Magazine article Screen International

HBO Doc Chief Sheila Nevins Reveals Subjects She Wants to Explore

Magazine article Screen International

HBO Doc Chief Sheila Nevins Reveals Subjects She Wants to Explore

Article excerpt

HBO documentary chief Sheila Nevins has revealed that she is looking for films that cover the impact of social media on society, male brutality towards women and the status of black art - while warning producers there are no trends in factual filmmaking.

Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films, offered a glimpse of the subjects she was keen to explore ahead of this year's Sheffield Doc/Fest.

But she refuted the suggestion that real crime was enjoying a renaissance, despite the recent critical success of HBO's true crime series The Jinx, along with Netflix's Making A Murderer and Fox's The People vs OJ Simpson.

"It doesn't have to be crime. It can be the rate of suicides in this country, it can be the suppression of women," Nevins said.

"I don't think I understand male brutality to women. Is it a certain kind of man, is it a failure in American society? Is it tribal in some way? Is it Darwinian? I can't quite get my arms around it."

Nevins added that relevant stories about society's biggest issues are being "whispered" about on social media by individuals who are likely to be unaware of their merit.

"There's the young girl who convinced a young man to commit suicide on social media. You could not have had that story 25 years ago," she said.

"There is a kind of braggadocio that goes with social media and violence that is very new and very interesting to me. I wouldn't say its crime per se, I don't know what it is. It's sort of like the evil in man has so many outlets now".

Nevins dubbed The Jinx, the six-part series that follows American real estate heir Robert Durst, who is accused of committing a number of crimes, "a needle in the crime haystack". …

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