President of HBO Documentary Films Sheila Nevins was moved to commission a #BlackLivesMatter documentary after hearing this year’s #OscarsSoWhite nominations.
The 31-time Primetime Emmy Award winner has had movies at Sundance featuring controversial topics from ISIS to animal rights, and she is no stranger to taking on projects that get people asking questions.
That’s why, on the morning the Oscars nominations were announced, Nevins knew she wanted to do a new documentary, this time focusing on the Black Lives Matter movement.
“When was the last time you read something and called a filmmaker and commissioned a film?” Nevins was asked during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
The morning of the Oscar nominations. I noticed that all the [documentary] films that were up there, there was almost nothing about America, and my heart broke because I realized that documentary filmmakers are not looking in their own backyard. And if they are, they’re not being recognized for it. The fact that there was no documentary about Black Lives Matter at a time when this is such a critical American issue … was unbelievable. I said to my colleague here, ‘Call [a director she declined to name in case a deal doesn’t transpire]. See how much it would cost to do a big documentary about what’s been happening in this country.’ You have to do it.
Check out Nevins’ entire interview with THR here.