Cinema Eye Honors Reveal Nominees For Best Documentaries Of 2012

While awards season may be all about the big guns like the Oscars, Golden Globes or the various critics society announcements, documentary fans and cinephiles in general are keen on the awards known as the Cinema Eye Honors.

Honoring the best in the non-fiction filmmaking, the Cinema Eye Honors look at the best documentary features and those directly involved in the making of the said shorts and features. During an event at this year’s AFI Fest, the nominees were announced and they include some truly fantastic works.

Leading the way are the nominees for best documentary which include the likes of the beloved foreign documentary 5 Broken Cameras, The Imposter, Marina Abramovic The Artist Is Present, Searching For Sugar Man, Detropia and Only The Young.  Other intriguing nominees include How To Survive A Plague and Rodney Ascher’s Room 237 both of which are up for outstanding debut, and films like Beauty Is Embarrassing and Jiro Dreams Of Sushi up for Audience Choice Prize.

As a huge fan of a handful of these films, and the genre of documentary films as a whole, I absolutely love this list of nominees. Cameras, Plague and Room 237 are absolutely fantastic, and little gems like Beauty really prove that the most interesting films around are those that look directly in the eyes of real human beings. Here’s the full announcement from the horse’s mouth:

November 2, 2012, Los Angeles, Calif. ‘“ Thirty-one feature films and five shorts will vie for this year’s Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking as nominees were announced this afternoon in Los Angeles at an event hosted by AFI FEST.

For the second year in a row, six films are in the running for Cinema Eye’s top award, Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking: Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s  5 Broken Cameras, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s  Detropia, Bart Layton’s  The Imposter, Matthew Akers’  Marina Abramović The Artist is Present, Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims’  Only the Young  and Malik Bendjelloul’s  Searching for Sugar Man.  This marked the first year that nominees for this category were determined by votes from both the 25-person nominations committee as well as more than 60 directors of this year’s eligible films.

The Imposter  and  Searching for Sugar Man  led all films with five nominations each.  Simon Chinn’s Red Box Films and John Battsek’s Passion Pictures were involved in the production of both titles, marking the first time in Cinema Eye history that two films from the same production company are nominated for Outstanding Feature.  Chinn also becomes the first person to be nominated for Outstanding Feature for three different films.  He was previously nominated for  Project Nim  (2012) and he won in the category for  Man on Wire  (2009).

Directing teams feature heavily In this year’s awards.  In addition to  5 Broken Camera‘s Burnat and Davidi, Detropia’s Ewing and Grady and  Only the Young‘s Tippet and Mims, brothers Bill and Turner Ross were nominated Outstanding Direction for  Tchoupitoulas.  The Ross Brothers’ nomination marks the first time that filmmakers previously nominated for Outstanding Debut (45365, 2010) would go on to be nominated for Outstanding Direction.

Joining Ewing and Grady, Tippet and Mims and the Ross Brothers as nominees for Outstanding Direction are Ra’anan Alexandrowicz for  The Law in These Parts, Seungjun Yi for  Planet of Snail  and Victor Kossakovsky for   ¡Vivan las Antipodas!.

Winners of the 6th Annual Cinema Eye Honors will be announced on January 9, 2013 as Cinema Eye returns for a third year to New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

Ten contenders were named for Cinema Eye’s Audience Choice Prize, which features many of the most talked about and beloved documentaries of 2012, including Neil Berkeley’s  Beauty is Embarrassing, Lee Hirsch’s  Bully, David Gelb’s  Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Vikram Gandhi’s  Kumaré  and Andrew Garrison’s  Trash Dance.

And there was an especially close vote for Outstanding Debut, which resulted in seven nominees in the category (another Cinema Eye first).  In addition to Matthew Akers, Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims and Malik Bendjelloul, nominees include Alison Klayman for  Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, David France for  How to Survive a Plague, Rodney Ascher for  Room 237  and Peter Nicks for  The Waiting Room.

Source Cinema Eye Honors