Peabody award winners include HBO, PBS and ESPN

The Peabody Award winners were announced recently, with a record 39 recipients being named as the best in electronic media, including PBS' American Masters: LennoNYC (pictured).
April 1, 2011

The Peabody Award winners were announced Thursday, with a record 39 recipients being named as the best in electronic media.

“For 70 years the Peabody Award has defined excellence in electronic media,” said Horace Newcomb, director of the Peabody Awards. “We challenge media makers and distributors to reach higher, try harder and be ever mindful of their central role in public life.”

The non-fiction winners, with descriptions from the Peabody Awards, include:

LennoNYC (PBS) (pictured)
THIRTEEN’S American Masters, Two Lefts Don’t Make a Right, Dakota Group
A portrait of John Lennon’s life and work, after he chose to make New York his home, it’s beautifully composed and lovingly rendered but not blind to his imperfections.

Burma VJ (HBO)
Magic Hour Films in co-production with WG Film, Mediamente, Kamoli Films, The Danish Film Institute and DR TV in association with HBO Documentary Films
The documentary chronicles the heroic ingenuity of underground video  journalists (VJs) who captured the 2007 Burmese human-rights protests – and the brutal government retaliation – on handy cams and smuggled the video out to the web and the world.

Independent Lens – Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian (PBS)
Rezolution Pictures, National Film Board of Canada, CBS News Network, ARTE Germany, Documentary Channel Canada, Radio Canada, ARTV, Knowledge Network, APTN, AVRO, Independent Television Service (ITVS)
A Cree filmmaker takes an affectionate but nonetheless pointed look at how movies have portrayed and misrepresented Native Americans over many decades.

Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals (HBO)
HBO Sports
Not your average sports biography by a long jump shot, it examines the different cultures from whence these NBA legends sprang, their unusually long rivalry and their unlikely friendship.

Wonders of the Solar System with Brian Cox (Science Channel)
Science Channel, BBC
In this amazing, simulated travelogue, the boyish physicist flies us to the moon and lets us play among the stars. And gawk.

My Lai (PBS)
American Experience
The worst atrocity in American military history is given new meaning and significance in the documentary enriched by fresh interviews and never-before-heard audio made by the original Pentagon investigators.

For Neda (HBO)
Mentorn in association with Antony Thomas Productions for HBO Documentary Films
A powerful portrait of Neda Agha-Soltan, martyr, and the larger Iranian struggle for freedom, this documentary was filmed on the sly and at great risk in Tehran.

12th & Delaware (HBO)
A Loki Films Production for HBO Documentary Films
A street corner in Ft. Pierce, Florida, where an abortion clinic and a pro-life center face each other, embodies the ongoing clash over reproductive rights in this thoughtful, fair documentary.

Elia Kazan: A Letter to Elia (PBS)
Sikelia Productions, Far Hills Pictures in association with America Masters
Director Martin Scorcese reflects on the nature of art’s influence on artists and how the brilliant but controversial Kazan continues to inspire him.

If God Is Willing and da Creek Don’t Rise (HBO)
40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks for HBO Documentary Films
Spike Lee’s team checks up on New Orleans five years after Katrina hit and the levees broke and documents the city’s successes and failures in a video patchwork by turns beautiful, depressing and optimistic.

Zimbabwe’s Forgotten Children (BBC Four)
True Vision
Filming undercover with great ingenuity and courage, Xoliswa Sithole and Jezza Newman documented the horrible conditions, especially for the young, in Zimbabwe.

30 for 30 (ESPN)
Commissioned for the sports channel’s 30th anniversary, these 30 diverse documentaries about sports in America, well, they shoot, they score.

POV: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (PBS)
American Documentary, POV, ITVS
A fascinating true-life political thriller, Ellsberg’s remembrance of his historic actions is made even more compelling by the inventive presentation.

The Wounded Platoon (PBS)
FRONTLINE, Mongoose Pictures
The documentary is a dark, troubling tale of a military health system overwhelmed by psychiatric casualties and of one platoon’s post-traumatic nightmare.

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news reporter at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joins the rs team with journalism experience following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.