Sarah Polley (pictured) was named Outstanding Director, Cutie and the Boxer took three prizes, and The Act of Killing was chosen as the Outstanding Feature at the 7th annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking in New York last night (January 8).
In picking up Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking award, Joshua Oppenheimer’s controversial genocide doc, The Act of Killing, beat off competition from After Tiller, Cutie and the Boxer, Leviathan and Stories We Tell. The film also took Cinema Eye’s prize for Outstanding Achievement in Production.
Stories director Polley, meanwhile, took home the award for Outstanding Achievement in Direction, while Cutie picked up prizes for Outstanding Debut, Outstanding Graphics and Animation, and Outstanding Original Score.
Elsewhere, the Outstanding Editing prize was presented by Martin Scorsese’s long-time editor Thelma Schoonmaker to Let the Fire Burn editor Nels Bangerter, for his work on the decade-in-the-making film; while the award for Cinematography went to Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel for their experimental fishing ship doc Leviathan.
Lucy Walker’s intimate snowboarding feature The Crash Reel and the doc’s TV broadcaster HBO, meanwhile, were the first recipients of the new Cinema Eye Television Award, designed to recognize collaborations between filmmakers and broadcasters.
Dave Grohl’s doc Sound City took home the Audience Choice Prize, which was voted for by members of the public. Cinema Eye organizers said that more than 44,000 votes were cast for the award, setting a new record for the category, with the previous high having been just over 10,000 votes.
The Spotlight Award went to Cristian Soto and Catalina Vergara’s The Last Station, while the Heterodox Award went to Carlos Reygadas’s Post Tenebras Lux. The prize for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking was given to Sergio Oksman’s A Story for the Modlins.
Finally, as previously reported, two-time Oscar-winner Barbara Kopple was honored, with her landmark 1976 film Harlan County, USA receiving this year’s Legacy Award.
In addition, director Josh Fox picked up Cinema Eye’s ‘Hell Yeah’ prize, given for his docs Gasland and Gasland II, which Cinema Eye praised for spurring “a nationwide, grassroots movement that calls attention to the environmental risks of hydraulic fracking, an issue that was largely unheard of prior to the first Gasland film’s debut at the Sundance Film Festival in 2010.”
The evening also saw Twenty Feet from Stardom star Lisa Fischer bringing cheer to the audience by performing the song Fever. Fischer was previously named one of Cinema Eye’s ‘Unforgettables’ – a list celebrating 2013′s notable and significant non-fiction film subjects.