November 2, 2016, New York City – Thirty-seven feature films and five shorts will vie for the 2017 Cinema Eye Honors as nominees were announced tonight in Brooklyn at the newly-opened Alamo Drafthouse. It’s the 10th annual edition of the nonfiction film awards, which recognize outstanding artistry and craft in documentary during Cinema Eye Week, a multi-day celebration in nonfiction filmmaking that takes place in New York City each year in January.

Winners will be announced at the 2017 Honors Ceremony on January 11 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, which will be hosted for the second consecutive year by award-winning nonfiction filmmaker Steve James (The Interrupters, Life Itself, Hoop Dreams).

I Am Not Your Negro, Raoul Peck’s portrait of writer & civil rights leader James Baldwin, and OJ: Made in America, Ezra Edelman’s epic telling of race and the judicial system in Los Angeles, led all films with five nominations each, including Outstanding Nonfiction Feature, Direction and Editing.

Kristen Johnson’s Cameraperson and Gianfranco Rosi’s Fire at Sea each received four nominations, including Feature, Direction and Cinematography. Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s Weiner rounded out the films nominated this year for Outstanding Nonfiction Feature.

Gianfranco Rosi led all individuals with 4 nominations for his work as Director, Producer and Cinematographer on Fire at Sea. Ezra Edelman, Kirsten Johnson, Raoul Peck and HBO’s Sheila Nevins each received 3 nominations this year.

Ten films were nominated for the annual Audience Choice Prize, which often includes many of the year’s most popular and talked about films, including Roger Ross WIlliams’ Life, Animated, Clay Tweel’s Gleason, Barbara Kopple’s Miss Sharon Jones!, Tomer Heymann’s Mr. Gaga, Ido Haar’s Presenting Princess Shaw, David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s Tickled and Keith Maitland’s Tower. Kopple’s nomination is noteworthy as she becomes the second filmmaker to be nominated for a Cinema Eye Honor after receiving the organization’s Legacy Award for a previous film. Kopple was honored for Harlan County, U.S.A. in 2014; the late Albert Maysles was nominated earlier this year for Iris and In Transit after having been given the Legacy Award for Grey Gardens in 2011.

Elsewhere, Alex Gibney continued to make Cinema Eye history, receiving his 7th nomination, this year for his work as a Producer on Zero Days. It’s the 6th Gibney-directed film to receive a nomination from Cinema Eye, the most for any filmmaker.

Filmmaker Michal Marczak received his third lifetime nomination for his latest, All These Sleepless Nights, where he is up for Outstanding Cinematography. He was nominated for both of his previous films: At the Edge of Russia (Debut, 2012) and Fuck for Forest (Spotlight, 2014). With the nod, he joins Bill Ross and Turner Ross as filmmakers nominated for each of their first three features. The Ross Brothers’ latest film, Contemporary Color, also became their fourth film to be nominated. It is up this year for Cinematography and Original Score. They are the first filmmakers in Cinema Eye’s ten-year history to have each of their first 4 films recognized with nominations.

HBO’s Sheila Nevins became the most nominated individual in Cinema Eye history, scoring her 9th, 10th and 11th nominations for HBO Documentary Films’ Heroin: Cape Cod, USA, How to Dance in Ohio and Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures. Joining those films in the Outstanding Nonfiction for Television category are A&E’s Happy Valley and Netflix’ Making a Murderer and My Beautiful Broken Brain.

Other returning filmmakers include:
Robert Greene, whose nomination for Outstanding Direction for Kate Plays Christine is his second in the category (he was nominated for Actress in 2015).

Syd Garon’s nomination for Outstanding Graphic Design and Animation for Author: The JT Leroy Story is his fourth nomination in the category in the past three years. He took home the trophy in 2015 for Jodorowsky’s Dune.
Nels Bangerter, nominated for Outstanding Editing for Cameraperson, won the editing award in 2014 for Let the Fire Burn.

Serge Lalou, who is nominated twice this year for Fire at Sea, won back in 2009 for producing Waltz With Bashir.
Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher, who are nominated for Outstanding Short for Peace in the Valley, each won two Cinema Eye Honors in 2010 for October Country: Outstanding Debut and Outstanding Original Score.
Kirsten Johnson, who is up for three Honors this year for Cameraperson, was nominated in 2015 for the Cinematography award for Citizenfour.

Adam Del Deo is nominated in the Nonfiction for Television category for two Netflix films: Making a Murderer and My Beautiful Broken Brain. Del Deo was previously nominated in 2010 as one of the directors of Every Little Step.
Happy Valley director Amir Bar-Lev was previously nominated in 2011 for The Tillman Story.
Cameraperson producer Marilyn Ness was nominated in 2015 for Outstanding Production for The E-Team.
Happy Valley producer John Battsek was nominated earlier this year for Outstanding Feature for his work on Listen to Me Marlon.

HBO’s Sara Bernstein scores her 6th and 7th nominations this year for Heroin: Cape Cod, USA and Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures. Nancy Abraham receives her 4th for How to Dance in Ohio.

Winners of the 10th Annual Cinema Eye Honors will be announced Wednesday, January 11, 2017 in New York at the Museum of the Moving Image. The Honors Ceremony is the culmination of Cinema Eye Week, an international celebration of the year’s best nonfiction artistry that includes screenings, parties and seminars.

The Museum of the Moving Image launches their 10-week screening series “Pushing the Envelope: A Decade of Documentary’s Cinema Eye Honors” this weekend. The series will continue up through the kickoff of Cinema Eye week in January.

HBO Documentary Films is the premiere sponsor for Cinema Eye Week 2017. Major Sponsors are Netflix, A&E IndieFilms, Camden International Film Festival and Field of Vision. The Museum of the Moving Image is the Venue Partner for the 10th Annual Honors. The Murray Center for Documentary Journalism is the Institutional Partner. Industry Sponsors include ESPN Films, Alamo Drafthouse, American Cinema Editors, CPH:DOX, LEF Foundation and Spacestation.

More details about this year’s event, including additional sponsors, this year’s Heterodox nominees and this year’s Legacy Award recipient, will be announced in the coming weeks.

A full list of nominees follows:

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking

  • Cameraperson
    Directed by Kirsten Johnson, Produced by Kirsten Johnson and Marilyn Ness
  • Fire at Sea
    Directed by Gianfranco Rosi, Produced by Donatella Palermo, Gianfranco Rosi, Serge Lalou and Camille Laemlé
  • I Am Not Your Negro
    Directed by Raoul Peck, Produced by Rémi Grellety, Raoul Peck and Hébert Peck
  • OJ: Made in America
    Directed by Ezra Edelman, Produced by Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow
  • Weiner
    Directed and Produced by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg

Outstanding Achievement in Direction

  • Kirsten Johnson for Cameraperson
  • Gianfranco Rosi for Fire at Sea
  • Raoul Peck for I Am Not Your Negro
  • Robert Greene for Kate Plays Christine
  • Ezra Edelman for OJ: Made in America

Outstanding Achievement in Editing

  • Nels Bangerter for Cameraperson
  • Clay Tweel for Gleason
  • Alexandra Strauss for I Am Not Your Negro
  • Bret Granato, Maya Mumma, and Ben Sozanski for OJ: Made in America
  • Eli Despres for Weiner

Outstanding Achievement in Production

  • Stacey Reiss, Sharon Chang and Otto Bell for The Eagle Huntress
  • Donatella Palermo, Gianfranco Rosi, Serge Lalou and Camille Laemmlé for Fire at Sea
  • Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow for OJ: Made in America
  • Carthew Neal for Tickled
  • Marc Shmuger and Alex Gibney for Zero Days

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

  • Michal Marczak and Maciej Twardowski for All These Sleepless Nights
  • Kirsten Johnson for Cameraperson
  • Jarred Alterman for Contemporary Color
  • Simon Niblett for The Eagle Huntress
  • Gianfranco Rosi for Fire at Sea

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Films Made for Television

  • Happy Valley
    Directed by Amir Bar-Lev, Produced by Jonathan Koch, Steve Michaels, John Battsek and Ken Dornstein
    For A&E IndieFilms: Molly Thompson, Robert DeBitetto and David McKillop
  • Heroin: Cape Cod, USA
    Directed and Produced by Steven Okazaki
    For HBO Documentary Films: Sara Bernstein and Sheila Nevins
  • How to Dance in Ohio
    Directed by Alexandra Shiva, Produced by Alexandra Shiva and Bari Pearlman
    For HBO Documentary Films: Nancy Abraham and Sheila Nevins
  • Making a Murderer
    Directed and Produced by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos
    For Netflix: Lisa Nishimura and Adam Del Deo
  • Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures
    Directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, Produced by Katharina Otto-Bernstein and Mona Card
    For HBO Documentary Films: Sara Bernstein and Sheila Nevins
  • My Beautiful Broken Brain
    Directed by Sophie Robinson and Lotje Sodderlan, Produced by Sophie Robinson
    For Netflix: Lisa Nishimura and Adam Del Deo

Audience Choice Prize

  • Gleason
    Directed by Clay Tweel
  • I Am Not Your Negro
    Directed by Raoul Peck
  • Life, Animated
    Directed by Roger Ross Williams
  • Miss Sharon Jones!
    Directed by Barbara Kopple
  • Mr. Gaga
    Directed by Tomer Heymann
  • Presenting Princess Shaw
    Directed by Ido Haar
  • Sonita
    Directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
  • Tickled
    Directed by David Farrier and Dylan Reeve
  • Tower
    Directed by Keith Maitland
  • Weiner
    Directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film

  • Craig Atkinson for Do Not Resist
  • Otto Bell for The Eagle Huntress
  • Jessica Edwards for Mavis!
  • Nanfu Wang for Hooligan Sparrow
  • David Farrier and Dylan Reeve for Tickled
  • Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel for When Two Worlds Collide

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score

  • Lubomir Grzelak for All These Sleepless Nights
  • David Byrne, LeeAnn Rossi, Aaron Rosenblum for Contemporary Color
  • Alexei Aigui for I Am Not Your Negro
  • Alex Lu for In Pursuit of Silence
  • Gary Lionelli for OJ: Made in America

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation

  • Ana Bernaus-Gomez, Christopher Kirk and Syd Garon for Author: The JT Leroy Story
  • Philippe Sonrier (Mac Guff) and Brian Bowman (Trollback) for Life, Animated
  • James Belfer and Daniel Shepard for Nuts!
  • Craig Staggs and Keith Maitland for Tower
  • Marc Smith, Alexander Porter and Nick Gibney for Zero Days

Spotlight Award

  • All this Panic
    Directed by Jenny Gage
  • Among the Believers
    Directed by Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi
  • Dead Slow Ahead
    Directed by Mauro Herce
  • The Land of the Enlightened
    Directed by Pieter-Jan De Pue
  • The Pearl
    Directed by Jessica Dimmock and Christopher LaMarca
  • Les Sauteurs (Those Who Jump)
    Directed by Estephan Wagner and Moritz Siebert

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking

  • Bacon and God’s Wrath
    Directed by Sol Friedman
  • Extremis
    Directed by Dan Krauss
  • La Laguna
    Directed by Aaron Schock
  • My Aleppo
    Directed by Melissa Langer
  • Peace in the Valley
    Directed by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

The Unforgettables

The year’s most notable and significant nonfiction film subjects (previously announced)

  • Michal Huszcza for All These Sleepless Nights
  • Audrie Pott and Daisy Coleman for Audrie and Daisy
  • Laura Albert for Author: The JT Leroy Story
  • Kirsten Johnson for Cameraperson
  • Aisholpan Nurgaiv for The Eagle Huntress
  • Samuela Pucillo for Fire at Sea
  • Steve Gleason and Michel Varisco for Gleason
  • Ye Haiyan for Hooligan Sparrow
  • Kate Shiel for Kate Plays Christine
  • Owen Suskind for Life, Animated
  • Sharon Jones for Miss Sharon Jones!
  • Peter Dunning for Peter and the Farm
  • Princess Shaw for Presenting Princess Shaw
  • Sonita Alidazeh for Sonita
  • Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner for Weiner


About Cinema Eye, Cinema Eye Week and the 2017 Cinema Eye Honors
Cinema Eye was 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 presents and produces the annual Cinema Eye Week and Honors Ceremony.

The Honors Ceremony is the centerpiece of Cinema Eye Week, a multi-day, multi-city celebration that acknowledges the best work in nonfiction film through screenings and events. The final four days of Cinema Eye Week take place in New York City, where a series of celebratory events brought together many of the year’s most accomplished filmmakers. This year’s dates are January 10-13, with awards presented at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens on the 13th.

Nominees for the Cinema Eye Honors nonfiction feature awards are determined in voting by the top documentary programmers from throughout the world. This year’s nominations committee included Claire Aguilar (Sheffield), Pamela Cohn (Dokufest Kosovo), David Courier (Sundance), Cara Cusumano (Tribeca), Bruno Dequen (RIDM), Sarafina DiFelice (Hot Docs), Joanne Feinberg (formerly Programmer, Ashland), Elena Fortes (Morelia/Ambulante), Nominations Committee Chair Ben Fowlie (Camden), Tom Hall (Montclair), Sarah Harris (Dallas), Lane Kneedler (AFI Fest), Jim Kolmar (SXSW), Amir Labaki (It’s All True), Artur Liebhart (Planete Doc Review), Mads Mikkelsen (CPH:DOX), David Nugent (Hamptons), Veton Nurkollari (Dokufest Kosovo), Janet Pierson (SXSW), Thom Powers (Toronto), Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Shane Smith (Hot Docs), Martijn te Pas (IDFA), Sadie Tillery (Full Frame), Basil Tsiokos (DOC NYC) and David Wilson (True/False).

Nominees for the Cinema Eye Honors short film awards were selected by a nominations committee that included Claire Aguilar (Sheffield Doc/Fest), Chris Boeckman (True/False), Cara Cusumano (Tribeca), Ben Fowlie (Camden International Film Festival), Claudette Godfrey (SXSW), Jasper Hokken (IDFA), Doug Jones (Images Cinema), Maggie Mackay (Vidiots) Ted Mott (Full Frame), Veton Nurkollari (DokuFest Kosovo), Dan Nuxoll (Rooftop Films), Mike Plante (Sundance), Shorts Chair Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Shane Smith (Hot Docs) and Kim Yutani (Sundance).

Nominees for the Television Award were selected in a two rounds of voting. The first round consisted of programmers that included Joanne Feinberg (formerly of Ashland), Tom Hall (Montclair), Sarah Harris (Dallas), Doug Jones (Images Cinema), Lane Kneedler (AFI FEST), Jim Kolmar (SXSW), Andrea Passafiume (formerly of AFI Docs), Andrew Rodgers (Denver) Sadie Tillery (Full Frame). The second round included film critics and writers Paula Bernstein, Steve Dollar, Bilge Ebiri, Eric Hynes, Liz Shannon Miller, Mark Olsen, Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman.

Charlotte Cook and Marshall Curry serve as Cinema Eye’s Board Chairs. Wendy Garrett and Nathan Truesdell will serve as Co-Chairs of Cinema Eye Week. Will Lennon is Cinema Eye’s Managing Director. AJ Schnack is the Founding Director of Cinema Eye.