Cinema Eye’s Top Award Will Now Honor Full Creative Teams, Not Just Directors and Producers

Founded in 2007 by nonfiction filmmaker, writer, and visual artist AJ Schnack, Cinema Eye began as an awards event for documentary films, but by 2010, had blossomed into a multi-day celebration of the form, paying tribute to each year’s new class of nominees, as well as the influences that shaped them all. They were the first and remain the only international nonfiction awards organization to recognize the entire creative team, presenting awards for directing, editing, producing, cinematography, original score, visual design, and sound design, as well as non-competitive Honors for onscreen participants.

Doubling down on their commitment to recognizing all creative team members, starting in the year 2025, the named nominees for Cinema Eye’s highest honor, Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking, will include the films’ directors, producers, editors, cinematographers, composers, sound and visual designers, as well as the primary onscreen participants. Individuals will be nominated for this category regardless of if they are nominated in other categories.

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Onscreen participants, known by Cinema Eye as Unforgettable Honorees, will also be getting a boost in 2025. Heretofore, these honorees have never been granted trophies or welcomed onstage at the awards, but that all changes next year. Cinema Eye will name their Unforgettables Honorees from up to 8 films when they announce their nominations this fall and will invite them all onstage at the 18th Annual Awards Ceremony in January.

Submissions for Nonfiction Features and Shorts open next week on June 26, with the Shorts deadline coming on August 7 and Features on August 21. The full nominees list will be announced November 14, with Cinema Eye Honors Week set to take place January 6-9, 2025, closing out with the 18th Annual Awards Ceremony at the New York Academy of Medicine in East Harlem.

Cinema Eye will also be hosting “Weekend of Decline” on July 20 and 21 at Vidiots in Los Angeles in honor of this year’s Legacy Award Honoree, “The Decline of Western Civilization Trilogy.” The first two parts of the trilogy will be shown on Saturday, preceded by a presentation of the award and a conversation with the films’ writer/director, Penelope Spheeris. The last film in the trilogy will be shown on Sunday.

Some of 2024’s other Cinema Eye award winners include “32 Sounds” for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking, Maite Alberdi (“The Eternal Memory”) and Kaouther Ben Hania (“Four Daughters”) for Outstanding Achievement in Direction, and Mstyslav Chernov, Michelle Mizner, Raney Aronson Rath, Derl McCrudden, and Vasilisa Stepanenko (“20 Days in Mariupol”) for Outstanding Achievement in Production.

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