Docs

“City So Real” and “American Utopia” highlight 15th Cinema Eye Honors nominations

Documentary awards organization Cinema Eye Honors started its 15th anniversary year on Wednesday (Oct. 20) with its first awards announcement. City So Real (pictured), a five-part series on race, politics and the ...
October 20, 2021

Documentary awards organization Cinema Eye Honors started its 15th anniversary year on Wednesday (Oct. 20) with its first awards announcement.

City So Real (pictured), a five-part series on race, politics and the COVID-19 pandemic in Chicago, as well as David Byrne’s American Utopia by director Spike Lee, led the broadcast nominations with three each. American Utopia is one of five films up for outstanding broadcast film, alongside All In: The Fight for Democracy, Disclosure, In the Same Breath and Tina.

The nominees for outstanding broadcast series include City So Real along with 1971: The Year that Music Changed Everything, Exterminate All the Brutes, The Lady and the Dale, Last Chance U: Basketball and Philly D.A.

HBO led all networks and platforms with 14 nominations with titles such as How to with John Wilson, In the Same Breath and Tina highlighting their slate. With his three nominations for City So Real, Steve James continues to be the most nominated filmmaker in Cinema Eye’s history with 13 total nominations.

“It is notable that both of this year’s most nominated broadcast entries are part of the creative legacy of Diane Weyermann,” said Cinema Eye founding director AJ Schnack in a statement, regarding the longtime documentary producer and champion who died last week and was an executive producer on both City So Real and American Utopia. “Many acclaimed films in Cinema Eye history were guided and supported by Diane through her roles at Participant and, earlier, at the Sundance Documentary Fund. These nominations make clear that we will be celebrating Diane’s work at this year’s Cinema Eye and likely for many years to come.”

The 15th annual Cinema Eye Honors Week and Awards Ceremony will occur in January, 2022 in New York City.

This year’s awards include Cinema Eye’s first award for anthology series, recognizing episodic non-fiction. The inaugural nominees include Pretend It’s a City, How to with John Wilson, High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Changed America and Taste the Nation with Padme Lakshmi.

Meanwhile, the 1996 independent film The Watermelon Woman will receive Cinema Eye’s Legacy Award this year, recognizing a classic film that inspires current filmmakers. Cinema Eye is awarding Cheryl Dunye’s film with this honor as the first narrative feature from an out, Black lesbian.

Cinema Eye also honored 11 films on this years Shorts List including ÁguilasA Broken HouseDon’t Go Tellin’ Your MommaElenaJobs for all!The Last CruiseTakeoverTerror Contagion, Three Songs for BenazirWe Were There to Be There and Your Street.

Cinema Eye was founded in 2007 to recognize excellence in artistry and craft in non-fiction filmmaking. It remains the only international non-fiction award to recognize the entire creative team, presenting annual craft awards in directing, producing, cinematography, editing, composing and graphic design/animation. The full list of Cinema Eye nominations will be announced in three weeks, on Wednesday, November 10.

Here is a full list of the Cinema Eye nominees announced so far:

Broadcast Film

All In: The Fight for Democracy, directed by Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés | Amazon
David Byrne’s American Utopia, directed by Spike Lee | HBO
Disclosure, directed by Sam Feder | Netflix
In the Same Breath, directed by Nanfu Wang | HBO
Tina, directed by Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin | HBO

Nonfiction Series

1971: The Year that Music Changed Everything, directed by Asif Kapadia, Danielle Peck and James Rogan | Apple
City So Real, directed by Steve James | National Geographic
Exterminate All the Brutes directed by Raoul Peck | HBO
The Lady and the Dale, directed by Zackary Drucker and Nick Cammilleri | HBO
Last Chance U: Basketball, directed by Greg Whiteley, Adam Leibowitz and Daniel George McDonald | Netflix
Philly D.A., directed by Yoni Brook, Ted Passon and Nicole Salazar | Independent Lens/PBS

Anthology Series

Earth at Night in Color, Alex Williamson, executive producer| Apple
Generation Hustle, Angie Day and Yon Motskin, executive producers | HBO Max
How to with John Wilson, directed by Nathan Fielder, Michael Koman, Clark Reinking and John Wilson, executive producers | HBO
High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, Fabienne Toback, Karis Jagger and Roger Ross Williams, executive producers | Netflix
Pretend It’s a City, Martin Scorsese, Fran Liebowitz, David Tedeschi, Ted Griffin, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Joshua Porter and Margaret Bodde, executive producers | Netflix
Taste the Nation with Padme Lakshmi, Padma Lakshmi, David Shadrack Smith and Sarina Roma, executive producers | Hulu

Broadcast Editing

Allen v Farrow, Mikaela Shwer, Parker Laramie and Sara Newens | HBO
City So Real, David E. Simpson and Steve James | National Geographic
David Byrne’s American Utopia, Adam Gough | HBO
Exterminate All the Brutes, Alexandra Strauss | HBO
How to with John Wilson, Adam Locke-Norton | HBO

Outstanding Broadcast Cinematography

100 Foot Wave, Nominees to be determined | HBO
City So Real, Jackson James and Steve James | National Geographic
David Byrne’s American Utopia, Ellen Kuras | HBO
Earth at Night in Color, Nominees to be determined | Apple
High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America, Jerry Henry | Netflix

Shorts List

Águilas The Last Cruise, directed by Maite Zubiaurre and Kristy Guevara-Flanagan
A Broken House, directed by Jimmy Goldblum
Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma, directed by Topaz Jones
Elena, directed by Michèle Stephenson
Jobs for all!, directed by Axel Danielson and Maximillien Van Aertryck
The Last Cruise, directed by Hannah Olson
Takeover, directed by Emma Francis-Snyder
Terror Contagion, directed by Laura Poitras
Tree Songs for Benazir, directed by Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei
We Were There to Be There, directed by Mike Plante and Jason Willis
Your Street, directed by Güzin Kar

Legacy Award

The Watermelon Woman, written and directed by Cheryl Dunye, produced by Alexandra Juhasz and Barry Swimar, edited by Annie Taylor, cinematography by Michelle Crenshaw, original score by Paul Shapiro.

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