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November 2, 2012, Los Angeles, Calif. – Thirty-one feature films and five shorts will vie for this year’s Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking as nominees were announced this afternoon in Los Angeles at an event hosted by AFI FEST.

For the second year in a row, six films are in the running for Cinema Eye’s top award, Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking: Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s 5 Broken Cameras, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Detropia, Bart Layton’s The Imposter, Matthew Akers’ Marina Abramović The Artist is Present, Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims’ Only the Young and Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man.  This marked the first year that nominees for this category were determined by votes from both the 25-person nominations committee as well as more than 60 directors of this year’s eligible films.

The Imposter and Searching for Sugar Man led all films with five nominations each.  Simon Chinn’s Red Box Films and John Battsek’s Passion Pictures were involved in the production of both titles, marking the first time in Cinema Eye history that two films from the same production company are nominated for Outstanding Feature.  Chinn also becomes the first person to be nominated for Outstanding Feature for three different films.  He was previously nominated for Project Nim (2012) and he won in the category for Man on Wire (2009).

Directing teams feature heavily In this year’s awards.  In addition to 5 Broken Camera’s Burnat and Davidi, Detropia’s Ewing and Grady and Only the Young’s Tippet and Mims, brothers Bill and Turner Ross were nominated Outstanding Direction for Tchoupitoulas.  The Ross Brothers’ nomination marks the first time that filmmakers previously nominated for Outstanding Debut (45365, 2010) would go on to be nominated for Outstanding Direction.

Joining Ewing and Grady, Tippet and Mims and the Ross Brothers as nominees for Outstanding Direction are Ra’anan Alexandrowicz for The Law in These Parts, Seungjun Yi for Planet of Snail and Victor Kossakovsky for ¡Vivan las Antipodas!.

Winners of the 6th Annual Cinema Eye Honors will be announced on January 9, 2013 as Cinema Eye returns for a third year to New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

Ten contenders were named for Cinema Eye’s Audience Choice Prize, which features many of the most talked about and beloved documentaries of 2012, including Neil Berkeley’s Beauty is Embarrassing, Lee Hirsch’s Bully, David Gelb’s Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Vikram Gandhi’s Kumaré and Andrew Garrison’s Trash Dance.

And there was an especially close vote for Outstanding Debut, which resulted in seven nominees in the category (another Cinema Eye first).  In addition to Matthew Akers, Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims and Malik Bendjelloul, nominees include Alison Klayman for Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, David France for How to Survive a Plague, Rodney Ascher for Room 237 and Peter Nicks for The Waiting Room.

A full list of nominees with details on each category follows.

About the Cinema Eye Honors and the 2013 Awards

The Cinema Eye Honors were 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 is headed by a core team that includes Co-Chairs Esther Robinson (director, A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory; Cinema Eye nominee for Outstanding Debut, 2008) and AJ Schnack (director, Kurt Cobain About A Son and founder of Cinema Eye), Producer Nathan Truesdell (producer, Caucus), Nominations Committee Chair Sean Farnel (Former Head of Programming, Hot Docs Film Festival), Advisory Board Chair Andrea Meditch (executive producer, Buck and Man on Wire) and Filmmaker Advisory Board Chair Laura Poitras (director, The Oath; Cinema Eye winner for Outstanding Direction, 2011).

Nominees for the Cinema Eye Honors feature awards are determined in voting by the top documentary programmers from throughout the world.  This year’s nominations committee included Charlotte Cook (Hot Docs), David Courier (Sundance), Heather Croall (Sheffield Doc/Fest), Joanne Feinberg (Ashland Film Festival), Tine Fischer (CPH:DOX), Elena Fortes (Ambulante), Ben Fowlie (Camden International Film Festival), Tom Hall (Sarasota Film Festival), Doug Jones (Los Angeles Film Festival), Amir Labaki (It’s All True, Brazil), Grit Lemke (DOK Liepzig), Caroline Libresco (Sundance Film Festival), Artur Liebhart (Planete Doc Review), David Nugent (Hamptons Film Festival), Veton Nurkollari (DokuFest Kosovo), Janet Pierson (SXSW), Thom Powers (Toronto International Film Festival, DOC NYC), Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Charlotte Selb (RIDM Montreal), Sky Sitney (Silverdocs), Genna Terranova (Tribeca), Sadie Tillery (Full Frame), David Wilson (True/False) and Brit Withey (Denver).

Finalists for the Cinema Eye Honors short film awards were selected by a nominations committee that included Karen Cirillo (True/False), Charlotte Cook (Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival), Hussain Currimbhoy (Sheffield Doc/Fest), Ben Fowlie (Camden International Film Festival), Claudette Godfrey (SXSW), Ted Mott (Full Frame), Veton Nurkollari (DokuFest Kosovo), Sky Sitney (Silverdocs) and Kim Yutani (Sundance).  Nominees were chosen from a list of 10 finalists by a jury that was composed of Shaz Bennett (filmmaker, writer and former programmer for AFI FEST), Laura Gabbert (director, No Impact Man), Jeff Malmberg (director, Marwencol), Anne Thompson (editor, Thompson on Hollywood and editor-at-large at Indiewire) and Jason Tippet (director, Only the Young).

The members of the Cinema Eye Filmmaker Advisory Board include Mila Aung-Thwin (producer, Last Train Home; Cinema Eye winner for Outstanding Production, 2011), RJ Cutler (director, The September Issue; Cinema Eye winner for Audience Choice, 2010), Sam Green (director, Utopia in Four Movements; Cinema Eye Nominee for Outstanding Original Score (2011), Steve James (director, The Interrupters, Cinema Eye winner for Outstanding Feature and Direction, 2012), Ellen Kuras (director, The Betrayal; Cinema Eye nominee for Outstanding Debut, 2010), Audrey Marrs (producer, Inside Job; Cinema Eye nominee for Outstanding Production, 2011), James Marsh (director, Man on Wire; Cinema Eye winner for Outstanding Feature, 2009) and Morgan Spurlock (director, Where in the World is Osama bin Laden; Cinema Eye nominee for Outsanding Graphics, 2009) and Jennifer Venditti (director, Billy the Kid; Cinema Eye winner for Outstanding Debut, 2008).

HBO Documentary Films is the Premiere Sponsor of the 2013 Cinema Eye Honors.  Venue partner for the 2013 Cinema Eye Honors is the Museum of the Moving Image.  Festival partners for Cinema Eye are AFI FEST, Camden International Film Festival and Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival.  Industry Sponsors include A&E IndieFilms.  Supporting sponsors include the LEF Foundation.  Additional sponsors will be named in the coming weeks.