2025 Broadcast Honors Submissions Now Open

The Cinema Eye Honors, which recognizes outstanding artistic achievements in nonfiction filmmaking, today announced 10 finalists for their annual Outstanding Nonfiction Filmmaking for Television Award.  The announcement marks the first awards announcement of Cinema Eye’s 9th Annual Honors season.


Among this year’s finalists are two previous Cinema Eye winners: Joe Berlinger and Alex Gibney.  Berlinger was, along with his late collaborator Bruce Sinofsky, a Cinema Eye honoree for their Paradise Lost series of films.  He’s shortlisted this year for his CNN Films feature documentary Whitey: The United States of America v. James J. Bulger.  Gibney is the first director to make the Television Shortlist with two different features, both for HBO Documentary Films – Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief and Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown. Gibney won the first Cinema Eye award for Direction in 2008 for his Oscar winning film Taxi to the Dark Side.


HBO Documentary Films led all networks with 5 of the 10 finalists.  CNN Films and PBS’ FRONTLINE had two films apiece.  Epix rounded out the list with its Alex Winter-directed documentary Deep Web.


This is the third year for Cinema Eye’s award for Outstanding Nonfiction Filmmaking for Television.  Previous winners were Lucy Walker’s The Crash Reel (HBO) and Nanette Burstein’s The Price of Gold (ESPN).


Nominees for the award will be announced in November at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen when all of Cinema Eye’s nominations for the year’s best nonfiction are unveiled and the winner will be named at the 9th Annual Awards Ceremony during Cinema Eye Honors Week in New York City in January 2016.


A full list of this year’s Television Finalists follows:


Deep Web / EPIX

Directed by Alex Winter

Documented / CNN Films

Directed by Jose Antonio Vargas


Firestone and the Warlord / FRONTLINE / PBS

Directed by Marcela Gaviria


Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief / HBO Documentary Films

Directed by Alex Gibney


Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown / HBO Documentary Films

Directed by Alex Gibney


Outbreak / FRONTLINE / PBS

Directed by Daniel Edge


Private Violence / HBO Documentary Films

Directed by Cynthia Hill


Regarding Susan Sontag / HBO Documentary Films

Directed by Nancy Kates


Thought Crimes: The Case of the Cannibal Cop / HBO Documentary Films

Directed by Erin Lee Carr


Whitey: The United States of America v. James J. Bulger / CNN Films

Directed by Joe Berlinger


Films eligible for this award must have aired on their network between June 1, 2014 and May 31, 2015 and must have received financial support during production and/or post-production.  Films acquired upon completion are not eligible for this award.  Named nominees in this category will be the Directors, Producers and Key Network Personnel who worked on the film.


On Monday, June 1, Cinema Eye opened submissions for feature and short film categories at their 9th Annual Honors.  Currently, more than 160 feature films and 50 shorts are eligible for the 2016 edition of Cinema Eye.  Submissions for short films will close on July 31 and submissions for features will close on August 31.  For more information about those films, go to
Films were selected for this year’s Television Shortlist by a nominating committee comprised of nonfiction curators and programmers.  This year’s committee was chaired by Charlotte Cook (former Head of Programming at Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival).  Committee members included Joanne Feinberg (former Director of Programming Ashland 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), Jim Kolmar (Film Programmer, SXSW), Andrew Rodgers (Executive Director, RiverRun Film Festival) and Sadie Tillery (Director of Programming, Full Frame Film Festival).