HBO's SHEILA NEVINS on documentary filmmaking and leaning back in the biz

As President of HBO’s Documentary Films, Sheila Nevins has received more Emmy awards than anyone ever, across genres in entertainment. Her talent, insatiable appetite for work, and chutzpah proved instrumental in making HBO a mecca for innovative, non-fiction storytelling.

Funny, smart and captivating, Nevins started out acting. After a stint at USIA, Nevins worked in production at CBS and Children’s Television Workshop. But when asked if she knew someone for a gig at a fledging cable channel, Nevins recommended herself. In 1979, she started working for HBO. Since then, it's remained renowned for producing original, provocative programming.

In our interview, which was taped live at Joe's Pub, we spoke about her acting stint; what sorts of films HBO green lights, and whether it’s better as a woman to Lean In or Lean Back.