Kurt Sayenga is a writer, director, and producer living in the Los Angeles area. He is the executive producer/showrunner of the science anthology series Breakthrough, a coproduction of National Geographic Channel, GE, Imagine Entertainment, and Asylum Entertainment. The first season of the series, which premiered in 2015, featured films directed by Ron Howard, Paul Giamatti, Angela Bassett, Peter Berg, Akiva Goldsman, and Brett Ratner. The second season, which premiered May 2017, featured films directed by Ana Lily Amirpour, David Lowery, Shane Carruth and Kurt Sayenga, The Malloys, Steven Hoggard, and Shalini Kantayya.
In 2017, Sayenga also served as executive producer/showrunner of the eight-part National Geographic docuseries Origins, hosted by Jason Silva.
Previously, Sayenga was an executive producer at Revelations Entertainment, where he wrote, directed, and produced 15 episodes of the Emmy-nominated series Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman.
Throughout his young adulthood Sayenga was active in the Washington, D.C. punk music scene. He created, edited, and was the head writer of Greed Magazine in the late 1980s, one of the first magazines to fuse coverage of underground music, literature and "high" and "low" art. On the pop culture side, Greed featured interviews with acts such as Sonic Youth, Pussy Galore, Daniel Johnston, The Swans, Wire, Plasticland, Rites of Spring, Live Skull, and Robyn Hitchcock, plus comics figures Los Bros Hernandez, Charles Burns, Peter Bagge, Chester Brown and Clive Barker. Greed featured the debut of Evan Dorkin's Milk and Cheese in its final issue.
Sayenga also designed albums for the Dischord Records label, most notably Fugazi's first six packages: Fugazi (EP),Margin Walker, 13 Songs, Repeater,Steady Diet of Nothing, and the 7" 3 Songs.
A graduate of the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science & the Arts, Sayenga won the Jules and Avery Hopwood Award for Drama and the Roy M. Cowden Fellowship.
His television career started at the Discovery Channel, where he wrote, directed and produced the special Nighthawk: Secrets of the Stealth Fighter, the mini-series Wings Over the Gulf, and the 13-part series Fields of Armor, a survey of mechanized warfare in the 20th Century. He won an Emmy for the design of the opening credits of Fields of Armor, along with several writing and producing awards.
During his time running the production company Arcwelder Films (which he founded with Martha Adams), Sayenga wrote, directed and produced many more documentaries, including Spies Above, Robots Rising, Explosive Situations, High Speed Impacts, Inside the Kill Box (made on the tenth anniversary of the first Gulf War and featuring interviews with players such as George H. W. Bush and Dick Cheney), and the engineering series Skyscrapers: Going Up, Bridges: Reaching Out, and Tunnels: Digging In. He was also show runner of Animal Nightmares, a 13-part series for National Geographic International; and Microkillers, a mini-series for National Geographic about pandemic diseases that fused fictional scenarios with documentary content.
In 2006 Sayenga formed a new production company called Command and Control Creative Services, which has produced ancillary content for companies such as 20th Century Fox International, United Artists/MGM, and Disney. In 2008 Sayenga worked with Bill Nye, the Science Guy, as executive producer/showrunner of Stuff Happens, for Discovery Communications' Planet Green. He has also produced several science-based pieces with Nye for Disney Educational Products and The Planetary Society.