And the Nominees Are...

Rules for 2019:

 

Feature Film Eligibility

Films become eligible by fulfilling two of four criteria:

  1. Screening at one of the following international film festivals (listed alphabetically): AFI DOCS, Berlin, Camden, Cannes, CPH:DOX, DOC NYC, Dokufest Kosovo, Full Frame, Hot Docs, IDFA, Los Angeles, New Directors/New Films, New York, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Sheffield, Sundance, SXSW, Telluride, Toronto, Tribeca, True/False or Venice.
  2. Screening at one of the following international film festivals (listed alphabetically): AFI DOCS, AFI FEST, Ambulante, Antenna, Ashland, Berlin, Camden, Cannes, CPH:DOX, Dallas, Denver, DOC NYC, Docs Against Gravity, Dokufest Kosovo, Edinburgh, Full Frame, Guangzhou, Hamptons, Hot Docs, IDFA, It’s All True, Jihlava, Karlovy Vary, Los Angeles, Locarno, Montclair, New Directors/New Films, New York, RIDM, Rooftop Films Summer Series, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Sarasota, Seattle, Sheffield, Sundance, SXSW, Telluride, Toronto, Traverse City, Tribeca, True/False, Venice, Visions De Reel or Yamagata.
  3. An Oscar-qualifying theatrical release in New York or Los Angeles prior to the end of the year.
  4. Reporting at least $25,000 in North American theatrical box office.

Examples of Eligible Films:

  • A film that has screened at SXSW and Full Frame is eligible.
  • A film that has screened at San Francisco and Traverse City is eligible.
  • A film that is set to screen at the New York Film Festival and has an Oscar-qualifying NY/LA opening confirmed prior to the end of 2018 is eligible.
  • A film that has reported more than $25,000 in North American theatrical box office, including Oscar-qualifying openings in NY and LA is eligible.

NOTE: Films may only submit once for Cinema Eye Feature Honors. For example, if you submitted in 2017 because you were eligible via festival screenings, you cannot submit again this year even if you are eligible via theatrical release.

NOTE: Films that had a public screening prior to September 1, 2016 are not eligible, even if they had not previously submitted and meet the other eligibility requirements.


Voting for Feature Film Categories

  • Nominations are determined by the votes of the Cinema Eye Feature Film Nominations Committee, except in the Outstanding Nonfiction Feature category where nominations are determined both by the Nominations Committee and by that year’s eligible filmmakers who have submitted and registered their films.
  • Cinema Eye Core Team members do not vote for nominees, except for the Nominations Committee chair(s), who vote(s) as part of their committee duties.
  • Nominations Committee members are asked to vote for their favorites in each category from the list of submitted films ranking films 1-5, with 1 being their favorite, except in the Outstanding Nonfiction Feature category and the Audience Choice category where they rank ten films 1-10.  Films ranked first receive 5 points (10 points in Feature and Audience categories), second receive 4 points (9 in Feature and Audience) and so on.
  • In the Outstanding Nonfiction Feature category, eligible filmmakers are also asked to vote for their five favorite films of the year. They are not allowed to vote for their own film.
  • Total points from the nominations committee at totaled.
  • The top five point totals are named nominees.  In the Audience Choice category, the top ten point totals are named nominees.
  • Should a sixth film have 1 point less than the film in the fifth position AND should the sixth film have received more total votes than the film in the fifth position, the sixth film will be named a nominee.
  • If two films are tied in the sixth position that receive a higher vote total than the film in the fifth position, the film with the higher number of votes would be named a nominee and the other film would not.  If they are tied in points and in number of votes, neither would be named a nominee.
  • If there is a points tie between two films in the fifth position, both would be named nominees.  There would not be a seventh nominee named, even if the film in seventh position has a higher vote total than the films tied in fifth position.
  • If there is a points tie between three (or more) films in the 5th position, the two films with a higher vote total would be nominated. If there was a tie between all three (or more) films in votes, the nominations committee would re-vote on their preferences for the three films.  The two highest scoring films would be nominees.
  • In the Outstanding Nonfiction Feature category, points are also totaled from the votes of eligible filmmakers. If these votes, when added to the votes of the nominations committee, move a film into the top five combined points total, that film would be named as a sixth nominee. If votes from eligible filmmakers move more than one film into the top five combined points total, the film with the highest combined points would be a nominee and the other film(s) would not.
  • In the Score category, films are required to have at least 51% of their music original and composed specifically for the film.
  • In the Graphics category, films are required to have at least 1 minute of original graphic design and/or animation, not including lower thirds or sub-titles.
  • In the Debut category, films are required to be the first feature-length (longer than 50 minutes) nonfiction or fiction film that was directed by the director.
  • In the Spotlight category, Nominations Committee members are free to vote for films whether they have qualified for other feature film categories or not.  They are asked to vote for films that have yet to receive proper attention in North America and are from filmmakers who are in the early part of their career, from whom they would like to see more.
  • In the Audience Choice category, ten films are nominated from the list of eligible features. There cannot be an 11th nominee in this category.  If there is a tie at 10th place, the 10th nominee is determined by which film has the higher number of votes.
  • Winners are chosen by votes of our general voting body.
  • In the Audience Choice category, the winner is chosen by online voting.  Cinema Eye Core Team members do not vote.

Short Film Eligibility

Films become eligible by fulfilling two of the following four requirements:

  1. Screening at one of the following international film festivals (listed alphabetically): AFI DOCS, AFI FEST, Ambulante, Antenna, Ashland, Aspen Shorts, Berlin, Camden, Cannes, CPH:DOX, Dallas, Denver, DOC NYC, Docs Against Gravity, Dokufest Kosovo, Edinburgh, Full Frame, Guangzhou, Hamptons, Hot Docs, IDFA, It’s All True, Jihlava, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Los Angeles, Montclair, New Directors/New Films, New York, Palm Springs Shorts, RIDM, Rooftop Films Summer Series, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Sarasota, Seattle, Sheffield, Sundance, SXSW, Telluride, Toronto, Traverse City, Tribeca, True/False, Venice, Visions De Reel or Yamagata.
  2. Screening at one of the following international film festivals (listed alphabetically): AFI DOCS, AFI FEST, Ambulante, Antenna, Ashland, Aspen Shorts, Berlin, Camden, Cannes, CPH:DOX, Dallas, Denver, DOC NYC, Docs Against Gravity, Dokufest Kosovo, Edinburgh, Full Frame, Guangzhou, Hamptons, Hot Docs, IDFA, It’s All True, Jihlava, Karlovy Vary, Locarno, Los Angeles, Montclair, New Directors/New Films, New York, Palm Springs Shorts, RIDM, Rooftop Films Summer Series, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Sarasota, Seattle, Sheffield, Sundance, SXSW, Telluride, Toronto, Traverse City, Tribeca, True/False, Venice, Visions De Reel or Yamagata.
  3. Published or broadcast on one of the following networks/platforms (listed alphabetically): AJ+, The Atlantic, CNN Films, ESPN 30 for 30 Shorts, Field of Vision, Frontline, Guardian, HBO, Independent Lens, Netflix, New York Times Op-Docs, New Yorker, POV or Vice.
  4. Reporting at least $10,000 in North American theatrical box office.

Examples of Eligible Films:

  • A film that has screened at AFI DOCS and Hamptons is eligible.
  • A film that has screened at Full Frame and was published by the New York Times Op-Docs is eligible.
  • A film that has screened at RIDM and also screens by itself OR as part of a shorts program OR is attached to a feature film that reports more than $10,000 North American theatrical box office is eligible.

NOTE: Films may only submit once for Cinema Eye Feature Honors. For example, if you submitted in 2017 because you were eligible via festival screenings, you cannot submit again this year even if you are eligible via theatrical release.

NOTE: Films that had a public screening prior to September 1, 2016 are not eligible, even if they had not previously submitted and meet the other eligibility requirements.


Voting for Short Film Categories

  • Short film nominations committee members are asked to vote for their ten favorite films of the year from the list of submitted films, ranking films 1-10, with 1 being their favorite.  Films ranked first receive 10 points, second receive 9 points and so on.
  • Points from the nominations committee are totalled. The top ten films in point totals are named to our annual Shorts List, which is announced and screened at the Camden International Film Festival.
  • If two films are tied in the 10th position, both would join the Shorts List.
  • If there is a points tie between three (or more) films in the 10th position, the two films with a higher vote total would be named to the Shorts List. If there was a tie between all three (or more) films in votes, the nominations committee would revote on their preferences for the three films.  The two highest scoring films would be included in the Shorts List. If another tie resulted, neither film would be added and there would be 9 films on the Shorts List.
  • The top five point totals will be the named nominees in the category.
  • For rules regarding when a sixth film is named a nominee, see Feature rules above.
  • The winner is chosen by votes of our general voting body. Cinema Eye Core Team members do not vote.

Cinema Eye is updating its rules for Broadcast Film eligibility and is adding a new award for Broadcast Series.


Broadcast Film Eligibility

Films are eligible if they fulfill all of the following criteria:

  1. Can be broadcast/streamed in 1 or 2 parts
  2. Must have a total running time of more than 30 minutes
  3. Must be broadcast/streamed no later than 18 months after its first public screening
  4. Can play no more than 2 of the following international film festivals prior to broadcast (listed alphabetically): AFI DOCS, Berlin, Camden, Cannes, CPH:DOX, DOC NYC, Dokufest Kosovo, Full Frame, Hot Docs, IDFA, Los Angeles, New Directors/New Films, New York, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Sheffield, Sundance, SXSW, Telluride, Toronto, Tribeca, True/False or Venice.
  5. If released theatrically, cannot have a reported box office gross greater than $25,000
  6. Cannot have been nominated for any Cinema Eye Honor in a previous year
  7. Must be broadcast/streamed between June 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018

NOTE: Films that are single episodes of a themed documentary series where a series utilizes multiple directors ARE ELIGIBLE for the Broadcast Film Award.

NOTE: Named nominees in this category will be the Director and the Network.


Broadcast Series Eligibility

Series are eligible if they fulfill all of the following criteria:

  1. Consists of 3 parts or more
  2. Individual episodes may be of any length but the series must have a total running time of more than 60 minutes
  3. Series must have a single, contained narrative that spans multiple episodes [example: The Jinx or Making a Murderer]. Continuing or thematic series or programs [example: Top Chef, Parts Unknown, Independent Lens] are not eligible for this award.
  4. May be a one-off series or a single season of an ongoing narrative documentary series.
  5. Must have the same director(s) credited across all episodes of the series/season.
  6. Must be broadcast/streamed between June 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018

NOTE: Named nominees in this category will be the Director, Producer and Network. Producers may be credited as Producers or Executive Producers, however they must fulfill the role of a Creative Producer, involved in the Development, Production and Post-Production of the series in a creative, day-to-day role.


Broadcast Nonfiction Awards Voting

  • The Broadcast Nominations Committee view the submissions and submit votes for nomination.  They are asked to vote for 10 films in the Broadcast Film category and 5 films in the Broadcast Series category, ranking films 1-10 and 1-5, with 1 being their favorite.
  • The top five point totals, combined with number of votes received, will be the named nominees in the category.
  • Should a sixth film have 1 point less than the film in the fifth position AND should the sixth film have received more total votes than the film in the fifth position, the sixth film will be named a nominee.
  • If two films are tied in the sixth position that receive a higher vote total than the film in the fifth position, the film with the higher number of votes would be named a nominee and the other film would not.  If they are tied in points and in number of votes, neither would be named a nominee.
  • If there is a points tie between two films in the fifth position, both would be named nominees.  There would not be a seventh nominee named, even if the film in seventh position has a higher vote total than the films tied in fifth position.
  • If there is a points tie between three (or more) films in the 5th position, the two films with a higher vote total would be nominated. If there was a tie between all three (or more) films in votes, the nominations committee would re-vote on their preferences for the three films.  The two highest scoring films would be nominees.
  • A Second Round Broadcast Nonfiction Committee (made up of film critics) watches all nominated films/series  and gives their votes. Nominations committee members are asked to rank all nominated films, ranking films 1-5, with 1 being their favorite. Films ranked first receive 5 points, second receive 4 points, and so on.
  • The winner is the top points getter of the TV nominations committee. Cinema Eye Core Team members do not vote.
  • In case of a tie in points, a tie is declared in the category.

Heterodox

  • Nominations committee members are asked to vote for 5 fiction films that use nonfiction means or style, ranking films 1-5, with 1 being their favorite. Films ranked first receive 5 points, second receive 4 points and so on.
  • The top 10 vote-getters in the category move on to a 2nd round nominating committee comprised of programmers, curators and film writers/critics.
  • Second Round Nominations Committee members watch the films and rank all ten films from the short list, ranking films 1-10, with 1 being their favorite.  Films ranked first receive 10 points, second receive 9 points and so on.
  • The top five point totals will be the named nominees in the category.
  • For rules regarding when a sixth film is named a nominee, see Feature rules above.
  • The winner is the top points getter of the second round nominations committee. Cinema Eye Core Team members do not vote.
  • In case of a tie in points, a tie is declared in the category.

Legacy/Hell Yeah

  • Kitchen Cabinet members are asked to nominated classic nonfiction films and current/recent films that have had “significant, demonstrable real world impact” for recognition.
  • For the Legacy Award, films that have been released during the last 10 years are not eligible.
  • From this list, the Cinema Eye Core Team selects a recipient of the Legacy Award and, when appropriate, a recipient of the Hell Yeah Prize.
  • The winning film(s) is/are announced in advance.

Unforgettables

  • Filmmakers and Feature Film Nominations Committee Members are asked to vote for five notable or significant nonfiction film subjects from the list of submitted films, ranking subjects 1-5, with 1 being their favorite.  Films ranked first receive 5 points, second receive 4 points and so on.
  • The top 15 point totals are named as that year’s Unforgettables.  There cannot be a 16th honoree in this category. If there is a tie in the 15th position, the film with the higher number of overall votes is named to the Unforgettables.  If there is tie in vote as well, then the film with the higher number of votes from the Nominating Committee is named to the Unforgettables.

Recusal of Core Team, Nominations Committee and Advisory Board/Kitchen Cabinet

NOTE: Recusal rules apply to all categories (i.e. Feature, Short, Broadcast, Heterodox)

If a member of the Cinema Eye Nominating Committees or Advisory Board/Kitchen Cabinet fulfills a key creative (Director, Producer, Executive Producer, Editor, Cinematographer, Composer, Graphic Designer) or distribution role on a film being submitted for a nomination, they must recuse themselves from voting for nominations in that year in the corresponding categories (Feature, Short or Broadcast) or from any role in overseeing or tabulating the voting process. They may still vote for the award winner.

Films directed by a member of the Cinema Eye Production Team (Week Co-Chairs, Managing Director, Founding Director) are not eligible for Cinema Eye Honors. Films ARE eligible if a member of the Cinema Production Team fulfills a different creative role (e.g. Producer, Executive Producer, Editor), however the Cinema Eye Production Team member shall not be eligible for any awards they may be considered for (for example, if a Cinema Eye Production Team member was the sole editor on a film, that film is eligible in all categories aside from editing; if a Cinema Eye Production Team member is one of several editors on a film, that film is eligible in the editing category, but the Production Team member may not be a named nominee).

Films directed by Board Co-Chairs, Advisory Board/Kitchen Cabinet members, Nominating Committee members are eligible in all categories, provided individuals recuse themselves in year’s when their films are eligible as stipulated above.


For a full list of Nominations Committee Members for the 2019 Cinema Eye Honors, please see our About/F.A.Q Page.