GALA: HONORING SHEILA NEVINS
THE 2018 LUMIERE CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
goes to legendary filmmaker, Sheila Nevins, who brought the documentary genre into millions of homes with HBO.
Triangle: Remembering the Fire
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Sheila Nevins
DIRECTOR: Daphne Pinkerson
PRODUCERS: Marc Levin, Daphne Pinkerson
EDITORS: Richard Lowe, Steve Pequignot, Christopher K. Walker
CINEMATOGRAPHER: John Hazard
On March 25, 1911, a catastrophic fire broke out at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City. Trapped inside the upper floors of a ten-story building, 146 workers - mostly young immigrant women and teenage girls - were burned alive or forced to jump to their deaths. It was the worst disaster at a workplace in New York State until 9/11. The tragedy changed the course of history, paving the way for government to represent working people, not just business, for the first time.
Daphne Pinkerson has worked on a range of award-winning social and political documentaries for HBO, PBS, Bill Moyers, and NBC, among others. Her last HBO documentary, Hard Times: Lost on Long Island, was nominated for an Emmy and Triangle won the prestigious DuPont-Columbia Award.
The Number on Great Grandpa’s Arm
SAT, 12/1, 9:45pm, 19 min
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Sheila Nevins
DIRECTOR: Amy Schatz
PRODUCERS: Lynn Sadofsky, Amy Schatz
EDITOR: Tom Patterson
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Alex Rappoport
A conversation between a boy and his great-grandfather, an Auschwitz survivor, is woven with historical footage and animation to tell a heartbreaking story of Jewish life in Eastern Europe, sharing lessons from the Holocaust with a new generation. The film won a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Individual in Animation.
Amy Schatz is an award-winning director and producer of children's shows and documentaries. Amy’s work -- a mix of storytelling, celebrity performances, music videos, animation, and heartfelt interviews with kids -- has earned eight Emmy Awards, five Directors Guild of America Awards, three Peabody Awards, Parents' Choice Awards, and others.
Sheila Nevins may not be a household name, but she is a legend in the documentary film world. She is an executive producer and former President of HBO Documentary Films – a division she’s presided over since 1979. During that time, she oversaw the development and production of over 1,500 programs for HBO, HBO2 and Cinemax.
As an executive producer or producer, she has received 33 Primetime Emmy Awards, 36 News and Documentary Emmys and 42 George Foster Peabody Awards. During her tenure, HBO’s critically acclaimed documentaries have gone on to win 26 Academy Awards for films, including: A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness; Citizenfour (2015); Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 (2015); Saving Face (2012); Strangers No More (2011); Music By Prudence (2010); Smile Pinki (2009); The Blood of Yingzhou District (2007); Born Into Brothels (2005); Chernobyl Heart (2004); Murder on a Sunday Morning (2002); King Gimp (2000); One Survivor Remembers (1996); I Am a Promise (1994); Educating Peter (1993); and You Don’t Have To Die (1989).
Sheila got her initial job as head of the cable network’s documentary division because, as she explains it in a recent Hollywood Reporter article, “No one else would do it. No man in his right mind would’ve worked for my starting salary.” What made her tenure as the Dominatrix of Docs (as she is fondly known) so unique and changed the way people looked at documentaries, was her belief in the power of one person’s story. According to Sheila, “Docs used to be about politics or history…it didn’t mean the woman next door who had cancer and three children. It was about politics, not human things…The purpose of documentaries at their highest form is to really champion the people that don’t have it…that don’t have the access. And that somehow by giving them access, you’ve made them visible, valuable and you’ve created empathy. Which is probably the greatest human emotion, next to love.”
Sheila’s driving mission was to seek out and find “the sorry and the pain of anyone’s existence.” She also looked for stories that reflected society’s zeitgeist, which meant the films she financed and produced were not only vividly emotional, but also highly relevant and topical. As Maureen Dowd at the The New York Times wrote in her 2017 profile, “…the profane, glamorous and gloriously inappropriate Sheila Nevins has a storytelling style that grabs viewers by the throat.”
Having stepped back from her role as President and Executive Producer at HBO in Spring 2018, she is, as she puts it, “too energetic and ambitious to retire.” She has taken several HBO projects with her to finish at home, and has also found the time to write a New York Times best seller, You Don’t Look Your Age … and Other Fairy Tales.
Sheila is a member of the Writers Guild of America, the Producers Guild of America and The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. She holds a BA from Barnard College and an MFA from Yale University School of Drama in Directing.
Marc Levin, an award-winning filmmaker whose work Sheila has championed, will interview Sheila. Marc tells powerful, real stories in a unique, authentic style. He has won three Emmys, four duPont-Columbia awards, the Peabody Award, the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, among others.