Peabody Awards: 'Going Clear,' 'The Jinx' Among Documentary Winners

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst - H 2014
Courtesy of HBO

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst - H 2014

Nine winners were unveiled Tuesday in the doc and education categories, with HBO nabbing four mentions.

HBO landed four wins in the Peabody Awards' documentary and education programs categories, announced Tuesday.

The nine winners unveiled as part of the final group of Peabody 30 honorees include Alex Gibney's Oscar-snubbed documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Andrew Jarecki's Emmy-winning The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst, How to Dance in Ohio and Night Will Fall, all of which aired on HBO.

PBS landed three wins, for Independent Lens: India’s Daughter, ISIS in Afghanistan (with WGBH) and POV: Don't Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie). Showtime won for Listen to Me Marlon. And Netflix's Oscar-nominated doc What Happened, Miss Simone? rounded out the list of winners.

This marks the first year for the Peabody 30 format, where the 30 winners are chosen from a total of 60 finalists announced earlier this month.

The documentary and education winners are: 

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief (HBO)
Jigsaw Productions, HBO Documentary Films and Sky Atlantic
More than an exposé, more like a demolition, Alex Gibney’s film about the history and hardball tactics of the Church of Scientology draws its persuasive power from letters and documents contradicting the fabrications of its late founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and from blistering testimonials by prominent ex-church officials and former members about abuse and corruption. 

How to Dance in Ohio (HBO)
HBO Documentary Films, Gidalya Pictures and Blumhouse
Filmmaker Alexandra Shiva focuses on three young women in Columbus, Ohio, who are living with autism and facing the daunting prospect of their first spring formal. The power and beauty of this closely observed, intimate documentary is that it doesn’t patronize its subjects or its viewer with easy sentimentality.

Independent Lens: India’s Daughter (PBS)
Assassin Films, BBC Storyville, UK-INDIA, and Tathagat Films in association with Gamini Plyatissa Foundation, Vital Voices Global Partnership, DR, Plus Pictures Aps, CBC News Network, SVT, IKON, RTS, SRF and RAI
The internationally infamous 2012 gang rape and murder of Jyoti Singh, a 23-year-old medical student, in Delhi is the impetus for this unflinching, deeply unflattering examination of the misogyny embedded in Indian society.

ISIS in Afghanistan (PBS/WGBH)
Making the most of a difficult, dangerous assignment, Afghani journalist Najibullah Quraishi and his producing team got deep into ISIS-held territory to document its growing power and appeal in Afghanistan, its conflict with the Taliban and, most unnerving, its indoctrination and weapons training of children as young as 5.

Listen to Me Marlon (Showtime)
Showtime Documentary Films Presents, A Passions Pictures Production, Cutler Productions
Thanks to an imaginative director, a collection of audio tapes that Marlon Brando recorded over the years and a voice-synched, holograph-like image of the late, great “method” actor, we get to hear Brando share deeply personal thoughts about how he became the man and artist he was. It’s strange and wonderful, like a CGI resurrection.

Night Will Fall (HBO)
Spring Films, Angel TV, and Ratpac Documentary Films in association with HBO Documentary Films
Night Will Falldeftly weaves two stories into one documentary tale – one about the atrocities of the Nazi concentration camps, the other about the changing policies of postwar reconstruction that pulled atrocity images in and out of public view. The film artfully shows us an obscure moment in Holocaust history that attests to the enduring power of visual documentation.

POV: Don’t Tell Anyone (No Le Digas a Nadie) (PBS)
A co-production of Portret Films, American Documentary | POV And Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) with major funding provided by The Corporation For Public Broadcasting (CPB)
An activist on behalf of young, undocumented immigrants like herself, 24-year-old Angy Rivera, a New York City resident since she was 4, is the eloquent focus of this documentary. What makes it even more memorable is how filmmaker Mikaela Shwer uses Rivera’s story to illuminate the plight of untold numbers of immigrants living in secrecy and fear.

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (HBO)
Hit the Ground Running
Andrew Jarecki’s seductive true-crime documentary takes viewers through a dark looking glass, down a rabbit hole and into the mind of Robert Durst, a real-estate tycoon’s heir and an elusive suspect in three murders, who tells a self-serving tale but then, stunningly, offhandedly and on-microphone, confesses.

What Happened, Miss Simone? (Netflix)
A Radical Media Production in association with Moxie Firecracker for Netflix
Tracing Nina Simone’s rise from classical piano prodigy to jazz/pop star, civil rights activist and expatriate, while showcasing her brilliance without dodging her mental-health problems and explosive personal life, this finely-crafted documentary is both a celebration and a compassionate post-mortem.

Ten news, radio, podcast and web winners were announced April 19, while 11 winners in the entertainment and children's categories were unveiled April 22.

The 75th Peabody Awards, based at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, will be handed out May 21 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York.

Also as previously announced, David Letterman, documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson and The Daily Show With Jon Stewart also will be honored at the ceremony. Letterman and Nelson will be recognized for their contributions to electronic media, while The Daily Show With Jon Stewart will receive an institutional Peabody.

The ceremony, hosted by Peabody winner Keegan-Michael Key, will air June 6 at 8 p.m. as a 90-minute special on Pivot.