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Cinema Eye Honors Names 2015 “Shorts List”

Ten nonfiction short films were announced today as finalists for the 2015 Cinema Eye Honors, the 8th edition of the largest annual celebration for and recognition of the nonfiction film artform and the creators of those films.

The announcement of the annual Cinema Eye Shorts List was made on the opening day of the 2014 Camden International Film Festival (CIFF), a key festival partner of the Cinema Eye Honors. For the first time, all ten films, which are among the most acclaimed short documentaries of the year, will screen this weekend at the at the 10th Annual Camden International Film Festival.

It’s the third year that the CEH Shorts List has been announced in Camden and the first year that all ten films on the list will screen at the festival.  This January will mark the sixth year that CIFF hosts their annual reception on the eve of Cinema Eye’s award ceremony.  A key part of Cinema Eye Week, a multi-day event held in New York City in January, the CIFF reception has become the largest single event for nonfiction film in the city and an important kickoff for the new year in the documentary community.

Among the notable films and filmmakers on this year’s Shorts List:

  • Steven Bognar’s Foundry Night Shift. Bognar was a 2010 Academy Award nominee for The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant and a 2007 Primetime Emmy Award winner for A Lion in The House.
  • Deborah Stratman’s Hacked Circuit. Stratman was a 2010 Cinema Eye nominee for Outstanding Cinematography for her film O’er the Land and was named to the 2012 Shorts List for Ray’s Birds.
  • Lucy Walker’s The Lion’s Mouth Opens. Walker won the 2014 Cinema Eye Honor for Outstanding Nonfiction Film on Television for The Crash Reel. She is a two-time Academy Award nominee for Waste Land and The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.

From the ten finalists on this year’s Shorts List, five films will be named as nominees for the Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking Award.  Nominees in that category and nearly a dozen feature film categories will be announced on Wednesday, November 12 in Copenhagen, Denmark at an event at CPH:DOX.  Awards will be presented during Cinema Eye Week in New York City in January 2015.

This year’s ten finalists are:

Foundry Night Shift (United States)
Directed by Steven Bognar

Hacked Circuit (United States)
Directed by Deborah Stratman

Joanna (Poland)
Directed by Aneta Kopacz

The Lion’s Mouth Opens (United States)
Directed by Lucy Walker

Notes on Blindness (United Kingdom)
Directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney

One Year Lease (United States)
Directed by Brian Bolster

The Queen (Argentina)
Directed by Manuel Abramovich

Santa Cruz del Islote (United States)
Directed by Luke Lorentzen

Unlocking the Truth (United States)
Directed by Luke Meyer

Vegas (United Kingdom)
Directed by Lukasz Konopa

Finalists for the Short Filmmaking award were determined in voting by top short film/documentary programmers from international film festivals.  Members of this year’s Short Film Nominations Committee included: Karen Cirillo (True/False Film Festival), Charlotte Cook (Hot Docs), Hussain Currimbhoy (formerly of Sheffield Doc/Fest), Cara Cusumano (Tribeca), Ben Fowlie (Camden International Film Festival), Claudette Godfrey (SXSW), Doug Jones (formerly of the Los Angeles Film Festival), Ted Mott (Full Frame), Veton Nurkollari (Dokufest Kosovo), Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Sky Sitney (formerly of AFI Docs) and Kim Yutani (Sundance).

This is the fifth year that Cinema Eye has presented an award for Nonfiction Short Filmmaking.  Previous winners in the category include The Poodle Trainer (directed by Vance Malone, 2011), Diary (Tim Hetherington, 2012), Goodbye Mandima (Kwa Heri Mandima) (Robert-Jan Lacombe, 2013) and A Story for the Modlins (Sergio Oksman, 2014).