The Peabody Awards were announced May 9, the winners “selected to represent the most compelling and empowering stories released in broadcasting, streaming, and interactive media during 2022.”
They were chosen by a unanimous vote of 32 jurors from over 1,400 entries from television, podcasts/radio and the web/digital in entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s/youth, public service and interactive programming.
The complete list is here. The winners of genre interest follow.
Fire of Love
The documentary Fire of Love centers on Katia and Maurice Krafft, French volcanologists bound by a mutual passion for the scientific study of active volcanoes. Directed by Sara Dosa, Fire of Love tells their story through the Kraffts’ own archive of images, featuring spectacular, up-close footage of volcanic eruptions taken by the couple as they relentlessly defy danger to gain proximity to ineluctable forces of nature. The result is at once an intimate portrait of an ordinary marriage and a celebration of scientific determination at its most extraordinary.
National Geographic Documentary Films presents A Sandbox Films Production / An Intuitive Pictures & Cottage M Production (Disney+)
Few other long-running franchises loom as large in today’s contemporary pop cultural imagination than Star Wars. Yet amid stories of destiny-driven heroes and doomed superpowered villains, Tony Gilroy’s Andor tackles that familiar galaxy with plenty of spectacle, but also a keen-eyed commitment to mirroring our own mundane trials and tribulations as it follows scavenger Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), who unwittingly becomes radicalized in the wake of a police state intent on crushing any and all signs of the Rebel Alliance.
Lucasfilm Ltd. (Disney+)
Primarily a Spanish-language comedy with English subtitles, this half-hour American series pays homage to Latin America’s passion for the paranormal and Hollywood’s love of horror, all inside a deadpan comedy with telenovela influences, created and written by Julio Torres, Ana Fabrega, and Fred Armisen. Cassandra Ciangherotti, Bernardo Velasco, Torres, Fabrega, and Armisen play a group of misfits who bond over their shared love of the macabre and turn their penchant for horror and gore into a start-up business
HBO in association with Broadway Video, Antigravico and Mas Mejor (HBO Max)
In this prescient Apple TV+ series, director and executive producer Ben Stiller and creator Dan Erickson, along with their brilliant cast, probe what it means to live a meaningful life if given the choice of separating our work and non-work lives. Severance details the emotional and psychological effects of the micro-practices of discipline and control that its characters endure. And yet at its most hopeful, Severance examines the desire for meaning, the emotional power of memory, the bonds of social attachment, and the urge to rebel against subjugation and control.
Fifth Season / Red Hour Productions in association with Apple (Apple TV+)
INTERACTIVE & IMMERSIVE
Through her YouTube channel, ContraPoints, Natalie Wynn defies simplicity, having developed a following of more than one million subscribers by producing long video essays that dissect trending topics and social phenomena, from “Canceling” to “Cringe,” “Incels” to “JK Rowling.” Using history, theory, pop culture references, and comedic acting, she helps us understand the deeper nuances of what’s trending.
Natalie Wynn (YouTube)
Lucy and the Wolves in the Walls
Through the endearing and earnest narrative of Lucy and the Wolves in the Walls, Fable Studio deftly invites us to shift our perspective—to see the world as experienced by its eight-year-old protagonist, Lucy, through an interactive VR journey that continues across multiple platforms. As the young girl’s imaginary friend, we are invisible to all other characters in her life, but for Lucy we are witness, confidant, and fellow explorer. Central to Lucy’s story is the delicate balance of truth, evidence, and belief; and at its heart, a celebration of wonder.
Fable Studio, Third Rail Projects, Sound+Design, Story Studio & Experiences (Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest)
The Uncensored Library
A meticulous, artistically-rendered Minecraft build, The Uncensored Library is a monument to press freedom and an innovative back door for access to censored content. Leveraging Minecraft’s availability in countries where other media is blocked, The Uncensored Library has allowed more than 20 million gamers in 165 countries to access censored articles, available in English and the original language, from acclaimed independent journalists under threat by the authoritative regimes of places such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Mexico, Egypt, and Vietnam.
Media.Monks, Reporters without Borders, DDB Germany (Minecraft)
[Thanks to Chris Barkley for the story.]