‘OJ: Made in America’ and ‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Top Cinema Eye Honors Documentary Nominations

Cinema Eye feature-film nominees also include “Fire at Sea,” “Cameraperson” and “Weiner”

Last Updated: November 2, 2016 @ 4:46 PM

“Fire at Sea,” “Cameraperson,” “Weiner,” “I Am Not Your Negro” and “O.J.: Made in America” have been nominated as the best documentaries of 2016 by Cinema Eye Honors, the New York-based organization devoted to nonfiction filmmaking.

Cinema Eye announced its 10th annual nominees on Wednesday evening at the Alamo Drafthouse in New York City. Its awards ceremony will be held on Jan. 11 at the Museum of the Moving image in Astoria, Queens.

The nominations in the Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking category marked an unprecedented overlap with the Los Angeles-based IDA Documentary Awards, which announced its nominees on Tuesday and is the other major award for nonfiction filmmaking. All five films were nominated by both groups; a sixth IDA nominee, Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” was not eligible for the Cinema Eye Honors.

With the deadline approaching for first-round voting in the Oscar documentary race, that makes “Cameraperson,” “Fire at Sea,” “I Am Not Your Negro,” “O.J.: Made in America” and “Weiner” rare consensus picks for the best nonfiction films of the year, and puts them in a strong position to make the Oscar’s 15-film shortlist.

Two films that focus on race in America, Raoul Peck’s “I Am Not Your Negro” and Ezra Edelman’s “O.J.: Made in America,” led all works with five nominations each. Kristen Johnson’s personal essay “Cameraperson” and Gianfranco Rosi’s cinema verite look at Europe’s migrant crisis “Fire at Sea” received four nominations.

Rosi landed four individual nominations for directing, producing and shooting “Fire at Sea,” while Edelman, Johnson, Peck and HBO Documentary Films chief Sheila Nevins received three each. Nevins is now the most nominated person in Cinema Eye history with 11, a distinction she also holds at the Emmys.

Director/producer Alex Gibney also set a Cinema Eye mark with “Zero Days,” the record sixth film he’s directed to be nominated by the organization.

Several other strong Oscar contenders showed up in the 10 Audience Choice Prize nominees, which included “I Am Not Your Negro” and “Weiner,” but also went for “Gleason,” “Life, Animated,” “Sonita,” “Ticked,” “Tower,” “Mr. Gaga” and the music docs “Miss Sharon Jones!” and “Presenting Princess Shaw.”

Because of Cinema Eye eligibility rules specifying that films must play a certain number of top festivals or make $20,000 at the North American theatrical box office, several high-profile but late-breaking Netflix films, including “13th,” “The Ivory Game” and “Amanda Knox,” were not eligible to be nominated.

The Cinema Eye Honors were established in 2007 to honor all facets of nonfiction filmmaking. Nominees are determined by several nominating committees made up largely of programmers from film festivals that showcase nonfiction work.

Over the first decade of the awards’ existence, Cinema Eye Honors nominations have not typically overlapped strongly with the Oscars documentary nominations. While three of last year’s Best Feature nominees went on to receive Oscar nods, only nine of the 28 Cinema Eye nominees over the last five years did so.

Since the first Cinema Eye ceremony in 2008, the only films to win the top awards from Cinema Eye and the Academy are “Man on Wire,” “The Cove” and “Citizenfour.”

Director Steve James (“Hoop Dreams,” “Life Itself”) will host the Cinema Eye Honors ceremony on Jan. 11.

The nominees:

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking

“Cameraperson”
Directed by Kirsten Johnson | Produced by Kirsten Johnson and Marilyn Ness

“Fire at Sea”
Directed by Gianfranco Rosi | Produced by Donatello Palermo, Gianfranco Rosi, Serge Lalou and Camille Laemlé

“I Am Not Your Negro”
Directed by Raoul Peck| Produced by Rémi Grellety, Raoul Peck and Hébert Peck

“OJ: Made in America”
Directed by Ezra Edelman | Produced by Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow

“Weiner”
Directed and Produced by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg

Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Kirsten Johnson, “Cameraperson”
Gianfranco Rosi, “Fire at Sea”
Raoul Peck, “I Am Not Your Negro”
Robert Greene, “Kate Plays Christine”
Ezra Edelman, “OJ: Made in America”

Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Nels Bangerter, “Cameraperson”
Clay Tweel, “Gleason”
Alexandra Strauss, “I Am Not Your Negro”
Bret Granato, Maya Mumma and Ben Sozanski , “OJ: Made in America”
Eli Despres, “Weiner”

Outstanding Achievement in Production
Stacey Reiss, Sharon Chang and Otto Bell, “The Eagle Huntress”
Donatello Palermo, Gianfranco Rosi, Serge Lalou and Camille Laemmlé, “Fire at Sea”
Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow, “OJ: Made in America”
Carthew Neal, “Tickled”
Marc Shmuger and Alex Gibney, “Zero Days”

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Michal Marczak and Maciej Twardowski, “All These Sleepless Nights”
Kirsten Johnson, “Cameraperson”
Jarred Alterman, “Contemporary Color”
Simon Niblett, “The Eagle Huntress”
Gianfranco Rosi, “Fire at Sea”

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Films Made for Television

“Happy Valley”
Directed by Amir Bar-Lev, Produced by Jonathan Koch, Steve Michaels, John Battsek and Ken Dornstein
For A&E IndieFilms: Molly Thompson, Robert DeBitetto and David McKillop

“Heroin: Cape Cod, USA”
Directed and Produced by Steven Okazaki
For HBO Documentary Films: Sara Bernstein and Sheila Nevins

“How to Dance in Ohio”
Directed by Alexandra Shiva, Produced by Alexandra Shiva and Bari Pulman
For HBO Documentary Films: Nancy Abraham and Sheila Nevins

“Making a Murderer”
Directed and Produced by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos
For Netflix: Lisa Nishimura and Adam Del Deo

“Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures”
Directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, Produced by Katharina Otto-Bernstein and Mona Card
For HBO Documentary Films: Sara Bernstein and Sheila Nevins

“My Beautiful Broken Brain”
Directed by Sophie Robinson and Lotje Sodderlan, Produced by Sophie Robinson
For Netflix: Lisa Nishimura and Adam Del Deo

Audience Choice Prize
“Gleason,” directed by Clay Tweel
“I Am Not Your Negro,” directed by Raoul Peck
“Life, Animated,” directed by Roger Ross Williams
“Miss Sharon Jones!” directed by Barbara Kopple
“Mr. Gaga,” directed by Tomer Heymann
“Presenting Princess Shaw,” directed by Ido Haar
“Sonita,” directed by Rokhsareh Ghaem Maghami
“Tickled,” directed by David Farrier and Dylan Reeve
“Tower,” directed by Keith Maitland
“Weiner,” directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film
Craig Atkinson, “Do Not Resist”
Otto Bell, “The Eagle Huntress”
Jessica Edwards, “Mavis!”
Nanfu Wang, “Hooligan Sparrow”
David Farrier and Dylan Reeve, “Tickled”
Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel, “When Two Worlds Collide”

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score
Lubomir Grzelak, “All These Sleepless Nights”
Nominees to be Determined, “Contemporary Color”
Alexei Aigui, “I Am Not Your Negro”
Alex Lu, “In the Pursuit of Silence”
Gary Lionelli, “OJ: Made in America”

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation
Chris Kirk and Syd Garon, “Author: The JT Leroy Story”
Philippe Sonrier and Suzie Cimato, “Life, Animated”
Nominees to be Determined, “Nuts!”
Craig Staggs and Keith Maitland, “Tower”
Nominees to be Determined, “Zero Days”

Spotlight Award
“All this Panic,” directed by Jenny Gage
“Among the Believers,” directed by Hemal Trivedi and Mohammed Ali Naqvi
“Dead Slow Ahead,” directed by Mauro Herce
“The Land of the Enlightened,” directed by Pieter-Jan De Pue
“The Pearl,” directed by Jessica Dimmock and Christopher LaMarca
“Les Sauteurs” (“Those Who Jump”), directed by Estephan Wagner and Moritz Siebert

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking
“Bacon and God’s Wrath,” directed by Sol Friedman
“Extremis,” directed by Dan Krauss
“La Laguna,” directed by Aaron Schock
“My Aleppo,” directed by Melissa Langer
“Peace in the Valley,” directed by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

The Unforgettables
The year’s most notable and significant nonfiction film subjects (previously announced)

Michal Huszcza, “All These Sleepless Nights”
Audrie Pott and Daisy Coleman, “Audrie and Daisy”
Laura Albert, “Author: The JT Leroy Story”
Kirsten Johnson, “Cameraperson”
Aisholpan Nurgaiv, “The Eagle Huntress”
Samuela Pucillo, “Fire at Sea”
Steve Gleason and Michel Varisco, “Gleason”
Ye Haiyan, “Hooligan Sparrow”
Kate Sheil, “Kate Plays Christine”
Owen Suskind, “Life, Animated”
Sharon Jones, “Miss Sharon Jones!”
Peter Dunning, “Peter and the Farm”
Princess Shaw, “Presenting Princess Shaw”
Sonita Alidazeh, “Sonita”
Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, “Weiner”