Nelson is an IDA Award winner who most recently directed and produced the Discovery+ feature documentary Terror and Glory: 1945, which focused on the final months of World War II and its consequences. He previously wrote, directed and produced the World War II documentary The Cold Blue for HBO Max—also helming A Gray State, a prescient true-crime look at the culture of conspiracy, released in 2017. All three films hold a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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Nelson is otherwise best known for his collaborations with Oscar-nominated filmmaker Werner Herzog. The duo produced four films together including the Oscar-nominated Encounters at the End of the World, Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams and Into The Abyss, with Herzog narrating Nelson’s animated feature Dinotasia and exec producing A Gray State.
Nelson earned his first IDA Award for Best Limited Series in 2012, for the docuseries On Death Row, which he produced. He has also been recognized over the course of his career with a Cinema Eye Honors Award nomination, as well as noms at the Gotham Awards, the Business and Financial Reporting Emmy Awards, and the News & Documentary Emmy Awards, with both Grizzly Man and Cave of Forgotten Dreams winning New York and Los Angeles Film Critics Awards, among other honors.
Prior to his work as a filmmaker, Nelson served as SVP of Feature Documentaries for Lionsgate Films, where he executive produced high-profile projects including Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man, Facing Ali and The U.S. vs. John Lennon, among others. He has also written pieces of cultural commentary for the Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly and Salon Magazine.
Nelson continues to be represented by attorney Marc Simon and Fox Rothschild.
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