The five films nominated this year for the Cinema Eye Heterodox Award are:
Arabian Nights: Volume One (The Restless One) directed by Miguel Gomes
God Bless the Child directed by Robert Machoian and Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck
Tangerine directed by Sean Baker
Taxi directed by Jafar Panahi
The Tribe directed by Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy
Celebrating the increasingly blurry line between documenting real lives/situations and creative, fictional storytelling, these films show how today’s fiction filmmakers are using tools from the traditional documentary toolbox to convey their visions. This marks the sixth year for the Heterodox Award at Cinema Eye. Previous winners of the award were Matt Porterfield’s Putty Hill (2011), Mike Mills’ Beginners (2012), Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours (2013), Carlos Reygados’s Post Tenebras Lux (2014) and Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (2015).
With the announcement of this year’s Heterodox nominees, all of this year’s Cinema Eye nominated films and filmmakers have been revealed. Nonfiction film nominees were announced last week at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen.
The Heterodox prize will be presented on Tuesday, January 12th in New York City at the 2nd annual Honors Lunch during Cinema Eye Week. This year’s Legacy Award, which will be announced soon, and this year’s Influential Films and Unforgettable Subjects (which were announced in October) will also be saluted at the luncheon.
Ten finalists for the Heterodox Award were selected in voting by the Cinema Eye Honors Nominations Committee, made up of more than 25 international programmers who specialize in nonfiction film. The ten finalists were then viewed and five nominees were selected by a second round committee, composed of 8 nonfiction programmers and journalists. The second round included Committee Chair Scott Macaulay (Editor in Chief, Filmmaker Magazine), Hadrian Belove (Executive Director, Cinefamily), Tine Fischer (Festival Director, CPH:DOX), Eric Hynes (Associate Curator of Film, Museum of the Moving Image), Doug Jones (Executive Director, Images Cinema), Mads Mikkelsen (Programmer, CPH:DOX), Dan Nuxoll (Program Director, Rooftop Films), Rachel Rosen (Director of Programming, San Francisco Film Society) and Alison Willmore (Film Critic, Buzzfeed).]]>
Cartel Land, Matthew Heineman’s gripping account of violence and vigilantes on both sides of the US-Mexico border, led all films with five nominations, including Outstanding Nonfiction Feature. It is joined in the top category by Asif Kapadia’s Amy, Camilla Neilsson’s Democrats, Stevan Riley’s Listen to Me Marlon, Crystal Moselle’s The Wolfpack and Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence. The latter, which received four nominations, and Cartel Land were the only films nominated for Outstanding Feature, Direction, Production and Cinematography.
Oppenheimer’s nominations for The Look of Silence match those he received for his previous film about Indonesian war crimes, The Act of Killing, which won the top award at Cinema Eye in 2014. Oppenheimer, Look of Silence producer Signe Byrge Sørenson and Amy director Asif Kapadia join a small group of filmmakers who have been nominated twice in the Outstanding Nonfiction Feature. Kapadia’s Senna was nominated for the top award in 2012.
Other films that received multiple nominations include Meru (4 nominations); Amy, Heart of a Dog, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and The Wolfpack (3 nominations); Best of Enemies, Democrats, Listen to Me Marlon, The Nightmare, Uncertain and Western (2 nominations).
Matthew Heineman had the most individual nominations, with four for Cartel Land. Going Clears‘s Alex Gibney, Heart of a Dog‘s Laurie Anderson, Meru‘s Jimmy Chin and The Wolfpack‘s Crystal Moselle each received three.
The late Albert Maysles, who died in March, received two nominations: one for Outstanding Direction for his final film In Transit (Maysles shares the nominations with his co-directors Lynn True, Nelson Walker, David Usui and Ben Wu) and one for Audience Choice for his penultimate film, Iris.
In the Outstanding Direction category, Maysles, True, Walker, Usui and Wu are joined by Cartel Land’s Heineman, The Look of Silence’s Oppenheimer as well as Laurie Anderson (Heart of a Dog), Kim Longinotto (Dreamcatcher) and Frederick Wiseman (In Jackson Heights). The nominations for Maysles and Wiseman mark the first time in Cinema Eye history that a previous recipient of the Cinema Eye Legacy Award was nominated for a subsequent work. Maysles was recognized for Grey Gardens in 2011, Wiseman for Titicut Follies in 2012.
Receiving historic nominations this year were Bill Ross and Turner Ross, who were nominated in the Cinematography category for their film Western. With the nod, they become the first filmmakers in Cinema Eye history to be nominated for each of their first three films. They were previously nominated for 45365 (2010) and Tchoupitoulas (2013).
Chris King, who became the first person to win back-to-back awards when he was recognized for Outstanding Editing for both Exit Through the Gift Shop (2011) and Senna (2012), is nominated again in the category this year for Amy. Syd Garon, who won the Graphics award last year for Jodorowsky’s Dune, is nominated in the same category this year for The Nightmare.
There were also historic nominations for Alex Gibney, who received three nods for Directing and Producing the Scientology expose Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. As an individual, Gibney has now received six lifetime nominations, including winning for Outstanding Direction for Taxi to the Dark Side at Cinema Eye’s first ceremony in 2008. All told, five different films directed by Gibney have received Cinema Eye nominations, the most of any filmmaker in Cinema Eye history: Taxi to the Dark Side (2008), Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (2009), Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (2014), We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks (2014) and Going Clear (2015).
Aaron Wickenden joined Albert Maysles in receiving two nominations for two different films. He was nominated for his editing (along with Eileen Meyer) on Best of Enemies and is nominated for the Spotlight Award (along with co-director Dan Rybicky) for his directorial debut, Almost There.
Ten films were nominated for the annual Audience Choice Prize, which often includes many of the year’s most popular and talked about films, including Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s Best of Enemies, Kirby Dick’s The Hunting Ground, Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin’s Meru, Brett Morgen’s Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Liz Garbus’ What Happened, Miss Simone? and Michael Moore’s Where to Invade Next. Morgan Neville and Michael Moore were previously nominated in this category for 20 Feet From Stardom (2014) and Sicko (2008) respectively.
Winners of the 9th Annual Cinema Eye Honors will be announced Wednesday, January 13, 2016 in New York at the Museum of the Moving Image. The Awards Ceremony is the culmination of Cinema Eye Week, an international celebration of the year’s best nonfiction artistry that includes screenings, parties, seminars and the 2nd Annual Honors Lunch, where this year’s Legacy Award and Heterodox prize will be presented and this year’s Unforgettable subjects will be saluted.
HBO Documentary Films is the premiere sponsor for Cinema Eye Week 2016. Major Sponsors are A&E IndieFilms, Camden International Film Festival, Field of Vision, Ford Foundation and Netflix. The Museum of the Moving Image is the Venue Partner for the 9th Annual Honors. The Murray Center for Documentary Journalism is the Institutional Partner. CPH:DOX was the presenting sponsor of the Nominations Announcement Ceremony and is a Festival Partner, along with Hot Docs and True/False. Additional sponsors for Cinema Eye Week 2016 will be announced in the coming weeks.
More details about this year’s event, including this year’s Heterodox nominees and this year’s Legacy Award recipient, will be announced soon.
A full list of Cinema Eye’s core team will be named in the coming weeks. It was previously announced that Wendy Garrett and Nathan Truesdell will serve as Co-Chairs of Cinema Eye Week and that Will Lennon will serve as Lead Producer on behalf of Cinema Eye. AJ Schnack is Cinema Eye’s Founding Director.
Nominees for the Cinema Eye Honors nonfiction feature awards are determined in voting by the top documentary programmers from throughout the world. This year’s nominations committee included Claire Aguilar (Sheffield Doc/Fest), Nominations Committee Chair Charlotte Cook (Hot Docs), David Courier (Sundance), Cara Cusumano (Tribeca), Joanne Feinberg (Ashland Film Festival), Elena Fortes (Ambulante), Ben Fowlie (Camden International Film Festival), Tom Hall (Montclair Film Festival), Sarah Harris (Dallas Film Festival), Lane Kneedler (AFI FEST), Jim Kolmar (SXSW), Amir Labaki (It’s All True, Brazil), Artur Liebhart (Planete Doc Review), David Nugent (Hamptons Film Festival), Veton Nurkollari (DokuFest Kosovo), Andrea Passafiume (AFI DOCS), Janet Pierson (SXSW), Thom Powers (Toronto International Film Festival), Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Charlotte Selb (RIDM Montreal), Genna Terranova (Tribeca), Sadie Tillery (Full Frame), Basil Tsiokos (DOC NYC) and David Wilson (True/False).
Nominees for the Cinema Eye Honors short film awards were selected by a nominations committee that included Claire Aguilar (Sheffield Doc/Fest), Chris Boeckman (True/False), Nominations Committee Chair Charlotte Cook (Hot Docs), Cara Cusumano (Tribeca), Ben Fowlie (Camden International Film Festival), Claudette Godfrey (SXSW), Doug Jones (Images Cinema), Ted Mott (Full Frame), Veton Nurkollari (DokuFest Kosovo), Dan Nuxoll (Rooftop Films), Andrea Passafiume (AFI DOCS), Mike Plante (Sundance), Rachel Rosen (San Francisco) and Kim Yutani (Sundance).
Nominees for the Television Award were selected in a two rounds of voting. The first round consisted of programmers that included Nominations Committee Chair Charlotte Cook (Hot Docs), Joanne Feinberg (Ashland), Tom Hall (Montclair), Sarah Harris (Dallas), Doug Jones (Images Cinema), Lane Kneedler (AFI FEST), Jim Kolmar (SXSW) and Andrew Rodgers (RiverRun). The second round included film critics and writers Steve Dollar, Bilge Ebiri, Eric Hynes, Liz Shannon Miller, Nick Pinkerton, Jeff Reichert and Farihah Zaman.
ALMOST THERE is a coming-of-(old)-age story about 83-year-old Peter Anton, an “outsider” artist living in isolated and crippling conditions whose world changes when two filmmakers discover his work and storied past. Shot over eight years, Almost There documents Anton’s first major exhibition and how the controversy it generates forces him to leave his childhood home. Each layer revealed reflects on the intersections of social norms, elder care, and artistic expression. (Camden)]]>
A once-in-a-generation talent, Amy Winehouse instantly captured the world’s attention. A pure jazz artist in the most authentic sense – she wrote and sung from the heart using her musical gifts to analyse her own problems. The combination of her raw honesty and supreme talent resulted in some of the most unique and adored songs of modern era.
Tragically, relentless media attention coupled with Amy’s troubled relationships, her global success and precarious lifestyle saw her life fall apart. As a society, we celebrated her huge successes but were quick to judge her failings when it suited us. The talent that was initially her salvation eventually became the trigger for her disintegration. (Cannes)
In the summer of 1968, the ABC television network — dead last in the ratings — took a major gamble when it hired two politically opposed intellectuals, leftist writer Gore Vidal and staunch conservative William F. Buckley, Jr., to debate the issues of the day on live TV during that year’s Republican and Democratic National Conventions. The result changed the course of television news and public discourse forever. The unscripted and increasingly vitriolic exchanges between the two men caused a media sensation and kept viewers at home riveted. Filmmakers Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon offer this provocative, funny and still utterly relevant account of the debates that paved the way for the future of pundit media. (AFI Docs)]]>
A towboat drifts down the Mississippi River, due for the port of New Orleans. The water, the banks, the bright lights of a port ahead; the lure of a coming paycheck and a home-cooked meal. This is the world of BARGE. A green deckhand following his father into the family business. A former convict working his way upward job by job, in the hopes of being First Mate. A thirty-eight year veteran engineer in no hurry to retire. An ancient waterway pulling a double shift as the backbone of a national economy; a tangle of thick steel cables, tied together just right. As long as the boat’s moving, they’re making money. An intimate portrait of the machinery of American ambitions. (SXSW)]]>
More fascinating than the horrorcore hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse are its fans, who have created a thriving subculture, the Juggalos, whose philosophy and lifestyle are mysterious to the uninitiated. Filmmaker Scott Cummings took an interest in the Juggalo community in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, filming them without judgment or irony. In long, static and vaguely disturbing shots, Juggalos in scary clown makeup go about their everyday lives, from the most mundane household chores to absurd and shocking acts of violence. Somewhere between filmed performance and a surrealistic sociological experiment, Buffalo Juggalos is an enigmatic work whose greatest virtue is that it does not look for answers. (Dokufest)]]>
Deep underground the action force is preparing for the imminent case of emergency. Surveillance cameras are tracking the descent. The head is burning. Constriction puts pressure on the chest. In the vacuum of depth delusion is pulsating. (Rooftop Films)]]>
In 1973, Claude Lanzmann took on a project that would change his life forever: SHOAH, a film about the Holocaust told from the perspective of Jewish people. The film would end up taking 12 years to make and would push Lanzmann to the limits of his endurance. Plagued with financial difficulties, death threats, a severe beating at the hands of former Nazis and intense pressure from all sides, the project nearly drove him to suicide. But when Lanzmann finally released SHOAH in 1985, this masterpiece became the most important film ever made about the Holocaust. (Dokufest)]]>
When your government cannot provide basic safety from murderous organized criminals, is it acceptable to take the law into your own hands to protect your family, your land, and your country? That is the question at the heart of Cartel Land, a powerfully visceral journey of two modern-day vigilante movements.In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as “El Doctor,” shepherds a citizen uprising against the Knights Templar, the violent drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona’s Altar Valley—a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley—Tim “Nailer” Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to halt Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border. Brilliant, dangerous, and provocative, Cartel Land is a chilling meditation on the breakdown of order and the borderline where life trumps law. (Sundance)]]>