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Award Celebrates the Intersection of Great Nonfiction Filmmaking Art and Measurable Real World Impact

New YorkThe Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking today announced a new, periodic award called the Hell Yeah Prize, to be given to filmmakers who have created works of incredible craft and artistry that also have significant, real-world impact.  The inaugural Hell Yeah Prize will be presented to Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky for their HBO Documentary Films trilogy Paradise Lost, which played a critical role in securing the release from prison of the wrongly prosecuted and convicted West Memphis Three.

The award will be presented on January 11, 2012 at the 5th Annual Cinema Eye Honors ceremony to be held at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York.  A screening of Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory will take place on January 10, also at the Museum of the Moving Image, and the film will have its HBO premiere later in January 2012.

“The mission of Cinema Eye is to prioritize outstanding artistry and craft in the field of documentary,” Cinema Eye Honors Co-Chair Esther Robinson said about the new award. “We wanted to find a way to recognize those films and filmmakers that excel at the highest levels to create great art and, as a result, also happen to affect change in the real world that is measurable.  Joe and Bruce’s Paradise Lost trilogy – a two decade investigation of an outrageous case of wrongful prosecution and conviction – defines this award perfectly.”

“Joe and Bruce’s dogged determination to keep shining a light on this miscarriage of justice in Arkansas no doubt saved at least one of these young men from being put to death,” said Cinema Eye Honors Co-Chair AJ Schnack.  “Their films inspired a global movement that refused to let the issue go away.  The fact is that Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory truly stands on its own as one of the best films of 2011.  We are honored to present this new award to these landmark filmmakers.”

“To be given the opportunity to work on a series of films that had such a tangible result as the release of the wrongfully convicted West Memphis Three from prison is enough of a reward for any filmmaker, so to be singled out for this inaugural Hell Yeah award is truly inspiring, “ said co-filmmaker Joe Berlinger.

Added Co-filmmaker Bruce Sinofsky:  “We are truly grateful to the Cinema Eye Honors for providing this platform to celebrate the power of documentary filmmaking to make a difference in the world.”