Beasts of No Nation

Digital originals among Peabody 30

This year's winners' list embraced four digital projects, including Netflix's Beasts of No Nation and the Aziz Ansari comedy Master of None.
April 26, 2016

SVOD originals have proven once again they can mingle with the best of their linear counterparts

after several digital projects landed among the Peabody Awards’ select list of 11 film, television and children’s programming 2016 inductees.

Netflix’s first original film, Beasts of No Nation from director Cary Fukunaga was among those honored. A statement from the Peabody board of jurors hailed Beasts as “a superbly acted, strikingly photographed film… it never loses sight of (the characters’) humanity, brutal acts notwithstanding.”

Although it was lauded by critics, the film has had a mostly disappointing award season up until this point, failing to pick up any hardware at either the Golden Globes or Academy Awards. Beasts has won a handful of awards from smaller, independent critics’ organizations and at various film festivals, and was also awarded a Screen Actors Guild award for Idris Elba’s performance in the lead role and two Independent Spirit Awards for both Elba and fellow actor Abraham Attah’s performances.

Upon its release in September 2015, the film drew protests from several major cinema chains in the U.S. due to its simultaneous release on both SVOD and in theaters – a strategy employed by Netflix in part to ensure the movie qualified for the major industry awards.

Other SVOD originals given the Peabody nod include two Netflix originals, Master of None starring Aziz Ansari and Marvel’s Jessica Jones starring Krysten Ritter. Amazon’s Transparent was also included among this year’s winners, adding to the series’ streak of major awards and nomination, including numerous Emmys, Golden Globes, SAG and PGA awards.

The Peabody Awards were first established in 1948 to recognize the best programming in radio broadcasting. The awards have since expanded to recognize those in scripted and unscripted television, podcasting and film.

The first round of Peabody inductees, which included web, news, radio/podcast and public service winners, was announced April 19. Among those winners was the National Film Board of Canada’s online interactive doc Do Not Track.

Documentary and education winners will be announced April 26 on the Peabody Awards Facebook page. The ceremony celebrating all 30 inductees will be held May 31 in New York City.

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