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“Shorts List”, Core Team, Dates and Kitchen Cabinet Announced

September 14, 2017, Camden, ME – Ten nonfiction short films were announced today as semi-finalists for the 11th Annual Cinema Eye Honors, the largest annual celebration and recognition of the nonfiction film artform and the creators of those films.

Today Cinema Eye also announced its Core Team and key dates for the 2018 Honors as well as its newly-formed Kitchen Cabinet, a team of advisors that includes representatives from every craft that Cinema Eye celebrates and members of the larger documentary community.

The announcement of the annual Cinema Eye “Shorts List” was made on the opening day of the 2017 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF), a key festival partner and sponsor of the Cinema Eye Honors. This is the fourth consecutive year where all ten films, which are among the most acclaimed short documentaries of the year, will screen on the coast of Maine during the influential fall festival.

“From sugarcane fields in the Everglades to China’s largest wholesale market to a high dive platform in Sweden, this year’s short documentaries offer us an unexpected and often revelatory view of the human condition,” said Rachel Rosen, Director of Programming for SFFILM and the Chair of the Cinema Eye Short Film and Broadcast Nominations Committees. “The 10 exceptional films on this year’s “Shorts List” also show filmmakers, both veteran and emerging, working at the highest levels in their exploration of the documentary form.”

From this “Shorts List” of ten semi-finalists, five or more films will be named as nominees for the Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking Honor. Nominees in that category and nearly a dozen feature film categories will be announced on Thursday, November 3, in San Francisco during SFFILM Doc Stories.

The winner will be announced at the 11th Annual Cinema Eye Honors Ceremony at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens on the evening of Thursday, January 11, 2018.

This year’s Ten “Shorts List” semi-finalists for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking are:

10 Meter Tower (Sweden)
Directed by Maximilian Van Aertryck and Axel Danielson

Commodity City (USA/China)
Directed by Jessica Kingdon

Directed by Laura Checkoway

Fish Story (UK)
Directed by Charlie Lyne

Heroin(e) (USA)
Directed by Elaine McMillion Sheldon

Little Potato (USA)
Directed by Wes Hurley and Nathan Miller

La Pesca (Columbia/Canada)
Directed by Pablo Alvarez Mesa and Fernando Lopez Escriva

Polonaise (Poland)
Directed by Agnieszka Elbanowska

Project X (USA)
Directed by Laura Poitras and Henrik Moltke

The Rabbit Hunt (USA)
Directed by Patrick Bresnan

Of this year’s “Shorts List”-ed filmmakers, only Laura Poitras (Project X) is a previous Cinema Eye nominee and winner. She was nominated in this category for Death of a Prisoner in 2014 and she is the most nominated filmmaker in Cinema Eye history, winning the Outstanding Direction Award twice, for The Oath (2011) and Citizenfour (2015). Patrick Bresnan (The Rabbit Hunt) was on last year’s “Shorts List” for his previous film, The Send-Off.

Cinema Eye also announced its Core Leadership Team for the 2018 Honors as well as a newly-formed 29-person Kitchen Cabinet of advisors representing each of the crafts that are celebrated by Cinema Eye.

Acclaimed nonfiction filmmaker Dawn Porter (CEH14 Nominee for Gideon’s Army) joins Marshall Curry (CEH15 Nominee, Point and Shoot) as the Co-Chairs of Cinema Eye. Wendy Garrett and Nathan Truesdell return as Co-Chairs of Cinema Eye Week. Ben Fowlie (Executive Director of The Points North Institute) and Rachel Rosen are Chairs of Cinema Eye’s Nomination Committees. Will Lennon is the Managing Director of Cinema Eye. AJ Schnack is Cinema Eye’s Founding Director.

Cinema Eye’s inaugural Kitchen Cabinet of advisors includes eighteen previous nominees representing all of Cinema Eye’s craft categories. The Kitchen Cabinet will advise the Cinema Eye core team on emerging questions in the documentary community and will be the first group to generate nominees for Cinema Eye’s Distinctive Honors, including the annual Legacy Award and the periodic Hell Yeah Prize.

Members of 2018 Cinema Eye Kitchen Cabinet:

Mila Aung-Thwin (CEH11 Winner, Outstanding Production, Last Train Home)
Nels Bangerter (CEH14 Winner, Outstanding Editing, Let the Fire Burn)
Ana Gomez Bernaus (CEH17 Nominee, Outstanding Graphic Design, Author: The JT Leroy Story)
Dustin Guy Defa (CEH13 Nominee, Outstanding Nonfiction Short Film, Family Nightmare)
Natalie Difford (Head of Filmmaker Development, Cinereach)
Ezra Edelman (CEH17 Winner, Outstanding Direction & Production, OJ: Made in America)
Yance Ford (Director, Strong Island)
Elena Fortes (former Director, Ambulante Film Festival)
Liz Garbus (CEH16 Nominee, Audience Choice Prize, What Happened, Miss Simone?)
Syd Garon (CEH15, Outstanding Graphic Design, Jodorowsky’s Dune)
Eugene Hernandez (Deputy Director, Film Society at Lincoln Center)
Eric Hynes (Associate Curator of Film, Museum of the Moving Image)
Jason Ishikawa (Head of International Sales, Cinetic Media)
Steve James (CEH12 Winner, Outstanding Feature & Direction, The Interrupters)
Kirsten Johnson (CEH17 Winner, Outstanding Feature & Cinematography, Cameraperson)
John Kusiak (CEH12 Winner, Outstanding Score, Tabloid)
Loira Limbal (Vice President, Firelight Media)
Elizabeth Lo (CEH16 Winner, Outstanding Nonfiction Short Film, Hotel 22)
Michal Marczak (CEH17 Winner, Heterodox Award, All These Sleepless Nights)
Marilyn Ness (CEH17 Winner, Outstanding Feature, Cameraperson)
Dan Nuxoll (Artistic Director, Rooftop Films)
Bill Ross (CEH13 Nominee, Outstanding Direction, Tchoupitoulas; CEH16 Nominee, Cinematography, Western)
Kelli Scarr (CEH09 Nominee, Outstanding Score, In a Dream)
Mo Scarpelli (CEH16 Nominee, Spotlight Award, Frame by Frame)
Jess Search (Chief Executive, The Doc Society)
Signe Byrge Sorensen (CEH16 Winner, Outstanding Feature Film & Production, The Look of Silence)
Jean Tsien (Editor of CEH17 Audience Nominee, Miss Sharon Jones!)
Michael Tuckman (Founder at mTuckman media, Distribution)
Chai Vasaryelhi (CEH16 Winner, Audience Nominee, Meru)

Finalists for the Short Filmmaking award were determined in voting by top short film/documentary programmers from international film festivals. Members of this year’s Short Film Nominations Committee included: Chair Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Chris Boeckman (True/False), Ben Fowlie (Camden), Claudette Godfrey (SXSW), Jasper Hokken (IDFA), Doug Jones (Images Cinema), Luke Moody (Sheffield), Ted Mott (Full Frame), Jenn Murphy (AFI Fest), Veton Nurkollari (Dokufest Kosovo), Dan Nuxoll (Rooftop), Shane Smith (Hot Docs), and Kim Yutani (Sundance).

This is the seventh year that Cinema Eye has presented an award for Nonfiction Short Filmmaking. Previous winners in the category include The Poodle Trainer (directed by Vance Malone, 2011), Diary (Tim Hetherington, 2012), Goodbye Mandima (Kwa Heri Mandima) (Robert-Jan Lacombe, 2013), A Story for the Modlins (Sergio Oksman, 2014), The Lion’s Mouth Opens (Lucy Walker, 2015), Buffalo Juggalos (Scott Cummings, 2016) & Hotel 22 (Elizabeth Lo, 2016), and La Laguna (Aaron Schock, 2017).

This marks the sixth year that the CEH “Shorts List” has been announced in connection with the Camden International Film Festival. This January will mark the ninth consecutive year that CIFF will host their annual Nominees Party on the eve of the Cinema Eye Honors Ceremony. The Nominees Party is a key part of Cinema Eye Week, a multi-day event that includes screenings, filmmaker training, a super secret field trip and multiple celebrations that bring together the international documentary community.

This year’s Cinema Eye Week will be held January 8-11, 2018.