San Francisco, California – Nominees for the 2018 Cinema Eye Honors were unveiled tonight in San Francisco at a reception celebrating SFFILM’s 3rd Annual Doc Stories showcase. The nominations announcement launches the 11th edition of the Cinema Eye Honors, which celebrates outstanding artistry and craft in nonfiction film. The Awards Ceremony is the final event of Cinema Eye Week, a multi-day celebration that takes place in New York City each year.
This year’s winners will be announced at the 2018 Honors Awards Ceremony on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. The ceremony will be hosted, for the third consecutive year, by award-winning nonfiction filmmaker Steve James (The Interrupters, Life Itself, Hoop Dreams), who is a Cinema Eye nominee this year for his latest film, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.
Three films – Viktor Jakovleski’s Brimstone & Glory, Matthew Heineman’s City of Ghosts and Yance Ford’s Strong Island – lead the nominations with 4 apiece. Five films received three nominations: Yuri Ancarani’s The Challenge, Jeff Orlowski’s Chasing Coral, Agnès Varda and JR’s Faces Places, Brett Morgen’s Jane and Jonathan Olshefski’s Quest.
City of Ghosts, Faces Places, Quest and Strong Island are joined in the Outstanding Nonfiction Feature category by Frederick Weisman’s Ex Libris: The New York Public Library and Feras Fayyad’s Last Men in Aleppo. Kitty Green (Casting Jon Benet) joins the aforementioned Yuri Ancarani, Yance Ford, Matthew Heineman, Agnés Varda and JR, and Frederick Wiseman as a nominee in the Outstanding Achievement in Direction category.
With his nomination, Frederick Wiseman becomes the first filmmaker in Cinema Eye history to be nominated three times for Outstanding Direction, having been previously nominated for La Danse – The Paris Opera Ballet and In Jackson Heights. He also received Cinema Eye’s 2012 Legacy Award for his 1967 classic Titicut Follies. Agnès Varda won the Outstanding Direction Award in 2010 for The Beaches of Agnés.
City of Ghosts director Matthew Heineman received four individual nominations, the most of any person this year, bringing his lifetime total Cinema Eye nominations to eight. He was previously nominated in 2016 for Cartel Land, for which he won Outstanding Cinematography. Only two other directors have received more individual nominations in Cinema Eye history than Heineman and both add to their tally this year: Laura Poitras, a 10-time nominee and 4-time winner for The Oath and Citizenfour, is nominated for Outstanding Production for Risk, and Steve James, a 9-time nominee and 2-time winner for The Interrupters and Life Itself, is up for the Audience Choice Prize for Abacus.
Outstanding Direction nominees Kitty Green and Yuri Ancarani were both previously nominated for Outstanding Nonfiction Short, Green in 2016 for The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul and Ancarani was nominated twice for Il Capo (2012) and Da Vinci (2014).
Chasing Coral received three nominations, including a nod for Outstanding Cinematography for director Jeff Orlowski, an Honor he won in 2013 for Chasing Ice. Stefan Nadelman, nominated for his Graphic Design work on the Grateful Dead documentary Long Strange Trip, won the same award in 2016 for Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.
Ten films were nominated for the annual Audience Choice Prize, which includes many of the year’s most popular and talked about nonfiction films, notably Brett Morgen’s Jane, Ceyda Torun’s Kedi, Amanda Lipitz’ Step, Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’ Whose Streets? and Gethin Aldous and Jairus McLeary’s The Work. The winner in this category is voted on by the general public.
This year’s Broadcast Nonfiction Filmmaking category includes a number of notable filmmakers, among them a previous Cinema Eye winner and a nominee. Fisher Stevens, a winner for Outstanding Production and Feature for The Cove (2010), is nominated this year with his co-director Alexis Bloom for Bright Lights: Starring Carrie FIsher and Debbie Reynolds (HBO). Ryan White, who was nominated for Production in 2015 for The Case Against 8, is up this year for his Netflix series The Keepers. Oscar nominee Ava DuVernay received her first Cinema Eye nomination for her Netflix film 13th, while veteran filmmaker Kristi Jacobson gets her first nod for the HBO feature doc Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison.
Among this year’s notable first-time nominees is artist and human rights activist Ai Weiwei, who received two nominations for Cinematography and Production for his film Human Flow. Oscar nominated filmmaker Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild) gets his first Cinema Eye nomination for composing the Original Score for Brimstone and Glory with co-nominee Dan Romer. Legendary composer Philip Glass (Koyaanisqatsi, The Thin Blue Line) gets his first nomination in the same category for his work on Jane. Oscar winning director TJ Martin (Undefeated) is up for Outstanding Editing for LA92.
Other returning filmmakers include:
- Heino Deckert, whose nomination for Outstanding Production for Human Flow is his second in the category (he was nominated for ¡Vivan las Antipodas! in 2013).
- Joe Beshenkovsky, nominated for Outstanding Editing for Jane, was nominated in the category for his previous collaboration with Brett Morgen, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck (2016).
- Also up in the editing category is Francisco Bello (The Reagan Show), who was previously nominated for his editing on Our Nixon (2014).
- Three nods in the Broadcast Nonfiction Filmmaking category bring HBO President of Documentary Sheila Nevins her 13th, 14th and 15th nominations, extending her record for the most individual nominations in Cinema Eye history. Her colleagues Sara Bernstein (nominated for Abortion: Stories Women Tell) received her 8th nomination and Nancy Abraham (nominated for Bright Lights and Solitary) received her 5th and 6th.
- With three nominations this year for 13th, Five Came Back and The Keepers, Netflix VP for Original Documentary Lisa Nishimura brings her career total to five. Her colleague Ben Cotner also brings his career total to 5, with nominations for each of Netflix nominees this year to add to his two nominations as a director of The Case Against 8 (2015). Netflix’ Adam Del Deo (nominated for 13th and Five Came Back) now has 6 nominations, including his nomination in 2010 as one of the directors of Every Little Step.
- Five Came Back producer John Battsek receives his third nomination in as many years. He was nominated earlier this year in the Broadcast Nonfiction category for Happy Valley and for Outstanding Feature in 2016 for producing Listen to Me Marlon.
- Oscar nominated producer Julie Goldman, nominated in the Broadcast Nonfiction category for Gideon’s Army (2014) returns this year as producer on Solitary.
- Long Strange Trip is the third film by director Amir Bar-Lev to score Cinema Eye nominations, following up nods for The Tillman Story (2011) and Happy Valley (2016).
- Jane also marks the third nomination in as many films for Brett Morgan. He was nominated for Outstanding Production in 2008 for Chicago 10 and for Editing in 2015 for Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. Both of those films were award winners in the Graphic Design category in their respective years.
The nominees for this year’s Heterodox Award (recognizing work that blurs the line between fiction and nonfiction) as well as this year’s Legacy Award recipient will be announced in the coming weeks.
Winners of the 11th Annual Cinema Eye Honors will be announced Thursday, January 11, 2017, in New York at the Museum of the Moving Image. The Honors Ceremony is the culmination of Cinema Eye Week, an international celebration of the year’s best nonfiction artistry that includes screenings, parties and seminars.
Major Sponsors for Cinema Eye Week 2018 are HBO Documentary Films, Netflix, A&E IndieFilms, Camden International Film Festival and National Geographic Documentary Films. The Museum of the Moving Image is the Venue Partner for the 11th Annual Honors. The Murray Center for Documentary Journalism is the Institutional Partner. Industry Sponsors include American Cinema Editors, CPH:DOX, LEF Foundation, POV, SFFILM and Spacestation.
Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking
City of Ghosts
Directed and Produced by Matthew Heineman
Ex Libris: The New York Public Library
Directed and Produced by Frederick Wiseman
Directed by Agnès Varda and JR (Director) | Produced by Rosalie Varda
Last Men in Aleppo
Directed by Feras Fayyad | Produced by Kareem Abeed, Stefan Kloos and Søren Steen Jespersen
Directed by Jonathan Olshefski | Produced by Sabrina Schmidt Gordon
Directed by Yance Ford | Produced by Joslyn Barnes and Yance Ford
Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Kitty Green | Casting JonBenet
Matthew Heineman | City of Ghosts
Yuri Ancarani | The Challenge
Frederick Wiseman | Ex Libris: The New York Public Library
Agnès Varda and JR | Faces Places
Yance Ford | Strong Island
Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Bill Morrison | Dawson City: Frozen Time
Joe Beshenkovsky | Jane
TJ Martin | LA92
Keith Fraase and John Walter | Long Strange Trip
Lindsay Utz | Quest
Francisco Bello, Daniel Garber and David Barker | The Reagan Show
Outstanding Achievement in Production
Nominees to be Determined | Brimstone and Glory
Matthew Heineman | City of Ghosts
Heino Deckert, Ai Weiwei and Chin-Chin Yap | Human Flow
Kareem Abeed, Stefan Kloos and Søren Steen Jespersen | Last Men in Aleppo
Brenda Coughlin, Yoni Golijov and Laura Poitras | Risk
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Tobias von dem Borne | Brimstone and Glory
Yuri Ancarani, Luca Nervegna and Jonathan Ricquebourg | The Challenge
Andrew Ackerman and Jeff Orlowski | Chasing Coral
TBD | Human Flow
Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva | Machines
Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score
Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin | Brimstone and Glory
Francesco Fantini and Lorenzo Senni | The Challenge
Alex Somers | Dawson City: Frozen Time
Philip Glass | Jane
Dan Deacon | Rat Film
Hildur Gudnadóttir and Craig Sutherland | Strong Island
Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation
Chad Herschberger | 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene
Matt Schultz and Shawna Schultz | Chasing Coral
Grant Nellessen | Citizen Jane: Battle for the City
Daniel Gies and Emily Paige | Let There Be Light
Stefan Nadelman | Long Strange Trip
Audience Choice Prize
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail |Directed by Steve James
City of Ghosts | Directed by Matthew Heineman
Chasing Coral | Directed by Jeff Orlowski
Faces Places | Directed by Agnès Varda and JR
Jane | Directed by Brett Morgen
Kedi | Directed by Ceyda Torun
Quest | Directed by Jonathan Olshefski
Step | Directed by Amanda Lipitz
Whose Streets? | Directed by Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis
The Work | Directed by Gethin Aldous and Jairus McLeary
Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film
Viktor Jakovleski | Brimstone and Glory
Anna Zamecka | Communion
Rahul Jain | Machines
Theo Anthony | Rat Film
Yance Ford | Strong Island
Outstanding Achievement in Broadcast Nonfiction Filmmaking
Directed by Ava DuVernay | Produced by Ava DuVernay & Howard Barish | For Netflix: Executive Producers Ben Cotner, Adam Del Deo and Lisa Nishimura
Abortion: Stories Women Tell
Directed and Produced by Tracy Droz Tragos | For HBO Documentary Films: Executive Producer Sheila Nevins, Senior Producer Sara Bernstein
Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
Directed by Alexis Bloom & Fisher Stevens | Produced by Alexis Bloom, Fisher Stevens, Julie Nives & Todd Fisher | For HBO Documentary Films: Executive Producer Sheila Nevins, Senior Producer Nancy Abraham
Five Came Back
Directed by Laurent Bouzereau | Produced by John Battsek & Laurent Bouzereau | For Netflix: Executive Producers Ben Cotner, Adam Del Deo and Lisa Nishimura
Directed by Ryan White | For Netflix: Executive Producers Ben Cotner, Jason Springarn-Koff and Lisa Nishimura
Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison
Directed and Produced by Kristi Jacobson | Produced by Katie Mitchell and Julie Goldman | For HBO Documentary Films: Executive Producer Sheila Nevins, Senior Producer Nancy Abraham
Donkeyote | Directed by Chico Pereira
An Insignificant Man | Directed by Khushboo Ranka and Vinay Shukla
Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle | Directed by Gustavo Salmerón
Plastic China | Directed by Jiuliang Wang
Stranger in Paradise | Directed by Guido Hendrikx
Taste of Cement | Directed by Ziad Kalthoum
Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking
Edith+Eddie | Directed by Laura Checkoway
Heroin(e) | Directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon
Little Potato | Directed by Wes Hurley and Nathan M. Miller
Polonaise | Directed by Agnieszka Elbanowska
The Rabbit Hunt | Directed by Patrick Bresnan
Ten Meter Tower | Directed by Maximilien Van Aertryck & Axel Danielson
The Unforgettables | Non-competitive Honor
The year’s most notable and significant nonfiction film subjects (previously announced):
Chanterelle Sung, Hwei Lin Sung, Jill Sung, Thomas Sung & Vera Sung | Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Bobbi Jene Smith | Bobbi Jene
Abdalaziz Alhamza, Hamoud Almousa and Mohamad Almusari | For City of Ghosts
Ola Kaczanowska | Communion
Dolores Huerta | Dolores
Dina Buno and Scott Levin | Dina
Agnès Varda | Faces Places
Daje Shelton | For Ahkeem
Dr. Grigory Rodchenkov | Icarus
Dr. Jane Goodall | Jane
Jim Carrey | Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond
Christine’a Rainey, Christopher “Quest” Rainey, PJ Rainey and William Withers | Quest
Yance Ford | Strong Island
Jennifer Brea | Unrest
Brian, Charles, Chris, Dark Cloud, Kiki and Vegas | The Work
About Cinema Eye, Cinema Eye Week and the 2018 Cinema Eye Honors
Cinema Eye was founded in 2007 to recognize excellence in artistry and craft in nonfiction filmmaking. It was the first and remains the only international nonfiction award to recognize the whole creative team, presenting annual craft awards in directing, producing, cinematography, editing, composing and graphic design/animation. Cinema Eye presents and produces the annual Cinema Eye Week and Honors Ceremony.
The Honors Ceremony is the centerpiece of Cinema Eye Week, a multi-day, multi-city celebration that acknowledges the best work in nonfiction film through screenings and events. The final four days of Cinema Eye Week take place in New York City, where a series of celebratory events brought together many of the year’s most accomplished filmmakers. This year’s dates are January 8-11, with awards presented at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens on Thursday, January 11th, 2018.
Nominees for the Cinema Eye Honors nonfiction feature awards are determined in voting by the top documentary programmers from throughout the world. The 2017 Cinema Eye Nominations Committee included Nominations Committee Chair Ben Fowlie (Camden), Chris Boeckmann (True/False), Pamela Cohn (Dokufest Kosovo), David Courier (Sundance), Cara Cusumano (Tribeca), Bruno Dequen (RIDM), Tom Hall (Montclair), Sarah Harris (Dallas), Jim Kolmar (SXSW), Amir Labaki (It’s All True), Artur Liebhart (Docs Against Gravity), Mads Mikkelsen (CPH:DOX), Meghan Monsour (Ambulante), Luke Moody (Sheffield), David Nugent (Hamptons), Veton Nurkollari (Dokufest Kosovo), Janet Pierson (SXSW), Thom Powers (Toronto), Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Shane Smith (Hot Docs), Martijn te Pas (IDFA), Sadie Tillery (Full Frame), Basil Tsiokos (DOC NYC), David Wilson (True/False) and Jenn Wilson (Los Angeles).
Nominees for the Cinema Eye Honors short film awards were selected by a nominations committee that included Chair Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Chris Boeckman (True/False), Ben Fowlie (Camden), Claudette Godfrey (SXSW), Jasper Hokken (IDFA), Doug Jones (Images Cinema), Luke Moody (Sheffield), Ted Mott (Full Frame), Jenn Murphy (AFI Fest), Veton Nurkollari (Dokufest Kosovo), Dan Nuxoll (Rooftop), Shane Smith (Hot Docs), and Kim Yutani (Sundance).
Nominees for the Television Award were selected in a two rounds of voting. The first round consisted of programmers that included Joanne Feinberg (former Director of Programming Ashland Film Festival), Elena Fortes (Former Director, Ambulante Film Festival), Tom Hall (Executive Director, Montclair Film Festival), Sarah Harris (Senior Programmer, Dallas Film Festival), Doug Jones (Executive Director, Images Cinema), Lane Kneedler (Associate Director of Programming, AFI FEST), Andrew Rodgers (Executive Director, Denver Film Society) and Sky Sitney (Co-Director, Double Exposure Film Festival). The second round included film critics and writers Paula Bernstein, Steve Dollar, Bilge Ebiri, Kate Erbland, Eric Hynes, Liz Shannon Miller, Mark Olsen and Sheri Linden.
Marshall Curry and Dawn Porter serve as Cinema Eye’s Board Chairs. Wendy Garrett and Nathan Truesdell return as Co-Chairs of Cinema Eye Week. Will Lennon is Cinema Eye’s Managing Director. AJ Schnack is the Founding Director of Cinema Eye. They are joined on the Cinema Eye Honors Core Team by programmers Ben Fowlie and Rachel Rosen.
The Cinema Eye Kitchen Cabinet Advisory Board includes Mila Aung-Thwin (CEH11 Winner, Outstanding Production, Last Train Home), Nels Bangerter (CEH14 Winner, Outstanding Editing, Let the Fire Burn), Ana Gomez Bernaus (CEH17 Nominee, Outstanding Graphic Design, Author: The JT Leroy Story), Dustin Guy Defa (CEH13 Nominee, Outstanding Nonfiction Short Film, Family Nightmare), Natalie Difford (Head of Filmmaker Development, Cinereach), Ezra Edelman (CEH17 Winner, Outstanding Direction & Production, OJ: Made in America), Yance Ford (Director, Strong Island), Elena Fortes (former Director, Ambulante Film Festival), Liz Garbus (CEH16 Nominee, Audience Choice Prize, What Happened, Miss Simone?), Syd Garon (CEH15, Outstanding Graphic Design, Jodorowsky’s Dune), Eugene Hernandez (Deputy Director, Film Society at Lincoln Center), Eric Hynes (Associate Curator of Film, Museum of the Moving Image), Jason Ishikawa (Head of International Sales, Cinetic Media), Steve James (CEH12 Winner, Outstanding Feature & Direction, The Interrupters), Kirsten Johnson (CEH17 Winner, Outstanding Feature & Cinematography, Cameraperson), John Kusiak (CEH12 Winner, Outstanding Score, Tabloid), Loira Limbal (Vice President, Firelight Media), Elizabeth Lo (CEH16 Winner, Outstanding Nonfiction Short Film, Hotel 22), Michal Marczak (CEH17 Winner, Heterodox Award, All These Sleepless Nights), Marilyn Ness (CEH17 Winner, Outstanding Feature, Cameraperson), Dan Nuxoll (Artistic Director, Rooftop Films), Bill Ross (CEH13 Nominee, Outstanding Direction, Tchoupitoulas; CEH16 Nominee, Cinematography, Western), Kelli Scarr (CEH09 Nominee, Outstanding Score, In a Dream), Mo Scarpelli (CEH16 Nominee, Spotlight Award, Frame by Frame), Jess Search (Chief Executive, The Doc Society), Signe, Byrge Sorensen (CEH16 Winner, Outstanding Feature Film & Production, The Look of Silence), Jean Tsien (Editor of CEH17 Audience Nominee Miss Sharon Jones!), Michael Tuckman (Founder at mTuckman media, Distribution) and Chai Vasaryelhi (CEH16 Winner, Audience Nominee, Meru).