‘The Act of Killing’ Wins Top Prize at Cinema Eye Honors

“Stories We Tell,” “Cutie and the Boxer” also win at New York-based awards for nonfiction filmmaking

Joshua Oppenheimer’s disturbing documentary “The Act of Killing” was named the outstanding nonfiction film of 2013 at Wednesday night’s Cinema Eye Honors, one of the major awards for documentary filmmaking.

The doc (pictured above), which is about movie-obsessed gangsters recreating the mass killings they performed in the 1960s at the behest of the Indonesian government, won in the Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking and Outstanding Achievement in Production categories.

Also read: ‘Act of Killing’ Director on Filming His Shocking Documentary: It Gave Me Nightmares

Sarah Polley was named best director for her work on “Stories We Tell,” while “Let the Fire Burn” and “Leviathan” won awards for their editing and cinematography, respectively.

Dave Grohl’s “Sound City,” a doc about the San Fernando Valley recording studio of the same name, won the Audience Choice Prize over a field that also included the music doc “20 Feet From Stardom.”

Zachary Heinzerling’s “Cutie and the Boxer” won three awards: Outstanding Debut, Outstanding Original Score and Outstanding Graphics and Animation.

Lucy Walker’s “The Crash Reel” was named the best made-for-television documentary, while Carlos Reygadas’s “Post Tenebras Lux” won the Heterodox Award, which is given to a film that blends fiction and non-fiction techniques.

Barbara Kopple’s 1976 landmark “Harlan County, USA” won the Legacy Award.

Of the night’s winners, “The Act of Killing,” “Stories We Tell,” “The Crash Reel” and “Cutie and the Boxer” are on the Academy’s 15-film shortlist, from which the five Oscar documentary nominees will be chosen.

Also read: ‘The Act of Killing,’ ‘Stories We Tell’ Make Oscar Documentary Shortlist

The Cinema Eye Honors were formed in 2007 by a group that included filmmaker A.J. Schnack and doc programmer Thom Powers, and are designed to reward all aspects of non-fiction filmmaking.

The awards were held in New York at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. Participants in the ceremony included Michael Moore, “Hoop Dreams” director Steve James, editor Thelma Schoonmaker and singer Lisa Fischer.

The awards:

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking
The Act of Killing
Directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
Produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen

Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Sarah Polley
, Stories We Tell

Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Nels Bangerter, Let the Fire Burn

Audience Choice Prize
Sound City, Directed by Dave Grohl

Outstanding Achievement in Production
Signe Byrge Sørensen, The Act of Killing

Outstanding Nonfiction Film for Television
The Crash Reel
Directed by Lucy Walker
Produced by Julian Cautherley and Lucy Walker
For HBO Documentary Films: Executive Producer Sheila Nevins and Supervising Producer Sara Bernstein

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking
A Story for the Modlins, Directed by Sergio Oksman

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, Leviathan

Heterodox Award
Post Tenebras Lux, Directed by Carlos Reygadas

Outstanding Achievement in an Original Music Score
Yasuaki Shimizu, Cutie and the Boxer

Spotlight Award
The Last Station, Directed by Cristian Soto and Catalina Vergara

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design and Animation
Art Jail, Cutie and the Boxer

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film
Zachary Heinzerling, Cutie and the Boxer

Legacy Award
Harlan County, USA, Directed and Produced by Barbara Kopple

Hell Yeah Prize
Josh Fox, Gasland and Gasland, Part 2