Cinema Eye to honor Kopple’s “Harlan County, USA”

The Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking's 2014 Legacy Award will be given to Barbara Kopple's Oscar-winning 1976 documentary Harlan County, USA (pictured).
December 18, 2013

Barbara Kopple’s 1976 documentary Harlan County, USA (pictured) will receive the Legacy Award at the Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking next year.

The Academy Award-winning film follows a 13-month coal miners’ strike in Harlan County, Kentucky that occurred between 1973 and 1974.

The Legacy Award honors “classic films that inspire a new generation of filmmakers and embody the Cinema Eye mission: excellence in creative and artistic achievements in nonfiction films,” according to organizers.

“Barbara has long been leading the way for all of us, not only in the quality, generosity and wisdom of her work but as a path-breaking woman in what used to be largely a man’s field,” said Cinema Eye board chair Andrea Meditch in a statement.

Kopple will accept the award during the 7th annual Cinema Eye Honors ceremony at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York on January 8.

Canadian festival Hot Docs will host a Cinema Eye Legacy Award screening of Harlan County, USA and a conversation with Kopple during next year’s festival.

Harlan County, USA taught me about life and death and what it means to stand up for what you believe in,” Kopple said in a statement. “Thank you for recognizing this film’s strength and ongoing relevancy today. Having the opportunity to make documentary films, to work with such incredible people, and to tell the stories I believe in, is a reward in itself.”

Previous Legacy Award winners include Sherman’s March, Grey Gardens, Titicut Follies and The War Room.

Harlan County, USA was also included on Cinema Eye’s list of 25 all-time influential non-fiction films.

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Jillian Morgan is a special reports editor at realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.