January 7, 2015, Astoria, Queens, New York – Citizenfour, Laura Poitras’ first person account of Edward Snowden’s revelations about NSA spying, picked up four awards at the 8th Annual Cinema Eye Honors, including Outstanding Nonfiction Feature and Outstanding Direction, held Wednesday night at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York. It’s the second film in Cinema Eye history to win four awards (Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir was the first) and the second to win both the Direction and Feature awards (Steve James’ The Interrupters did it in 2012).
Poitras also becomes the first person in Cinema Eye history to win the award for Outstanding Direction twice (she previously won for The Oath in 2011). Citizenfour also won awards for Mathilde Bonnefoy’s Editing and for the film’s Production, which was shared by Poitras, Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutsky. In total, Poitras won three awards, tying a record set previously by Lixin Fan in 2011 for Last Train Home.
There were two ties at this year’s Cinema Eye Honors, a first for the awards. In the category of Graphic Design, Syd Garon of Jodorowsky’s Dune and Heather Brantman & Tim Fisher of Particle Fever shared the honor, while in Cinematography, laurels were shared by 20,000 Days on Earth’s Erik Wilson and Virunga’s Franklin Dow and Orlando von Einsiedel. Previously, there had only been one other tie at Cinema Eye, in 2010 for Graphic Design.
Alan Hicks’ Keep On Keepin’ On won the Audience Choice Prize, which was determined by public voting at the Cinema Eye website. More than 7,000 people cast their vote in the final 36 hours of voting for the Audience award.
The Nonfiction Short Film award went to Lucy Walker’s The Lions Mouth Open. Walker won the Cinema Eye Honor for Nonfiction Film for Television last year for her film The Crash Reel. She becomes the first person in Cinema Eye history to win awards in back-to-back years in different categories.
This year’s award for Nonfiction Film for Television went to ESPN 30 for 30’s The Price of Gold, directed by Nanette Burstein.
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Sam Green hosted this year’s event, with an audio assist from Serial podcast host Sarah Koenig, who served as announcer and Voice of God for this year’s proceedings. Presenters included documentary legends Albert Maysles, DA Pennebaker, Steve James, Alan Berliner and the director and editor of this year’s Legacy Award winner Paris is Burning, Jennie Livingston and Jonathan Oppenheim.
A full list of this year’s winners follows:
Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking
Directed by Laura Poitras
Produced by Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky
Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Outstanding Achievement in Production
Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography (tie)
20,000 Days on Earth
Franklin Dow and Orlando von Einsiedel
Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Films Made for Television
The Price of Gold
Directed by Nanette Burstein
Produced by Libby Geist
For ESPN/30 for 30: John Dahl, Connor Schell, Bill Simmons
Audience Choice Prize
Keep On Keepin’ On
Directed by Alan Hicks
Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film
Finding Vivian Maier
Directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score
Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
20,000 Days on Earth
Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation (tie)
Heather Brantman & Tim Fisher
Directed by Johanna Hamilton
Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking
The Lion’s Mouth Opens
Directed by Lucy Walker
Directed by Richard Linklater
Paris is Burning
Directed by Jennie Livingston