Strong Island and Jane Top 11th Annual Cinema Eye Honors
Yance Ford’s Exploration into the Death of His Brother Wins Feature, Direction & Debut
Brett Morgen’s Portrait of Jane Goodall Receives Audience and Score Prizes
Quest, Last Men in Aleppo, Chasing Coral, Long Strange Trip,
Icarus, The Keepers & Rabbit Hunt Among Award Winners
January 11, 2018, Astoria, Queens, New York – Strong Island, filmmaker Yance Ford’s decade-long examination into the murder of his brother William Ford and the effect of the crime on his family, won three major awards at the 11th Annual Cinema Eye Honors tonight, including Outstanding Direction, Outstanding Debut and Outstanding Nonfiction Feature Film. It’s the first time in Cinema Eye history that a debut film won the award for Outstanding Direction and Ford joins a select group of filmmakers to win three Honors in a single year.
Brett Morgen’s Jane, a portrait of primatologist, activist and scientist Dr. Jane Goodall, won two awards: the Audience Choice Prize, taking top position in the votes of more than 15,000 members of the public, as well as Outstanding Score for composer Philip Glass.
The prize for Outstanding Editing went to Lindsay Utz, for her work on Jonathan Olshefski’s Quest, a multi-year portrait of a North Philadelphia family.
In addition to Strong Island and Jane, four other films on the Motion Picture Academy’s Shortlist for Feature Documentary received awards:
Kareem Abeed, Stefan Kloos and Soren Steen Jespersen won Outstanding Production for Last Men in Aleppo; Andrew Ackerman and Jeff Orlowski won Outstanding Cinematography for Chasing Coral; and Stefan Nadelman won Outstanding Graphic Design for Long Strange Trip.
At a ceremony in Manhattan on Wednesday, director Bryan Fogel and producer Dan Cogan were presented with the Hell Yeah Prize for Icarus.
This is the second Cinema Eye Honor for Jeff Orlowski, who won previously for Cinematography for Chasing Ice, and for Stefan Nadelman, who won for Kurt Cobain Montage of Heck’s Graphic Design.
Patrick Bresnan’s The Rabbit Hunt won the award for Outstanding Nonfiction Short, while Ryan White’s The Keepers (Netflix) took the prize for Outstanding Nonfiction Filmmaking for Broadcast or Streaming. The winner of the Spotlight Award was Gustavo Salmerón for Lots of Kids, A Monkey and a Castle.
Netflix received more awards than any other distributor, winning a total of 6 awards.
At a lunch Wednesday in Manhattan, this year’s Heterodox Award, given to films that provocatively expand the blurry line between fiction and nonfiction, was presented to Sean Baker’s The Florida Project and the Legacy Award was given to Leon Gast for his classic film, When We Were Kings.
The 11th Annual Cinema Eye Honors were presented at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens and were streamed live via the Museum of the Moving Image and Cinema Eye Facebook pages. Filmmaker Steve James, recently named a DGA nominee for his latest film Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, was the host. Presenters included Sheila Nevins, Roger Ross Williams, Julie Goldman, Josh and Benny Safdie, Marilyn Ness, Nanette Burstein, Kirsten Johnson, Nathan Truesdell, Amir Bar-Lev, Kelli Scarr, Brett Morgen and Nanfu Wang.
The Awards Ceremony capped a week of events that brought together nonfiction filmmakers from around the globe. Cinema Eye was founded in 2007 as a protest of that year’s existing awards which had failed to recognize many of the year’s top artistic achievements. In the decade since, Cinema Eye has become one of the largest international gatherings of nonfiction filmmakers and craftspersons. Cinema Eye was the first organization to present an award for Production, Cinematography, Original Score and Graphic Design in Nonfiction Film, and the first, aside from the guilds, to recognize Direction and Editing.
A full list of Cinema Eye winners follows.
in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking
Directed by Yance Ford Produced by Joslyn Barnes and Yance Ford
For Strong Island
Kareem Abeed, Stefan Kloos and Søren Steen Jespersen
For Last Men in Aleppo
Andrew Ackerman and Jeff Orlowski
For Chasing Coral
in Original Music Score
in Graphic Design or Animation
For Long Strange Trip
in a Debut Feature Film
Directed by Yance Ford
Audience Choice Prize
Directed by Brett Morgen
in Nonfiction Films Made for Television
Directed by Ryan White For Netflix: Ben Cotner, Jason Spingarn-Koff and Lisa Nishimura
Lots of Kids, A Monkey and a Castle
Directed by Gustavo Salmerón
in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking
The Rabbit Hunt
Directed by Patrick Bresnan
The Florida Project
Directed by Sean Baker
When We Were Kings
Directed by Leon Gast
Hell Yeah Prize
Directed by Bryan Fogel