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CEH 2024 Nonfiction Feature Collage

Cinema Eye Honors, the organization that recognizes outstanding artistic achievement in nonfiction and documentary films and series, announced today the full slate of nominees for its 17th Annual Awards Ceremony. Kokomo City, the debut feature from D. Smith led all nominees with six nominations. Mstyslav Chernov’s 20 Days in Mariupol, Sam Green’s 32 Sounds and Maite Alberdi’s The Eternal Memory each received five nominations. All four films are nominated for Outstanding Nonfiction Feature, where they are joined by Kaouther Ben Hania’s Four Daughters, Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson’s Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project and Davis Guggenheim’s Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie.

Maite Alberdi, Sam Green, Kaouther Ben Hania and D. Smith were all nominated for Outstanding Direction. The category also includes renowned filmmakers Claire Simon (for Our Body) and Wim Wenders (for Anselm).

Mstyslav Chernov and D. Smith have the most individual nominations this year, with four each. Maite Alberdi, Kaouther Ben Hania, Michelle Mizner (producer and editor for 20 Days of Mariupol), Christopher Sharp (co-director and producer of Bobi Wine: The People’s President) each received three.

Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson became the first filmmakers in Cinema Eye history to be nominated for Nonfiction Feature and Nonfiction Short in the same year, showing up in the latter category for their ESPN short Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games.

With two nominations for American Symphony, Matthew Heineman moves in third place in total Cinema Eye nominations all time. Steve James and Laura Poitras each have 13, Heineman now has 12. With his Anthology Series nomination for Edge of the Unknown, Jimmy Chin now has 10.

In addition, a number of Cinema Eye veterans were recognized for their work this year including:

  • A historic fourth nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Editing for Nels Bangerter (32 Sounds). He has won the award twice before for Let the Fire Burn and Cameraperson.
  • Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor are nominated for Outstanding Cinematography for De Humani Corporis Fabrica. They previously won in the category for Leviathan.
  • Philip Glass is nominated with Paul Leonard-Morgan for their Original Score for The Pigeon Tunnel. Glass previously won for his score for the film Jane.
  • Geeta Gandbhir, a winner earlier this year for Outstanding Nonfiction Series for Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children, is nominated again in 2024 for Broadcast Feature Film for Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power, which she directed with Sam Pollard.

In October, Cinema Eye announced a long list of 20 films for the Audience Choice Prize and opened voting to the public. In the greatest response the category has ever seen, more than 110,000 votes were cast by documentary film fans from across the globe. The category includes such crowd favorites as American Symphony, Beyond Utopia, Bobi Wine: The People’s President, The Deepest Breath, Invisible Beauty, Joan Baez I Am a Noise and Smoke Sauna Sisterhood. Penny Lane, a previous nominee in the category for Listening to Kenny G, returns again for her latest, Confessions of a Good Samaritan.

Historically, films nominated for Cinema Eye will often go on to receive other nominations and critics prizes. Over the last five years, 92% of the Oscar nominees for Best Documentary Feature were also Cinema Eye nominees.

Netflix led all distributors with a total of 11 nominations, followed by 10 nominations for Magnolia Pictures, eight for National Geographic and seven each for HBO and Hulu.

Nominees for this year’s Broadcast Film and Series awards were announced on October 19, 2023, during the annual Cinema Eye Fall Lunch in Los Angeles. The Cinema Eye 2024 Awards Ceremony will take place on Friday, January 12, 2024 at the New York Academy of Medicine in East Harlem.