Shari Frilot Wins 1st Annual Visionary Award
The Peabody Awards Board of Jurors today announced the 42 nominees for the following categories: Entertainment, Arts, Children’s/Youth, Podcast/Radio, Interactive & Immersive, and Public Service. The nominees represent the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting and streaming media during 2022. The nominees were chosen by a unanimous vote of 17 jurors from over 1,200 entries from television, podcasts/radio and the web/digital in entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s/youth, public service and interactive programming.
Shari Frilot has also been named the winner of the first annual Visionary Award. The award honors an individual whose groundbreaking body of work has shaped the forms, the creators, and the field of boundary-pushing interactive storytelling. Frilot is the Senior Programmer of the Sundance Film Festival & Chief Curator of New Frontier at Sundance. At Sundance, she established the Sundance Online Film Festival in 2001, and introduced cinematic installations and performances to the festival’s Frontier section, before founding the New Frontier. She also co-founded the first gay Latin American film festivals, MIX BRASIL and MIX MÉXICO, as well as introduced interactive digital art installation & immersive performance to the festival.
The winners of the 83rd annual Peabody Awards will be announced on May 9 and then celebrated on Sunday, June 11 at a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles. This will be Peabody’s first in-person ceremony since 2019, as well as the first time ever in its 83-year history that the awards ceremony will take place in Los Angeles.
“From hilarious and heartfelt comedies to interactive and immersive stories that leverage technology to create gripping narratives, Peabody is dedicated to recognizing compelling stories across the media landscape,” said Jeffrey Jones, executive director of Peabody. “We’re thrilled to nominate each of these remarkable pieces of media and to honor the forward-thinking Shari Frilot with our inaugural Visionary Award.”
The nominees for the 83rd annual Peabody’s encompass a wide range of pressing issues 2022 was a particularly important year for News (nominees announced on April 11) and Entertainment with 14 nominations and 17 nominations respectively in those two categories.
“After another groundbreaking year of storytelling, we are proud to honor some of the many compelling pieces of media that led us forward,” added Jones. “A reflection of the effort and talent of their creators, the nominees entertained, informed, and inspired, all demonstrating the immense power of a great story.”
Of the 69 total nominations, PBS produced the most with 13, followed by HBO Max (6), Apple TV+ (4), Disney+ and FX (3 each), and ABC, Channel 4, Netflix, and VICE (2 each).
The nominees for the Documentary and News categories were previously announced on April 11.
Today’s Peabody Award nominees, listed by category and in alphabetical order (network/platform in parentheses) are:
A group of passionate Philadelphia public school teachers battle budget restrictions, a rival charter school, and their own (mostly) incompetent principal, forging friendships and an occasional love match in this sweet mockumentary sitcom from creator and star Quinta Brunson.
Delicious Non-Sequitur Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and 20th Television, a part of Disney Television Studios (ABC)
The Star Wars franchise gets a new perspective, focusing on thief-turned-Rebel spy Cassian Andor’s journey to discover the difference he can make. Taking place during a time before the first Star Wars film when a Rebel Alliance is forming in opposition to the fascist Galactic Empire, the series explores themes of Fascism and how resistance movements emerge from the strangling weight of authoritarian repression.
Lucasfilm Ltd. (Disney+)
Creator-star Donald Glover finishes his four-season masterpiece about a group of friends that includes rapper Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles and his manager cousin, “Earn” Marks, along with their friends Darius and Van. The final two seasons are particularly inventive as the characters find themselves in new situations and consider their relationships to each other and their hometown.
FX Productions (FX)
A delicious blend of dark comedy and thriller from creators Sharon Horgan, Brett Baer, and Dave Finkel, Bad Sisters follows the lives of the Garvey sisters, who are bound together by the premature death of their parents and a promise to always protect each other.
Merman / ABC Signature in association with Apple (Apple TV+)
“Better Call Saul”
This Breaking Bad prequel is much more than the sum of its parts, and that’s evident in its capstone season, which concludes the complicated journey and transformation of its compromised hero, Jimmy McGill, played perfectly by Bob Odenkirk, into criminal lawyer Saul Goodman.
High Bridge, Crystal Diner, Gran Via Productions and Sony Pictures Television (AMC)
This long-running, witty animated series is gentle and full of heart. Over its thirteen years on the air, Bob’s Burgers has quietly depicted a truly progressive vision of a working class family, giving us both realistic and aspirational portraits of parenting life, teenage life, and queer life, as well as lessons of acceptance and resiliency.
20th Television (FOX)
Created by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, and Rhys Thomas, Documentary Now! offers some comic relief in our documentary-saturated times, parodying the form with insightful sendups of Grizzly Man, The September Issue, My Octopus Teacher, and more, with every episode hosted by none other than Helen Mirren.
Broadway Video (IFC)
Eccentric friends turn their passion for horror into a peculiar business—scaring people for a fee— in this bilingual series that weaves together elements of magical realism and the absurd to create a comedy like no other.
HBO in association with Broadway Video, Antigravico and Mas Mejor (HBO Max)
The title character toggles among two cultures, three languages, and a pending asylum request while hustling to support his Palestinian family in Houston, Texas, in this dramedy co-created by star Mo Amer, based on his own life, and Ramy Youssef.
“Our Flag Means Death”
This is, indeed, a historical queer pirate rom-com. The series follows Stede Bonnet, a Barbadian aristocrat played by Rhys Darby, as he leaves his life behind to become a pirate, leads a crew, and falls in love with the notorious Blackbeard (Taika Waititi).
HBO Max in association with Waititi, Human Animals and DIVE (HBO Max)
A sweeping American drama series based on Min Jin Lee’s 2017 novel, Pachinko starts with an intimate story about forbidden love but widens out to include epic journeys among America, Japan, and Korea, encompassing no less than war and peace, love and loss, and triumph and reckoning.
Media Res / Blue Marble Pictures in association with Apple (Apple TV+)
The Reservation Dogs teens continue to pursue their California dreams while struggling to mend their relationships with each other and facing down more grown-up problems, from dying loved ones to making a living, in the masterful second season of TV’s first all-Indigenous series.
FX Productions (FX)
This bold, topical sci-fi thriller series stars Adam Scott as Mark Scout, an employee at Lumon Industries, where employees have undergone a “severance” procedure that surgically divides their memories between their work and personal lives. But he soon discovers a darker conspiracy behind this cutting-edge experiment.
Endeavor Content / Red Hour Productions in association with Apple (Apple TV+)
Bridget Everett created and stars in this quiet gem of a dramedy, which follows her character Sam through small-town Kansas life as she grieves her sister’s death and works a soul-deadening job, but also finds salvation in a new friendship with a fellow outcast, in the music they make together and in the community they find.
HBO in association with Duplass Brothers Productions and Mighty Mint (HBO Max)
This poignant comedy about nonbinary millennial Sabi, created by and starring Bilal Baig, turns in a second season that deepens relationships, widens Sabi’s world, and continues to deftly balance humor and pathos.
HBO Max in association with Sphere Media and CBC (HBO Max)
From The Americans producer Joel Fields and creator Joe Weisberg comes this psychological thriller about a therapist (Steve Carell) held prisoner by his patient (Domhnall Gleeson), who reveals himself as a serial killer with a sincere desire to get better. Taut writing highlights the tense relationship between the two as themes of mental illness, personal responsibility, and religious morality are explored.
FX Productions (FX)
In this uplifting and timely reality series, three drag queens spread love and connection across small-town America through the art of drag, putting on shows with local drag enthusiasts, queer people, and allies, and changing lives along the way.
HBO in association with House of Opus 20 and IPC (HBO Max)
“Fire of Love”
Miranda July narrates this dramatic documentary about the doomed relationship between obsessive French scientists Katia and Maurice Krafft and their shared passion for capturing spectacular imagery of stunning—and deadly—volcanoes.
National Geographic Documentary Films presents A Sandbox Films Production / An Intuitive Pictures & Cottage M Production (Disney+)
CHILDREN’S & YOUTH
El Deafo uses unique sound design to take viewers inside the experience of a young girl named Cece (voiced by Lexi Finigan, who is also deaf) as she loses her hearing and finds her inner superhero in this animated series based on the graphic novel by Cece Bell.
Lighthouse Studios in association with Apple TV+ (Apple TV+)
“N*Gen: Next Generation Television”
Africa’s first science TV show for kids was filmed across Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa, and Uganda with the goals of promoting girls and women in STEM, increasing trust in science, boosting knowledge about climate and health, and giving people critical thinking tools to fight misinformation.
Peripheral Vision International (Discovery Education, syndicated to 40+ platforms and broadcasters around the world, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa)
Afghans themselves tell the story of the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul in August of 2021 in this eight-part series. Released one year after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the podcast documents the shockwaves that reverberated throughout the country as thousands of Afghans were forced to leave their lives behind for a hellish journey to survive.
Project Brazen and PRX (PRX)
“Nine days in a Michigan abortion clinic, as election looms”
As Michigan voters were about to decide whether to codify abortion and broad reproductive rights in the state constitution, Michigan Radio illuminated what was at stake. With a rare degree of access to the Northland Family Planning clinic, reporter Kate Wells guided listeners through every step of the abortion process and its emotional complexity.
Michigan Radio (Michigan Radio)
“Sold a Story: How Teaching Kids to Read Went So Wrong”
Host Emily Hanford investigates a widespread method of teaching kids to read that was proven ineffective by scientists decades ago, but continues to hold sway over schools across the country because of the influential authors who promote it and the company that sells their work.
American Public Media (APM/Public Radio)
A portrait of a community coming together after unspeakable tragedy, this 11-episode podcast chronicles Newtown, Connecticut, twenty years after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting left 20 children and 6 adults dead. From dealing with the overwhelming outpouring of stuff sent their way—letters, stuffed animals, donated clothing—to building a permanent memorial, Still Newtown shows us what happens, in touching everyday detail, after the news trucks go home.
WSHU Public Radio (WSHU Public Radio)
“Stolen: Surviving St. Michael’s”
Investigative journalist Connie Walker delves into her own family history and uncovers the trauma passed down through generations as part of one of Canada’s darkest chapters, the residential school system for indigenous children, showing the ways that personal secrets and national shame reinforce one another.
Spotify & Gimlet Media (Spotify)
“Stories of the Stalked”
Artist, filmmaker, and dancer Lily Baldwin hosts this six-part podcast in which she takes a true-crime approach to her own experience with being stalked, showing the terror of being relentlessly pursued by someone who claims to love you, the difficulty of reporting it to police, and the uncertainty of knowing when the ordeal is really over.
Audible and Ventureland (Audible)
“The Divided Dial”
On the Media presents this thorough five-part series about how one side of the political spectrum came to dominate talk radio, and how one company, Salem Media Group, is launching a right-wing media empire.
On the Media/New York Public Radio (New York Public Radio)
“The Wealth Vortex”
The second season of the podcast The Heist, “The Wealth Vortex” follows entrepreneur ReShonda Young’s efforts to address America’s longstanding racial wealth gap by opening the first Black-owned bank in the country in 20 years—and the many obstacles she faces along the way.
Center for Public Integrity and Transmitter Media (publicintegrity.org)
“This American Life: The Pink House at the Center of the World”
On the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, public radio’s seminal storytelling program had exclusive access inside the clinic at the center of the legal case, Mississippi’s last abortion clinic, showing what happened as patients and staff received the news.
This American Life (This American Life)
INTERACTIVE & IMMERSIVE
Through her YouTube channel, ContraPoints, Natalie Wynn defies the reductive quality that rules most of the internet, developing a following of more than 1 million subscribers by producing long, beautifully produced video essays that dissect trending topics and social phenomena. From “Canceling” to “Cringe,” “Incels” to J.K. Rowling, Wynn explores all sides of an argument, treating different perspectives with equal parts seriousness and shade.
Natalie Wynn (YouTube)
“Coronavirus in the Classroom”
As schools weighed how to reopen safely during the pandemic, The New York Times worked with engineering experts to visualize the flow of air inside a New York City classroom, designing an augmented reality experience to show how improved ventilation could help reduce exposure to coronavirus.
The New York Times (The New York Times)
“Life is Strange: True Colors”
“Life Is Strange: True Colors” is a game that follows a 21-year-old, bisexual Asian-American woman, Alex Chen, who has spent the last eight years in foster care and is investigating her brother’s death. Largely about grief and trauma, the game is also joyful, affirming the true importance of empathy through Alex’s supernatural ability to sense and manipulate others’ emotions.
Deck Nine Games & Square Enix External Studios (PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Stadia)
“Lucy and the Wolves in the Walls”
Through the endearing and earnest narrative of Lucy and her quest to find the source of mysterious happenings in her house, this wonderful interactive VR fable based on the book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean, which continues in Lucy’s extended life across platforms, invites us along to explore the fine line between imagination and reality and reminds us of that liminal space of possibility that we occupy as children.
Fable Studio, Third Rail Projects, Sound+Design, Story Studio & Experiences (Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest)
This interactive novella designed for mobile uses thousands of tiny videos to tell the thousand-year tale of a kindhearted spirit named September, resulting in an experience that’s part ghost story, part scavenger hunt.
National Film Board of Canada, AATOAA (For Mobile devices, www.motto.io)
China’s systemic detention of Uyghurs and other minorities is well-documented, but there exists no photographic evidence from inside the camps, which limits journalistic coverage. This New Yorker VR project combines the testimony of three brave survivors, hand-drawn illustration, and immersive video technology, showing the conditions inside prison cells, classrooms, torture rooms, and a makeshift operating room, and illuminating the atrocities of harrowing life.
The New Yorker (Oculus, Mobile, Desktop)
“The Uncensored Library”
Meticulous and artistically-rendered, this Minecraft build serves as a monument to press freedom and an innovative back door for censored content. Because Minecraft is often freely accessible in countries where other media is blocked, more than 20 million gamers in 165 countries have been able to access information about threats to press freedom in their own countries as well as censored articles from independent journalists from oppressive countries such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Mexico, Egypt, and Vietnam.
Media.Monks, Reporters without Borders, DDB Germany (Minecraft)
Drawing on more than two years of reporting, thousands of documents, and dozens of first-hand interviews, this FRONTLINE multiplatform investigation of lives cut short examines a federal effort to grapple with America’s legacy of racist killings through the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act.
FRONTLINE (PBS) with Ado Ato Pictures and StoryCorps (www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/unresolved/)
This zen puzzle game transforms the mundane experience of unpacking items out of boxes after a move into an extraordinary storytelling device, allowing the player to get to know the main character at an intensely intimate and personal level without ever seeing her over 21 years of her life and eight different moves.
Witch Beam Games & Humble Games (For Desktop devices, Steam)
“FRONTLINE: American Reckoning”
A powerful and compelling examination of America’s ongoing struggle with systemic racism and social injustice through the lens of an unsolved 1960s murder reveals an untold chapter in the Civil Rights Movement. With rarely seen footage from more than 50 years ago, the program illuminates the urgent need for meaningful change and reckoning with our nation’s past while highlighting one family’s search for justice.
FRONTLINE (PBS) with Retro Report (PBS)
“FRONTLINE: Putin’s Attack on Ukraine: Documenting War Crimes”
Exclusive and harrowing evidence of war crimes committed by Russian soldiers in Ukraine’s Kyiv suburbs, unearthed by FRONTLINE and The Associated Press, can be traced up the chain of command to one of Russia’s top generals—and might help build a case against Russian President Vladimir Putin in court.
FRONTLINE (PBS) with The Associated Press (PBS)
“FRONTLINE: The Power of Big Oil”
The fossil fuel industry has sowed doubt about climate change in America and stalled climate policy, even as scientific evidence grows more certain, all as part of a concerted effort, as documented by this three-part series.
FRONTLINE (PBS) (PBS)
“Rising Against Asian Hate: One Day in March”
This hour-long documentary reveals how, in the aftermath of the 2021 spa killings of 6 women of Asian descent, the Asian American community in Atlanta came together to fight back and to contend with a racial reckoning in the courts, in the voting booth, and in the streets.
Repartee Films, LLC, PBS, CAAM (PBS/ WNET)