Nominations for Poitras and James in both the Feature Film and Direction categories mark the first time in Cinema Eye history that previous CEH winners for Direction were nominated again in either category. Poitras, who leads all filmmakers with 5 nominations, won the 2011 Directing Award for The Oath, while James, who has 4 nominations this year, won in 2012 for The Interrupters. With their nominations this year, they become the most nominated filmmakers in Cinema Eye history: Poitras has 9 total nominations (including 3 for The Oath, 1 for 2014’s Death of a Prisoner) while James now has 8 (including 4 for The Interrupters).
Other films that received multiple nominations included The Case Against 8 (3 nominations), Actress, The E-Team, Finding Vivian Maier, Jodorowsky’s Dune, Ne Me Quitte Pas, Particle Fever and Return to Homs (2 nominations).
In the Outstanding Direction category, Steve James, Jesse Moss and Laura Poitras are joined by Nick Broomfield (Tales of the Grim Sleeper) and Robert Greene (Actress). Greene was also nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Editing for Actress, where he is joined by Kate Amend (The Case Against 8), Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Koevorden (Ne Me Quitte Pas), Mathilde Bonnefoy (Citizenfour), Marshall Curry (Point and Shoot) and Steve James & David E. Simpson (Life Itself).
Cinema Eye also announced five nominees for their second award for Nonfiction Film for Television. HBO Documentary Films and ESPN both scored two nominations, the former for Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s The Education of Muhammad Hussein and James Lapine’s Six by Sondheim, the latter for Daniel Gordon’s Hillsborough and Nanette Burstein’s The Price of Gold. It’s the first nominations in Cinema Eye history for ESPN. PBS American Masters’ Jimi Hendrix – Here My Train A Comin’, directed by Bob Smeaton, rounded out the category. Ewing and Grady are previous Cinema Eye winners for Outstanding Direction (Detropia, 2013), while Burstein was a nominee in 2009 for American Teen.
In the Nonfiction Short Film category, the nominees include The Lions Mouth Opens, which was directed by Lucy Walker, a CEH winner in 2014 for The Crash Reel. Walker is joined by Deborah Stratman’s Hacked Circuit, Aneta Kopacz’ Joanna, Peter Middleton and James Spinney’s Notes on Blindness and Brian Bolster’s One Year Lease. Stratman was a Cinema Eye nominee in 2010 for O’er the Land. Walker and Kopacz were recently shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Short Documentary.
Ten contenders were named for Cinema Eye’s Audience Choice Prize, an annual list that includes many of the most discussed and beloved films of the year, including Ben Cotner and Ryan White’s The Case Against 8, Chiemi Karawasa’s Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s Finding Vivian Maier, Frank Pavich’s Jodorowsky’s Dune, Alan Hick’s Keep On Keepin’ On, Tom Berninger’s Mistaken for Strangers and Mark Levinson’s Particle Fever.
Nick Cave’s nomination in the Original Score category for 20,000 Days on Earth marks the first time one of Cinema Eye’s Unforgettables – notable and significant nonfiction film subjects – is also a nominee.
Winners of the 8th Annual Cinema Eye Honors will be announced Wednesday, January 7, 2015 in New York City at the Museum of the Moving Image. More details about this year’s ceremony, including key sponsors, will be announced shortly. Information about this year’s Heterodox Award, for fiction films that use nonfiction elements, and the recipient of this year’s Legacy Award will be announced in the coming weeks.]]>
Told almost entirely through voice mail messages, One Year Lease documents the travails of Brian, Thomas, and Casper as they endure a year-long sentence with Rita, the cat-loving landlady. (Tribeca)]]>
In 1983 writer and theologian John Hull went blind. He began keeping an audio diary to make sense of his loss. With exclusive access to these original audio recordings, “Notes on Blindness” is a cinematic documentary encompassing dreams, memory and imaginative life, excavating the interior world of blindness. (SXSW)]]>
A courageous young Scottish actress takes the boldest step imaginable to confront her fears and find out whether she’s inherited a fatal, incurable disease. (Hampton’s)]]>
Joanna is a young woman living in Poland with her husband and adolescent son. She has three months to live, having been diagnosed with an untreatable form of cancer. Now she must prepare her family for life without her as her time draws to a close. (Sheffield)]]>
This circular study of the Foley process portrays sound artists at work constructing complex layers of fabrication and imposition. (Dallas)]]>
Directed by Tony Award-winner and frequent Sondheim collaborator James Lapine, SIX BY SONDHEIM is a highly personal profile of a great American artist as revealed through the creation and performance of six of his iconic songs. Told primarily in Sondheim’s own words, this feature documentary weaves together dozens of interviews with the composer, rarely seen archival material spanning more than half a century (including newly discovered footage of Ethel Merman performing “Gypsy”) and re-stagings of three songs produced especially for the film.
The documentary reveals how art and life have been intertwined for Sondheim since childhood, when his mother’s friendship with the family of the legendary librettist and lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II would introduce the young Sondheim to a surrogate father and artistic mentor, ultimately starting him on the path to a career in the theater. (HBO)]]>
The world couldn’t keep its eyes off two athletes at the 1994 Winter Games in Lillehammer – Nancy Kerrigan, the elegant brunette from the Northeast, and Tonya Harding, the feisty blonde engulfed in scandal. Just weeks before the Olympics on Jan. 6, 1994 at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Kerrigan was stunningly clubbed on the right knee by an unknown assailant and left wailing, “Why, why, why?” As the bizarre “why” mystery unraveled, it was revealed that Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, had plotted the attack with his misfit friends to literally eliminate Kerrigan from the competition. Now two decades later, “The Price of Gold” takes a fresh look through Harding’s turbulent career and life at the spectacle that elevated the popularity of professional figure skating and has Harding still facing questions over what she knew and when she knew it. (ESPN)]]>
“Hillsborough” is a comprehensive account of the Hillsborough Stadium disaster, a tragedy that occurred during an FA Cup semifinal soccer match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. The film focuses on the events that unfolded before, during and after the horrifying afternoon that led to the deaths of 96 people as well as the injuries to several hundred more and the traumatization of countless lives.
Beginning on the fateful day in 1989, “Hillsborough” explores what happened and why. It offers a detailed examination not only of the horrific loss of life but also of key developments in the preceding years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes leading to the disaster. Featuring first-hand accounts of fans in attendance as well as police officers — many speaking on camera for the first time — the film also explores the tragedy through the experiences of families who lost their loved ones and undertook a painstaking journey in a quest for justice that is still ongoing. (ESPN)
A decade after 9/11, and a whole generation of American Muslims is growing up in an increasingly polarized society. Detroit is home to the largest Muslim community in the United States. In this film, children and teenagers from that community talk about the role Islamic identity plays in their daily lives. We see veiled girls squabbling over Justin Bieber, but they’re just as likely to be boasting about their pious behavior, competing for who’s the most virtuous, or quizzing each other on details from the Koran. Little boys comb YouTube for the most terrifying, doom-laden films announcing that the wrath of Allah and the end of the world are near, and they talk with the utmost seriousness about the importance of their faith. Other American Muslims discuss their humiliating experiences when entering or leaving the country, and the hate mail they receive. Tensions mount between various factions in the city when fanatic anti-Islam activists hold a demonstration. They illustrate the prevailing Islamophobia and ignorance about their Islamic fellow citizens: “They can blow our stuff up, but we can’t burn a book?” Nonetheless, there is a glimmer of hope. At an ecumenical service after the demonstration, religious leaders from all faiths make a call for tolerance. (IDFA)]]>