Documentary film producer Sheila Nevins imbues her films with a theatrical style that has garnered acclaim among audiences and critics alike. Producing documentaries that unfold dramatically, Sheila Nevins, former President of HBO Documentary Films, counts theater among her influences. Emphasizing character-driven films featuring real people telling their stories, Nevins’ unique style has won her and her associates awards throughout her career. Sheila Nevins’ productions have secured 47 Emmys, 21 Oscars, 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, including Spike Lee’s Hurricane Katrina. Other well-known productions Sheila Nevins has supervised include If God is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise, For Neda, Baghdad ER, Section 60 Arlington and To Die in Jerusalem.
Before her prolific career as an executive producer with HBO, Sheila Nevins of New York City graduated from Barnard College with a Bachelor’s degree in English and earned a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University School of Drama. Nevins started her filmmaking career with the United States Information Agency, a foreign affairs agency that promoted U.S. interests overseas. Sheila Nevins also produced pieces for ABC and CBS television and worked as a writer for Time–Life Films before she joined HBO in 1979.
Sheila Nevins’ documentaries have spanned a variety of topics. Nevins has produced films about homeless children, political figures such as Ronald Reagan and Robert F. Kennedy, salsa dancing, Alzheimer’s disease, Tourette syndrome, AIDS, drug addiction, war, showgirls, prostitutes, crime, and many others. For her outstanding work, Sheila Nevins won the Governors Award during the 2009 Creative Arts Emmy Awards gala. In 2000, she was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.