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Cinema Eye Unveils First Awards Announcements for 2020 Including This Year’s Unforgettables

October 24, 2019 | Los Angeles, California – Cinema Eye Honors kicked off its 2020 season today with the first awards announcements of its 13th year recognizing artistry and innovation in nonfiction filmmaking.

This is the 7th year that Cinema Eye continues its tradition of recognizing the vital contributions of nonfiction film subjects with its list of The Unforgettables. Notable subjects from 15 films are included on this year’s list, both well-known figures (Ask Dr. Ruth’s Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Knock Down the House’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, XY Chelsea’s Chelsea Manning) and less widely-known individuals whose appearances in this year’s documentaries proved to be indelible (Honeyland’s Hatidze Muratova, For Sama’s Waad and Hamza al-Kataeb, The Cave’s Amani Ballour).

The 2020 Unforgettables

  • Lea Tsemel
  • The Amazing Johnathan
    The Amazing Johnathan Documentary
  • Dr. Ruth Westheimer
    Ask Dr. Ruth
  • Dr. Amani Ballour
    The Cave
  • Benedetta Barzini
    The Disappearance of My Mother
  • Waad and Hamza al-Kataeb
    For Sama
  • Lucien Greaves
    Hail Satan?
  • Hatidze Muratova
  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
    Knock Down the House
  • Tracy Edwards
  • Juan Ochoa
    Midnight Family
  • Fatima Hussain and Hassan Fazili
    Midnight Traveler
  • Freddy
  • Judy Hill
    What You Gonna Do When the World’s On Fire?
  • Chelsea Manning
    XY Chelsea

The Unforgettables and other early 2020 Awards announcements were made at the 2nd annual Cinema Eye Fall Lunch, with many of the year’s top filmmakers in attendance.

Netflix, 30 for 30, Hulu and Showtime Documentary Films hosted the event at Tartine Bianco in downtown Los Angeles. Nominees for this year’s Nonfiction Feature awards (including Outstanding Nonfiction Feature, Direction, Editing, Production, Cinematography, Original Score, Graphic Design, Debut, Spotlight, Nonfiction Short and Audience Choice) will be announced in two weeks, on Thursday, November 7.

The 2020 Cinema Eye Honors will be presented at the 13th Annual Awards Ceremony at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York on Monday, January 6, 2020.

Legacy Award

Directed and Produced by Godfrey Reggio
Cinematography Ron Fricke
Editing Ron Fricke and Alton Walpole
Original Score Philip Glass


  • Atlantics
    Directed by Mati Diop
  • Honey Boy
    Directed by Alma Har’el
  • The Infiltrators
    Directed by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra
  • The Souvenir
    Directed by Joanna Hogg
  • Vitalina Varela
    Directed by Pedro Costa

Shorts List

  • All on a Mardi Gras Day
    Directed by Michal Pietrzyk
  • Crannog
    Directed by Isa Roa
  • Fast Horse
    Directed by Alex Lazarowich
  • Ghosts of Sugar Land
    Directed by Bassam Tariq
  • In the Absence
    Directed by Seung Jun-Yi
  • Life Overtakes Me
    Directed by John Haptas & Kristine Samuelson
  • Lowland Kids
    Directed by Sandra Winther
  • St. Louis Superman
    Directed by Smriti Mundhra & Sami Khan
  • Stay Close
    Directed by Luther Clement & Shuhan Fan
  • Subject to Review
    Directed by Theo Anthony

Broadcast Film

  • Apollo: Mission to the Moon
    Directed by Tom Jennings | National Geographic
  • At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal
    Directed by Erin Lee Carr | HBO
  • Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists
    Directed by Jonathan Alter, Steven McCarthy and John Block | HBO
  • Homecoming
    Directed by Beyoncé Knowles-Carter | Netflix
  • Leaving Neverland
    Directed by Dan Reed | HBO
  • The Sentence
    Directed by Rudy Valdez | HBO

Outstanding Broadcast Series

  • The Case Against Adnan Syed
    Directed by Amy Berg | HBO
  • The Family
    Directed by Jesse Moss | Netflix
  • Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle
    Directed by Shan Nicholson and Richard Lopez | SundanceTV
  • Last Chance U: Season 4
    Directed by Greg Whiteley | Netflix
  • Salt Fat Acid Heat
    Directed by Caroline Suh | Netflix
  • Tricky Dick
    Directed by Mary Robertson | CNN

Outstanding Broadcast Editing

  • Apollo: Mission to the Moon
    David Tillman | National Geographic
  • Homecoming
    Alexander Hammer, Andrew Morrow, Nia Imani and Julian Klincewicz | Netflix
  • Leaving Neverland
    Jules Cornell | HBO
  • Tricky Dick
    Benji Kast, David Mehlman, Diana DiCilio and Seth Skundrick | CNN

Outstanding Broadcast Cinematography

  • Homecoming
    Mark Ritchie, Julian Klincewicz, Dikayl Rimmasch and Irie Calkins | Netflix
  • Into the Okavango
    Neil Gelinas | National Geographic
  • Salt Fat Acid Heat
    Luke McCoubrey | Netflix
  • Tigerland
    Matt Porwoll and Ross Kauffman| Discovery