Charles Lyons was there. His report and the complete list of winners is below (here are the nominees):
The most chilling moment of last night’s 5th Annual Cinema Eye Honors award show came when Judith Hetherington, the mother of the late photographer and filmmaker Tim Hetherington, took the stage to accept the best nonfiction short award for her son’s film, “Diary.”
An Academy Award-nominated filmmaker for “Restrepo,” Tim was killed in Libya last April, while capturing images of fighting between Gaddafi’s forces and Libyan rebels in Misrata when he was caught in a mortar attack. Judith didn’t say much; she didn’t have to. As she left the stage with her son’s trophy in hand, the audience in the auditorium at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, stood and erupted in applause.
That somebody died while making a film whose objectives were humanitarian was, at least to me, a reminder of how different the stakes are between the worlds of nonfiction and studio filmmaking.
But even in nonfiction filmmaking, there’s enormous variety, the celebration of which was part of the reason Cinema Eye came into existence five years ago. The event puts the spotlight on the craft of non-fiction filmmaking, paying tribute to below-the-line categories such as editing, cinematography, graphic design & animation, and production in a type of filmmaking that tends toward just honoring directors.
“Documentary filmmaking… in the Academy, there’s one award,” Steve James told me, as he stood near Cinema Eye co-chair, AJ Schnack, at the after-party held at nearby restaurant, Studio Square. “What’s great about this is it treats documentaries as an art form.”
Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking
"The Interrupters," Directed by Steve James, Produced by Alex Kotlowitz and Steve James
Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Steve James, "The Interrupters"
Audience Choice Prize
"Buck," Directed by Cindy Meehl
Outstanding Achievement in Production
Gian-Piero Ringel and Wim Wenders, "Pina"
Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Gregers Sall and Chris King, "Senna"
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Danfung Dennis, "Hell and Back Again"
"The Tiniest Place." Directed by Tatiana Huezo Sánchez
"Beginners," Directed by Mike Mills
Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking
"Diary," Directed by Tim Hetherington
Outstanding Achievement in an Original Music Score
John Kusiak, "Tabloid"
Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design and Animation
Rob Feng and Jeremy Landman, "Tabloid"
Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film
Clio Barnard, "The Arbor"
Hell Yeah Prize
Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, "The Paradise Lost Trilogy"
(Hell Yeah Prize, given to filmmakers who have created works of incredible craft and artistry that also have significant, real-world impact, to Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky for their HBO Documentary Films trilogy Paradise Lost, which played a critical role in securing the release from prison of the wrongly prosecuted and convicted West Memphis Three. Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky and Jason Baldwin, one of the West Memphis Three, accepted the award.)
"Titicut Follies," Directed by Frederick Wiseman, Presented by Steve James
(This year’s Legacy Award was presented to the landmark 1967 documentary, Titicut Follies, a stark and graphic portrayal of the conditions that existed at the State Prison for the Criminally Insane at Bridgewater, Massachusetts. The Legacy Award is intended to honor classic films that inspire a new generation of filmmakers and embody the Cinema Eye mission: excellence in creative and artistic achievements in nonfiction films. The Legacy Award celebrates the entire creative team behind the chosen film. Filmmaker Frederick Wiseman accepted the award on behalf of the film.)