“American Movie” to receive Cinema Eye Legacy Award

Chris Smith's iconic documentary American Movie (pictured) is to receive the Legacy Award from non-fiction film organization Cinema Eye.
December 9, 2015

Chris Smith’s iconic documentary American Movie (pictured) is to receive the Legacy Award from non-fiction film organization Cinema Eye.

The doc, which chronicles aspiring filmmaker Mark Borchardt as he attempts to produce a low-budget horror film, was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival when it was released in 1999, and has since gone on to achieve cult status.

Smith will accept the award at the Cinema Eye Honors Lunch on January 12 in Manhattan. The event will also celebrate the 24 films named to the annual ‘Influentials’ list of classic films cited by this year’s class of documentarians as films that inspired them.

Canadian festival Hot Docs will host a special screening of American Movie in Toronto during the festival’s 2016 edition and is set to feature a conversation with the director.

In addition, Hoop Dreams filmmaker Steve James has been named host and master of ceremonies for the 2016 Cinema Eye Honors on January 13 at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

James became the first filmmaker to receive both the Outstanding Feature Film and Outstanding Direction awards in 2012 for The Interrupters. His films Hoop Dreams and Stevie were cited by this year’s filmmakers as part of the 2016 Influentials.

Now in its seventh year, the Legacy Award honors classic films that have inspired subsequent generations of non-fiction filmmakers. Past winners include Paris is Burning, Grey GardensHarlan County USA and Titicut Follies.

The full list of nominees for this year’s Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking can be viewed here.

Finally, voting for Cinema Eye’s Audience Choice Prize, where fans vote for their favorite documentaries, has opened to the public. This year’s nominees are listed below:

2016 Cinema Eye Honors Audience Choice Prize Nominees

Directed by Asif Kapadia

Best of Enemies
Directed by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon

The Hunting Ground
Directed by Kirby Dick

Directed by Albert Maysles

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
Directed by Brett Morgen

Directed by Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi

What Happened, Miss Simone?
Directed by Liz Garbus

Where to Invade Next
Directed by Michael Moore

The Wolfpack
Directed by Crystal Moselle

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.