Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s feature-length documentary American Factory took the top prize at the 13th annual Cinema Eye Honors on Monday (Jan. 6), winning the awards for Outstanding Nonfiction Feature and Outstanding Direction.
The veteran filmmakers are the first directing team to win either award in Cinema Eye history.
American Factory (pictured) is a portrait of an abandoned General Motors plant in post-industrial Ohio, and the culture clash that ensues when the factory is purchased by a Chinese billionaire.
The film was one of many awarded at the ceremony at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York.
Apollo 11, which retells the story of Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins’ trip to the moon and back, won for Outstanding Editing for director/editor Todd Douglas Miller and Original Score for composer Matt Morton.
A raft of titles on the Academy Awards Documentary Feature Shortlist were also recognized.
Feras Fayyad’s The Cave and For Sama, directed by Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts — both acclaimed films documenting the Syrian civil war — tied for the Honor for Outstanding Achievement in Production.
Fejmi Daut and Samir Ljuma’s Honeyland, about one of the last wild beekeepers in Europe, won the award for Outstanding Cinematography.
John Chester’s The Biggest Little Farm secured the Audience Choice Prize. The film follows Chester and his wife, Molly, over eight years as they create a family farm outside Los Angeles.
Beniamino Barrese won the Outstanding Debut Feature award for The Disappearance of My Mother, in which Barrese makes a final film about his once-iconic fashion model mother after she insists on disappearing from the limelight.
Elsewhere, in the Broadcast Honors, Netflix’s Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé and National Geographic’s Apollo: Missions to the Moon took home prizes in the new categories of Outstanding Broadcast Cinematography and Outstanding Broadcast Editing, respectively.
CNN’s Richard Nixon docuseries, Tricky Dick, was named Outstanding Broadcast Series and HBO’s Leaving Neverland won Outstanding Broadcast Film.
Shengze Zhu received the Spotlight Award for her film Present.Perfect. The 2020 Legacy Award was presented to the film Koyaanisqatsi, with filmmaker Godfrey Reggio in attendance to accept the award from Oscar- and Cinema Eye-winning filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (Free Solo).
For a full list of award winners, visit Cinema Eye’s website.