2025 Feature and Short Film Submissions Now Open

Frequently Asked Questions

A full list of our rules and procedures, including film eligibility, can be found on our Rules page.

While the Cinema Eye team makes every effort to track festival screenings and theatrical receipts, it’s the responsibility of the filmmaker to make sure that Cinema Eye is aware of a film’s eligibility. The deadline for Cinema Eye eligibility for feature films is usually at the end of August. Deadlines for television entries will be in the spring. If you have questions, you can email contactATcinemaeyehonorsDOTcom.

Nominees for the Cinema Eye Honors nonfiction feature awards are determined in voting by the top documentary programmers from throughout the world. The 2020 Cinema Eye Nominations Committee included Beth Bennett (Seattle), Chris Boeckmann (True/False), Pamela Cohn (Dokufest Kosovo), David Courier (Sundance), Cara Cusumano (Tribeca), Bruno Dequen (RIDM), James Faust (Dallas), Jessie Fairbanks (Hot Springs), Ben Fowlie (Camden), Tom Hall (Montclair), Lane Kneedler (AFI FEST/DOCS), Jim Kolmar (SXSW), Amir Labaki (It’s All True), Artur Liebhart (Docs Against Gravity), Mads Mikkelsen (CPH:DOX), Meghan Monsour (Ambulante), David Nugent (Hamptons), Veton Nurkollari (Dokufest Kosovo), Janet Pierson (SXSW), Thom Powers (Toronto), Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Shane Smith (Hot Docs), Abby Sun (True/False), Martijn te Pas (IDFA), Sadie Tillery (Full Frame), Basil Tsiokos (DOC NYC), and Jenn Wilson (Film Indepdendent).

Nominees for the Cinema Eye Honors short film awards were selected by a nominations committee that included Opal Bennett (DOC NYC), Meghan Costello (Hamptons), Cara Cusamano (Tribeca), Angie Driscoll (Hot Docs), Ben Fowlie (Camden), Claudette Godfrey (SXSW), Laura Good (Toronto), Doug Jones (Images Cinema), Ted Mott (Full Frame), Jenn Murphy (AFI Fest), Veton Nurkollari (Dokufest Kosovo), Dan Nuxoll (Rooftop), Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Sudeep Sharma (Sundance), Abby Sun (True/False) and Kim Yutani (Sundance).

Nominees for the Broadcast Award were selected by a nominations committee of critics and programmers programmers that included Christine Davila, Bilge Ebiri, Kate Erbland, Steve Dollar, Joanne Feinberg, Tom Hall, Sheri Linden, Liz Shannon Miller, Andrea Passafiume and Andrew Rodgers.

More than 800 people comprise Cinema Eye’s voting membership and typically approximately 200-300 of those members cast their votes in a given year. Invitations to vote are sent to the following individuals:

  1. The directors of each submitted feature film that particular year.
  2. All current and previous Cinema Eye nominees, winners, presenters, jury members, committee and board members.
  3. Top filmmakers, distributors, commissioners, grantors, curators, programmers, writers, critics, sales agents and publicists who specialize in the nonfiction field.

We encourage voters to view all of the nominated films in a given category before voting for a winner in a particular category. To help voters view films, we ask filmmakers and distributors to supply password-protected links to allow voters to watch films online.

Some Cinema Eye categories are decided by juries. In 2018, these include the awards the Spotlight Award and the Heterodox Award.

Only team members that serve on various nominations committee are allowed to vote for nominations. All other core team members do not vote at any stage of the nominations.

If you still have questions, please send us an email and we will do our best to answer them.