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MTV hires HBO alum Sheila Nevins to lead new documentary division

MTV hires HBO alum Sheila Nevins to lead new documentary division
Sheila Nevins [Photo: Rob Kim/Getty Images for HBO]

Storied HBO producer Sheila Nevins is heading to Viacom to launch MTV Documentary Films, a new division under MTV Studios that “will embrace a new generation of filmmakers exploring the social, political and cultural trends and stories important to young people,” according to a press release.

Nevis is tasked with building a programming slate not only for MTV’s platforms, but for third-party streaming services as well.

“Throughout her stellar career, Sheila has elevated documentaries into one of the most compelling, culturally influentially forms of modern storytelling,” said Chris McCarthy, president of MTV, in a statement. “As we grow and expand MTV, we’re excited for Sheila to bring a new generation of filmmakers to the forefront and continue to extend our creativity and cultural impact.”

Nevis, who left HBO in 2018, has been a pioneer of bringing documentary films to the mainstream in a meaningful way with projects including Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Citizenfour, and When the Levees Broke. Over the course of her 38-year-career at HBO, her films have won 28 Academy Awards, 44 Peabody Awards, and 34 individual Primetime Emmy Awards.

“MTV has always been at the forefront of youth culture, and the generation that is growing up now will change the world in ways we can’t even imagine,” said Nevins. “I’m excited to join MTV with electrifying stories that explore the crises and commitments that young people face every day.”

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