‘Citizenfour’ Leads Cinema Eye Honors Nominations

“Life Itself,” “20,000 Days on Earth,” “The Overnighters” and “Virunga” also nominated for top documentary award

edward snowden citizenfour trailer
Praxis Films

Laura Poitras’ film about Edward Snowden, “Citizenfour,” led all films with six nominations for the Cinema Eye Honors, one of the top awards for non-fiction filmmaking. The nominations were announced on Wednesday at a reception during the CPH:DOX festival in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In the top category, Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking, “Citizenfour” will compete against the Steve James’ Roger Ebert documentary, “Life Itself”; Ian Forsythe’s and Jane’s Pollard’s “20,000 Days on Earth,” about musician Nick Cave; Jesse Moss’ “The Overnighters,” about workers flocking to oil fields in North Dakota; and Orlando von Einsiedel’s “Virunga,” which deals with threats to a national park in the Congo.

Runners up to “Citizenfour” in total nominations were “Life Itself” and “20,000 Days on Earth,” with five nominations each.

Multiple nominations also went to “The Case Against 8,” “Actress,” “E-Team,” “Finding Vivian Maier,” “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” “Ne Me Quitte Pas,” “Particle Fever” and “Return to Homs.”

The nominations make James and Poitras the most-nominated filmmakers in Cinema Eye history, with eight and nine total nominations, respectively.

Two weeks ago, the International Documentary Association nominated “Citizenfour,” “Finding Vivian Maier,” “Point and Shoot,” “The Salt of the Earth” and “Tales of the Grim Sleeper” for the top honor at the IDA Documentary Awards.

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The Cinema Eye Honors are the most extensive awards for nonfiction filmmaking, handing out prizes in directing, producing, cinematography, editing, music and graphic design or animation, in addition to overall film awards.

Films qualify for the Cinema Eye Honors through theatrical or film-festival play. A total of 146 films qualified for the awards this year, slightly more than the Academy Awards’ field of 134. (More than 250 films qualified for the IDA Awards.)

Over its first seven years, the awards twice gave their top honor to the film that went on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. James Marsh‘s “Man on Wire” won in 2009, and Louie Psihoyos’ “The Cove” the following year.

Last year’s Cinema Eye winner was “The Act of Killing,” which was nominated for an Oscar but did not win. The Oscar winner, “20 Feet From Stardom,” was not nominated for the top Cinema Eye award.

The Cinema Eye Honors were launched in 2007 by filmmaker and journalist A.J. Schnack and documentary programmer Thom Powers, who wanted to create documentary awards that would honor the entire creative team and all facets of nonfiction filmmaking.

The awards will be handed out at a ceremony at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York City on Jan. 7, 2015.

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking

“20,000 Days on Earth”
Directed by Iain Forsythe and Jane Pollard
Produced by Dan Bowen and James Wilson

Directed by Laura Poitras
Produced by Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

“Life Itself”
Directed by Steve James
Produced by Zak Piper and Steve James

“The Overnighters”
Directed by Jesse Moss
Produced by Jesse Moss and Amanda McBaine

Directed by Orlando von Einsiedel
Produced by Joanna Natesegara and Orlando von Einsiedel

Outstanding Achievement in Direction

Robert Greene

Laura Poitras

Steve James
“Life Itself”

Jesse Moss
“The Overnighters”

Nick Broomfield
“Tales of the Grim Sleeper”

Outstanding Achievement in Editing

Robert Greene

Kate Amend
“The Case Against 8”

Mathilde Bonnefoy

Steve James and David E. Simpson
“Life Itself”

Sabine Lubbe Bakker and Niels van Koevorden
“Ne Me Quitte Pas”

Marshall Curry
“Point and Shoot”

Outstanding Achievement in Production

Ben Cotner and Ryan White
“The Case Against 8”

Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

Katy Chevigny, Ross Kauffman and Marilyn Ness
“The E-Team”

Orwa Nyrabia and Hans Robert Eisenhauer
“Return to Homs”

Joanna Natesegara and Orlando von Einsiedel

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

Erik Wilson
“20,000 Days on Earth”

Laura Poitras, Kirsten Johnson, Katy Scoggin & Trevor Paglen

Ross Kauffman and Rachel Beth Anderson
“The E-Team”

Niels van Koevorden
“Ne Me Quitte Pas”

Andrew Droz Palermo
“Rich Hill”

Franklin Dow and Orlando von Einsiedel

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Films Made for Television

“American Masters: Jimi Hendrix – Here My Train a Comin’”
Directed by Bob Smeaton
Produced by John McDermott
For PBS/American Masters: Susan Lacy, Julie Sacks, Junko Tsunashima, Lesley Norman

“The Education of Muhammad Hussein”
Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
Produced by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
For HBO Documentary Films: Sheila Nevins, Sara Bernstein

Directed by Daniel Gordon
Produced by Daniel Gordon, Deirdre Fenton, Erin Leyden, Libby Geist
For ESPN/30 for 30 Soccor Stories: Connor Schell, John Dahl, Bill Simmons

“The Price of Gold”
Directed by Nanette Burstein
Produced by Libby Geist
For ESPN/30 for 30: John Dahl, Connor Schell, Bill Simmons

“Six by Sondheim”
Directed by James Lapine
Produced by Frank Rich, Liz Stanton
For HBO Documentary Films: Sheila Nevins, Nancy Abraham

Audience Choice Prize

“20,000 Days on Earth”
Directed by Iain Forsythe and Jane Pollard

“The Case Against 8”
Directed by Ben Cotner and Ryan White

Directed by Laura Poitras

“Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me”
Directed by Chiemi Karasawa

“Finding Vivian Maier”
Directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

“Jodorowsky’s Dune”
Directed by Frank Pavich

“Keep On Keepin’ On”
Directed by Alan Hicks

“Life Itself”
Directed by Steve James

“Mistaken for Strangers”
Directed by Tom Berninger

“Particle Fever”
Directed by Mark Levinson

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film

“20,000 Days on Earth”
Directed by Iain Forsythe and Jane Pollard

“Approaching the Elephant”
Directed by Amanda Rose Wilder

“Evolution of a Criminal”
Directed by Darius Clark Monroe

“Finding Vivian Maier”
Directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

“Return to Homs”
Directed by Talal Derki

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
20,000 Days on Earth

David Wingo
“The Great Invisible”

Joshua Abrams
“Life Itself”

David Perlick-Molinari

Edwyn Collins
“The Possibilities Are Endless”

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation

Kyle McKeveny and Matt St. Leger
“Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart”

Syd Garon
“Jodorowsky’s Dune”

MK12 – Nominees to be Determined
“Particle Fever”

Philippe Gariepy and Benoit St. Jean
“Red Army”

Steven Do
“The Unknown Known”

Spotlight Award

Directed by Johanna Hamilton

“Evaporating Borders”
Directed by Iva Radivojevic

“An Honest Liar”
Directed by Justin Weinstein and Tyler Measom

“Living Stars”
Directed by Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohn

“My Name is Salt”
Directed by Farida Pacha

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking

“Hacked Circuit”
Directed by Deborah Stratman

Directed by Aneta Kopacz

“The Lion’s Mouth Opens”
Directed by Lucy Walker

“Notes on Blindness”
Directed by Peter Middleton and James Spinney

“One Year Lease”
Directed by Brian Bolster