest fell down. Embedded in stone and stained glass, they uncover a hidden mathematical code-ripped from pages of the Bible-that was used as a blueprint to build the great Gothic Cathedrals.

Co-produced with NOVA, Telfrance, and ARTE/France
Nominated for 2 Emmys for Outstanding Science, Technology, and Nature Programming and Outstanding Cinematography
Premiere Airdate: October 19, 2010 on NOVA/PBS

Visit the Building the Great Cathedrals Website

  Riddles of the Sphinx
For over 4000 years, the Sphinx has puzzled all who have laid eyes on it. What is this crouching lion, human-headed creature? Who built it and why?
To unlock its secrets, two teams of scientists and sculptors immerse themselves in the world of ancient Egypt — a land of pharaohs and pyramids, animal gods and mummies, sun worship and human sacrifice.

Co-produced with NOVA, Telfrance, and ARTE/France
Nominated for a Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Script for Television Documentary
Premiere Airdate: January 19, 2010 on NOVA/PBS

Visit the Riddles of the Sphinx Website

  The Bible's Buried Secrets
Narrated by Liev Schrieber and Stockard Channing
At the intersection of science and scriptures lie provocative new insights on the origins of the ancient Israelites, the evolution of their belief in one God and the creation of the Bible.

"The telling of this story, with its implications for the future of all mankind, is one of the most dramatic tales you'll see on television this season."

- New York Post
A Providence Pictures production for NOVA
Premiere Airdate: November 18, 2008

Visit the Bible's Buried Secrets Website

  Secrets of the Parthenon
For 25 centuries the Parthenon has been shot at, set on fire, rocked by earthquakes, looted for its sculptures, and disfigured by catastrophic renovations. To save it from collapse, the modern restoration team must uncover the secrets of how the ancient Greeks built this icon of western civilization in less than nine years without anything resembling an architectural plan.

NOVA/PBS Produced with Studio Internationale and Arte/France
Winner of the Writers Guild of America award for Outstanding Script for Television Documentary
Nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Science, Technology, and Nature Programming.
Premiere Airdate: January 29, 2008
    Secret of Photo 51
Narrated by Sigourney Weaver
Secret of Photo 51 unravels the mystery behind the discovery of the DNA double helix and investigates the seminal role that Rosalind Franklin and her remarkable X-ray photograph played in one of the greatest discoveries in the history of science.

Nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Documentary
Premiere Airdate: April 2003

    Lost King of the Maya
Narrated by Hector Elizondo
His name is Yax K'uk Mo'. He is the legendary founder of Copan, a Mayan city abandoned over 1000 years ago. Here a dynasty of powerful lords maintained their power through sacred blood rituals. For generations, scholars thought Yax K'uk Mo' to be a Maya god. But now archaeologists believe they may have found his tomb.

Premiere Airdate: February 2001

    The True Story of Troy
The truth behind a tale so powerful, it inspired 3,000 years of myth and legend, and may have changed the course of history.

"The kind of documentary teachers and parents would want their children to watch." -- NY Times

The History Channel
Premiere Airdate: May 2004

    The Trial of Jesus
Very little is known historically about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus - one of the seminal events of human history. The Trial of Jesus explores such questions as, what did Jesus do that resulted in his arrest and conviction? Why do many Biblical historians have reservations about the accuracy of the gospel stories as we know them today?

The History Channel
Premiere Airdate: April 2004

    Women Pharaohs
Narrated by Kyra Sedgwick
The names are legendary - Cleopatra, Nefertiti, Nefertari and Hatshepsut. All were icons of beguiling beauty and supreme power that once dominated ancient Egypt, their command rivaling that of the mightiest male rulers in history. A startling new discovery unveils the secrets of their seductive charms and awesome authority.

The Discovery Channel
Premiere Airdate: December 2001



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  Realscreen - PBS, Providence Pictures spotlight the tapestry of “Native America”
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  With an upcoming four-part series, PBS and Providence Pictures reveal the rich historical, cultural and geographic tapestry of Native America. This is not your forefathers’ vision of ancient America. This is a new vision of the Americas and the people who made it.  
  PBS Announces NATIVE AMERICA, New Four-Part Series Premiering Fall 2018
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  “NATIVE AMERICA is an extraordinary portal to the past and window to the present,” said Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. The latest scholarship and research have shattered earlier conceptions of indigenous culture and civilization, revealing vast social networks and shared beliefs that have bridged the generations and that continue to flourish in Native-American communities today.  
Rhode Island Business Quarterly, "Lights Camera Action!" 1/08
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RI Business Quarterly When you think of Providence's national recognition as an arts city and growing creative economy, you have to think of Providence Pictures as one of the success stories. A twelve-year old filmmaking company, they produce award-winning non-fiction broadcast programs that consistently attract huge audiences such as "The Trial of Jesus" and "Women Pharaohs"... - Diane M. Sterrett
New York Times, "A Treasure Made With Math and Marble" 1/08
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No mere how-did-they-lift-those-heavy-rocks rumination. It's a condensed mathematics course, challenging you to keep up as it examines the principles and proportions the ancient Greeks used to erect that majestic building. . . You'll still feel smarter by the program's end. - Neil Genzlinger
  Daily News, "Anatomy of a Crash" 2/04
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  Like a topnotch episode of "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation," tonight's installment of the PBS science series "Nova" presents a captivating examination of a deadly mystery. - David Bianculli  
  The Globe and Mail, Toronto, "A Story of bias transcends science" 4/03
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  This Nova program, narrated by Sigourney Weaver, is one of those stories that transcend the world of science. It's an absorbing drama about smart people who are stupid in their prejudices and resentments. - John Doyle  
  LA Times, "NOVA honors scientist" 4/03
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  Fifty years after the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA, "nova" tries to give biologist Rosalind Franklin her due in "Secret of Photo 51"... an intriguing and suspenseful account of the race to untangle the mystery of DNA - Josh Friedman  
National Geographic
  We believe television can change the world.

In a world of Goliath suppliers, Providence Pictures relishes being David-producing unique non-fiction programs that surpass the highest editorial standards, generate excellent press, and consistently attract huge audiences worldwide. Through stunning photography, dramatic narrative, meticulous research, innovative animation, and elegant cinematic reenactments, Providence Pictures crafts complex ideas into compelling, intelligent stories.

Our films have won and been honored with nominations for the industry's most prestigious awards - six Emmys, two Writers Guild Awards, the AAA Science Journalism Prize, the CINE Golden Eagle Special Jury Award, and the International Archaeology Film Festival Award. We're proud to be collaborating with the world's leading broadcasters including PBS, Discovery, History, National Geographic, BBC, and Arte among others, and continue to seek more creative partnerships.

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