For Neda (HBO)
Neda Agha-Soltan, 26, became the face of the struggle for freedom in Iran after she was shot in the heart by a sniper at a protest march in June 2009. Bystanders’ cell-phone video of her lying in the street, wide-eyed as life bled from her, was seen by millions around the world. For Neda wants her to be remembered for her life as well as her death, and it succeeds. The documentary by Antony Thomas, who interviewed experts and exiles outside Iran, incorporates the work of Saeed Kamali Dehghan, who cleverly disguised his intentions and his camera to conduct forbidden interviews in Tehran with Neda’s family and others who knew her well. What emerges is not just an inspiring biography of a woman who very much deserves her iconic status — she read “subversive” books like Wuthering Heights, refused to cover her head and spoke out against her country’s sexism — but also a larger portrait of Iranian society, particularly its women, since her murder. For honoring the life as well as the death of a woman who has become a new revolutionary symbol in Iran, For Neda receives a Peabody Award.
Executive producers: Sheila Nevins (for HBO), Neil Grant (for Mentorn). Producers: Antony Thomas, Nancy Abraham (Senior Producer for HBO). Co-producer: Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Director: Antony Thomas. Writer: Antony Thomas. Narrator: Shohreh Aghdashloo. Director of photography: Jonathan Partridge. Film editor: McDonald Brown.