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January 7, 2015, Astoria, Queens, New York Citizenfour, Laura Poitras’ first person account of Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying, picked up four awards at the 8th Annual Cinema Eye Honors, including Outstanding Nonfiction Feature and Outstanding Direction, held Wednesday night at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York.  It’s the second film in Cinema Eye history to win four awards (Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir was the first) and the second to win both the Direction and Feature awards (Steve James’ The Interrupters did it in 2012).

Poitras also becomes the first person in Cinema Eye history to win the award for Outstanding Direction twice (she previously won for The Oath in 2011).  Citizenfour also won awards for Mathilde Bonnefoy’s Editing and for the film’s Production, which was shared by Poitras, Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutsky.  In total, Poitras won three awards, tying a record set previously by Lixin Fan in 2011 for Last Train Home.

There were two ties at this year’s Cinema Eye Honors, a first for the awards.  In the category of Graphic Design, Syd Garon of Jodorowsky’s Dune and Heather Brantman & Tim Fisher of Particle Fever shared the honor, while in Cinematography, laurels were shared by 20,000 Days on Earth’s Erik Wilson and Virunga’s Franklin Dow and Orlando von Einsiedel.  Previously, there had only been one other tie at Cinema Eye, in 2010 for Graphic Design.

Alan Hicks’ Keep On Keepin’ On won the Audience Choice Prize, which was determined by public voting at the Cinema Eye website.  More than 7,000 people cast their vote in the final 36 hours of voting for the Audience award. 

The Nonfiction Short Film award went to Lucy Walker’s The Lions Mouth Open.  Walker won the Cinema Eye Honor for Nonfiction Film for Television last year for her film The Crash Reel.  She becomes the first person in Cinema Eye history to win awards in back-to-back years in different categories.

This year’s award for Nonfiction Film for Television went to ESPN 30 for 30’s The Price of Gold, directed by Nanette Burstein.

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green hosted this year’s event, with an audio assist from Serial podcast host Sarah Koenig, who served as announcer and Voice of God for this year’s proceedings.  Presenters included documentary legends Albert Maysles, DA Pennebaker, Steve James, Alan Berliner and the director and editor of this year’s Legacy Award winner Paris is Burning, Jennie Livingston and Jonathan Oppenheim.

A full list of this year’s winners follows:

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking


Directed by Laura Poitras

Produced by Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky


Outstanding Achievement in Direction

Laura Poitras



Outstanding Achievement in Editing

Mathilde Bonnefoy



Outstanding Achievement in Production

Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky



Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography (tie)

Erik Wilson

20,000 Days on Earth

Franklin Dow and Orlando von Einsiedel



Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Films Made for Television

The Price of Gold

Directed by Nanette Burstein

Produced by Libby Geist

For ESPN/30 for 30: John Dahl, Connor Schell, Bill Simmons


Audience Choice Prize

Keep On Keepin’ On

Directed by Alan Hicks


Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film

Finding Vivian Maier

Directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel


Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score 

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

20,000 Days on Earth


Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation (tie)

Syd Garon

Jodorowsky’s Dune

Heather Brantman & Tim Fisher

Particle Fever


Spotlight Award


Directed by Johanna Hamilton


Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking

The Lion’s Mouth Opens

Directed by Lucy Walker


Heterodox Award


Directed by Richard Linklater


Legacy Award

Paris is Burning

Directed by Jennie Livingston