Realscreen announced that Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller, co-executive vice presidents for HBO Documentary and Family Programming, will be honored at the upcoming Realscreen Awards, taking place on January 30, 2024 in New Orleans, with an induction into its Hall of Fame.
With Abraham and Heller at the helm since 2018, HBO Documentaries has remained the premier destination for filmmakers within the documentary world and the brand continues to be in a league of its own, unique in their ability to work with creative talent and let the story, art, and craft drive each title. With a deep respect for filmmakers and creative collaborators, both renowned and emerging, Abraham and Heller’s commitment to diverse stories and storytellers means that their slate always features a unique mix of styles and subject matters.
“HBO has long been regarded as the ‘gold standard’ for documentaries on television, and the commitment of Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller to the genre over the past two-and-a-half decades has had much to do with that,” says Barry Walsh, content director and editor-in-chief for Realscreen. “It is our distinct pleasure to recognize both women’s ongoing contributions to documentary film, and the world of screen entertainment, with this well-deserved induction into our Hall of Fame.”
Both women have long histories with HBO’s renowned documentary division, with Abraham being named VP, HBO Documentary Programming in 1998, and Heller joining HBO in 2000, and moving into her VP role a year later. Over the course of their careers, they have delivered unparalleled slates of groundbreaking and genre-defining documentary features and series including such recent projects as Telemarketers, Last Call and Being Mary Tyler Moore, and myriad acclaimed and award-winning titles such as 2019’s Leaving Neverland, 2020’s McMillion$, The Apollo and I’ll be Gone in the Dark; 2021’s Allen v. Farrow and Exterminate All the Brutes; and 2022’s 100 Foot Wave and George Carlin’s American Dream. Recent and upcoming titles include aka Mr. Chow, Stand Up and Shout: Songs from a Philly High School, You Were My First Boyfriend, Albert Brooks: Defending My Life, Murder in Boston: Roots, Rampage, and Reckoning, and the newly announced six-episode documentary series The Jinx, Part 2, a continuation of the Emmy®-winning series from Andrew Jarecki. Other titles coming in 2024 include Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project and STAX: Soulsville, USA.
In addition to being inducted into the Realscreen Hall of Fame, Abraham and Heller will also take part in a keynote conversation earlier in the day on January 30 to discuss the ingredients that make for captivating HBO docs, their approach to building noteworthy slates year upon year, and their thoughts on the current challenges and opportunities facing the documentary industry.
The 2024 Realscreen Summit is taking place at the Sheraton New Orleans from January 29 - February 1.