One of HBO’s biggest reasons for their continued success is based, in large, by the type of executives that have shaped their growing legacy.
In the documentary division one of their greatest assets is Sheila Nevins, President of HBO Documentary Films. Her unique style has won her and her associates Emmys (45+), Oscars (21+), and 31 Peabody Awards along with A Personal Peabody Award for Excellence in Broadcasting.
During more than three decades with HBO, Sheila Nevins has produced almost 500 documentaries and counting.
This year, HBO took home two more ACADEMY AWARDS® under the Documentary Film section with CITIZENFOUR in the category of Best Documentary Feature and HBO Documentary Films presentation CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1 under the Documentary Short Subject category.
CITIZENFOUR is a real-life international thriller that unfolds by the minute, following director Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald’s remarkable encounters with Edward Snowden in a Hong Kong hotel room as he hands over classified documents that provide evidence of mass indiscriminate and illegal invasions of privacy by the National Security Agency (NSA). Directed by Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky.
CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1 spotlights the traumas endured by America’s veterans, as seen through the work of the VA’s Veterans Crisis Line trained responders as they provide immediate intervention and support in hopes of saving the lives of service members who are struggling or contemplating suicide.
It was presented in association with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; directed by Ellen Goosenberg Kent; produced by Dana Perry; edited by Geof Bartz, A.C.E.; supervising producer, Jacqueline Glover; and executive produced by Sheila Nevins.
While covering the 2015 Academy Award this is what Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry had this to share after winning under the Documentary Short Subject for "CRISIS HOTLINE: VETERANS PRESS 1."
myNewYorkeye: What does this mean to you in terms of exposure and your very important subject that you're dealing with in your documentary and making what matters of success of AMERICAN SNIPER as well?
Ellen Goosenberg Kent: You know, when this film was made a couple of years ago, and this topic is as important today if not more than it was then. So we are really hoping that people will be able to see this all over the world. We're sure that HBO will make an effort to put it out there in every way possible on DVD, and, you know, we just we'll take it around. We'll take it anywhere that people want to hear about how to help veterans.
myNewYorkeye: Can you talk a little bit about why ‑‑ what ‑‑ what was going through your head when you made it and the effect it's had on the audience?
Ellen Goosenberg Kent: Both of us? Dana, you start.
Dana Perry: I have no idea what the effect on the audience was. I don't know really what I said even though I wrote something down. My main objective was to honor the responders and the staff of the Veterans Crisis Line and also the ‑‑ the souls out there who are reaching out for help and ‑‑ and that help was available. Of course, I do have a personal connection to the subject. I lost my son. He was 15 when he killed himself; and since that happened, what I said, I think I said something like, "We need to talk about suicide out loud to try to work against the stigma and silence around suicide," because the best prevention for suicide is awareness, and discussion, and not trying to sweep it under the rug. We've got a crisis with our veterans who are killing themselves. More veterans have killed themselves than have died in these wars of the last, you know, decade or so. So, again, I have no idea what we said, but I hope that the message was received. Thank you.
myNewYorkeye: There ‑‑ there is a lot of talk on the Internet right now about Neil Patrick Harris's comments about your dress. I'm wondering if you heard the comment ‑-
Dana Perry: No.
myNewYorkeye: ‑‑ and what you thought.
Dana Perry: No. What comment?
Ellen Goosenberg Kent: About your dress?
myNewYorkeye: He said you have to have a lot of balls to wear that.
Ellen Goosenberg Kent: That's adorable.
Dana Perry: Well, that is adorable; and I invite anyone to feel my furry balls.
Ellen Goosenberg Kent: I have nothing to say to add to that.
myNewYorkeye: I was also going to ask about your dress and just where you got it and how you chose to wear it.
Dana Perry: I went shopping in my mother‑in‑law's attic. She had great style. She's not with us anymore, but she had great style in the '60s and '70s, and this is one of her excellent signature pieces. And I just love to wear it, because I can make ridiculous dirty jokes about it, and it also keeps me warm. You know, I just got the gown to sort of support the balls, you know what I mean? So I can make the jokes if I want.
Ellen Goosenberg Kent: This is a very serious film here.