‘Citizenfour’ Sweeps Cinema Eye Honors Documentary Awards

Film about Edward Snowden wins four awards, the second to do so in Cinema Eye Honors history

Edward Snowden from CitizenFour

“Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ documentary about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, won four awards at the Cinema Eye Honors in New York City on Wednesday, reinforcing its position as the dominant non-fiction film of 2014.

The film swept the top categories, winning Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking as well as Outstanding Achievement in Direction, Editing and Production.

It became the second film in Cinema Eye history to win four awards, after “Waltz With Bashir,” and the second to win best feature and best director after Steve James’ “The Interrupters.”

Also read: Edward Snowden Doc Director on Taking ‘Staggering’ Risks, Angering Powerful People

In December, “Citizenfour” won the top prize at the IDA Documentary Awards, the other main honor given to non-fiction filmmaking.

In categories not won by “Citizenfour,” “Virunga” and “20,000 Days on Earth” tied for cinematography, “20,000 Days on Earth” won for music, and “Jodorowsky’s Dune” and “Particle Fever” tied for graphic design or animation.

Charlie Siskel and John Maloof won the award for best first film for “Finding Vivian Maier,” while the Spotlight Award went to Johanna Hamilton’s “1971.”

Lucy Walker won the short-doc award for “The Lion’s Mouth Opens.”

Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” won the Heterodox Award, which goes to a film that makes use of non-fiction techniques.

Also read: Producers Guild Nominations Range From ‘Boyhood’ to ‘Gone Girl’ – But Not ‘Selma’

In the Nonfiction Films Made for Television category, the ESPN 30 for 30 film “The Price of Gold” was named the winner.

The music doc “Keep On Keepin’ On” won the audience prize, voting for which was open to the public. Ballots in other categories were cast by filmmakers and invited voters, with juries picking the television and spotlight categories.

(Full disclosure: I was a voter and a member of the Spotlight jury.)

“Citizenfour,” “Virunga,” “Finding Vivian Maier” and “Jodorowsky’s Dune” are all on the 15-film shortlist for the Oscar documentary-feature category, while “The Lion’s Mouth Opens” is on the 10-film short-doc shortlist.

The award ceremony took place at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, New York, and was hosted by filmmaker Sam Green.

See photos: Golden Globes 2015: The Nominees (Photos)

The winners:

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking:
Directed by Laura Poitras
Produced by Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

Outstanding Achievement in Direction: Laura Poitras, “Citizenfour”

Outstanding Achievement in Editing: Mathilde Bonnefoy, “Citizenfour”

Outstanding Achievement in Production: Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky, “Citizenfour”

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography (tie): Erik Wilson, “20,000 Days on Earth”; Franklin Dow and Orlando von Einsiedel, “Virunga”

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Films Made for Television:
“The Price of Gold”
Directed by Nanette Burstein
Produced by Libby Geist
For ESPN/30 for 30: John Dahl, Connor Schell, Bill Simmons

Audience Choice Prize: “Keep On Keepin’ On,” Directed by Alan Hicks

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film: “Finding Vivian Maier,” Directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score: Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, “20,000 Days on Earth”

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation (tie): Syd Garon, “Jodorowsky’s Dune”; Heather Brantman & Tim Fisher, “Particle Fever”

Spotlight Award: “1971,” Directed by Johanna Hamilton

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking: “The Lion’s Mouth Opens,” Directed by Lucy Walker

Heterodox Award: “Boyhood,” Directed by Richard Linklater

Legacy Award: “Paris is Burning,” Directed by Jennie Livingston