Oscar-Nominated Sheila Nevins Earns First Nomination at 84 for Powerful Documentary on Book Banning

LOS ANGELES, CA – Sheila Nevins, the acclaimed documentary filmmaker, has received her first-ever Oscar nomination at the age of 84. Nevins, who has won over 30 Emmy Awards during her career, was nominated in the Documentary Short category for her directorial debut, “The ABCs of Book Banning”. The film, produced by Trish Adlesic and co-directed by Nazenet Habtezghi, explores the issue of book banning in U.S. schools and gives a voice to children who have been denied access to reading materials in their libraries. Nevins described the making of the film as a necessity and expressed her sleepless night of anticipation before the announcement of the nomination.

Joining “The ABCs of Book Banning” in the Documentary Short category are “The Barber of Little Rock”, directed by John Hoffman and Christine Turner; “Island in Between” by S. Leo Chiang; “The Last Repair Shop” by Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers; and “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó” directed by Sean Wang.

Nevins’ film sheds light on the surge of book banning and the impact it has on children. The short documentary not only addresses the issue, but also provides a platform for students to share their experiences and thoughts on being denied access to reading materials. Nevins expressed her determination to make the film, emphasizing the importance of its message.

Ben Proudfoot and Kris Bowers, the co-directors of “The Last Repair Shop”, are also celebrating their Oscar nomination. The film tells the story of the unsung heroes who repair musical instruments and ensure that children in the Los Angeles Unified School District have access to working instruments. The filmmakers expressed their excitement and gratitude for the recognition, and shared their joy in celebrating with the repair people and the young musicians featured in the film.

In addition to “The ABCs of Book Banning” and “The Last Repair Shop”, the other nominated documentaries in the category explore a range of compelling topics. “The Barber of Little Rock” delves into the history of school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas, while “Island in Between” focuses on life in the rural Taiwanese outer islands of Kinmen. “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó” tells the story of Sean Wang’s two grandmothers and the cultural divide they face.

As the filmmakers prepare for the Oscars, they are eager to bring their cast, family, and friends to the red carpet. The co-directors of “The Last Repair Shop” hope to have young violinist Porché Brinker in attendance, as she played a significant role in the film. Meanwhile, Chiang and Tsien, the filmmakers behind “Island in Between”, expressed their excitement about the film receiving attention and bringing Taiwanese stories to a larger audience.

Sheila Nevins, despite her numerous achievements in the world of documentary filmmaking, has mixed feelings about attending the Oscars. The filmmaker, who has attended about 20 previous ceremonies, explained the challenges of the red carpet and the sense of hierarchy she has felt in the past. However, she remains philosophical about the experience and recognizes that winning or losing does not depend on her physical presence at the event.

The 96th Academy Awards is set to take place on March 10, 2024, in Los Angeles. Sheila Nevins, Ben Proudfoot, Kris Bowers, and the other nominated filmmakers are eagerly awaiting the results and the opportunity to showcase their work on the world stage.