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'5 Broken Cameras,' 'Detropia' Lead Cinema Eye Honors Winners

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire January 9, 2013 at 11:03PM

Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s "5 Broken Cameras" -- about Israeli settlements encroaching upon Burnat’s Palestinian village -- took top prize at the 6th Annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking, handed out tonight at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. Other major winners included "Detropia" (direction), "Only The Young" (debut), "How To Survive a Plague" (editing), "The Imposter" (production), "Bully" (audience award) and "Chasing Ice" (cinematography). Save "Only The Young," all the noted films are on the shortlist to be nominated for tomorrow's Academy Award for best documentary feature.
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"5 Broken Cameras"
"5 Broken Cameras"

Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s "5 Broken Cameras" -- about Israeli settlements encroaching upon Burnat’s Palestinian village -- took top prize at the 6th Annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking, handed out tonight at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

Other major winners included "Detropia" (direction), "Only The Young" (debut), "How To Survive a Plague" (editing), "The Imposter" (production), "Bully" (audience award) and "Chasing Ice" (cinematography). Save "Only The Young," all the noted films are on the shortlist to be nominated for tomorrow's Academy Award for best documentary feature.

Full press release below.

New York - 5 Broken Cameras, Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi’s documentary about Israeli settlements encroaching upon Burnat’s Palestinian village, was named Outstanding Feature at the 6th Annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens tonight. Oscar-winning filmmaker Michael Moore accepted the award for Burnat and Davidi at the end of a ceremony celebrating many of the best documentaries of 2012.  It was the first time in Cinema Eye history that a film won the Outstanding Feature award after having not received another trophy earlier in the evening, capping a night where voters spread the love amongst a number of the year’s most notable films.

“I personally feel it’s one of the most beautiful pieces of artistic cinema,” Michael Moore said of 5 Broken Cameras. “You don’t see this on the evening news. You don’t see Palestinians portrayed this way.”

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s Detropia was the only film to win two awards, Outstanding Direction for the veteran NYC-duo, and Outstanding Original Score for Dial.81.  Continuing the theme of directing duos being recognized, Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims took honors for Outstanding Debut for their high school love triangle doc, Only the Young.

“Tonight, we’re here to honor The War Room,” said Moore upon presenting the film with the Legacy Award. “No Presidential candidate since, winner or loser, has allowed a documentary filmmaker inside. The War Room really stands as the seminal film and perhaps the last of its kind, reaching outside the documentary audience to new viewers.”

“When you have a film that’s honored like this after 20 years, it’s like a grandfather who’s suddenly sobered up and you can talk to him,” said D A Pennebaker.  “You sort of forget when you were doing it, nobody wanted it. We were saved by people who just appeared as if by magic,” speaking of the film’s producers Wendy Ettinger and son Frazer Pennebaker, as well as the film’s distributor, the late Bingham Ray.

“I was thinking during  D A Pennebaker’s amazing talk tonight, we’re all standing on your shoulder and you know it, and we want to thank you,” said Detropia co-director Heidi Ewing upon accepting the Directing Award. “This year we leaned on all of you. The film has been shown in 105 cities and it’s because of you,” referring to their Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that allowed them to self-distribute the film.

Jason Tippet said in acceptance with his Only the Young co-director Elizabeth Mims, “It feels really nice to be accepted in this community. Everybody’s been so supportive”

A slate of Oscar shortlisted films won in the other categories.  Dimitri Doganis received Outstanding Production for The Imposter, T. Woody Richman and Tyler H. Walk won for Outstanding Editing for How to Survive a Plague, Jeff Orlowski took Outstanding Cinematography for Chasing Ice and Oskar Gullstrand and Arvid Steen won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation for Searching for Sugar Man.  

Lee Hirsch’s Bully received the Cinema Eye Audience Choice Prize after a frenzied final 48 hours of voting that saw more than 4,500 cast votes online and via twitter.  

“This is a great honor for us. A few years ago, we were really struggling with our film, and we came here, and you gave us a lot of strength,” said Bully director Lee Hirsch. “This film has had a really tremendous outreach campaign. The work done to get this film out there and bring it to audiences, that’s really everything. We’ve been able to bring the film to over 250,000 kids across America.”

In addition to its craft categories, Cinema Eye presented honors for Nonfiction Short Filmmaking, which went to Robert-Jan Lacombe’s Good-bye Mandima (Kwa Heri Mandima), the Spotlight Award, which was presented to Wojciech Staron for Argentinian Lesson and the Heterodox Award for Narrative Filmmaking, going to Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours, that recognizes a narrative film that imaginatively incorporates nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production.  

In addition to 5 Broken Cameras, films vying for the top Nonfiction Feature prize included Ewing & Grady’s Detropia, Bart Layton’s The Imposter, Matthew Akers’ Marina Abramović The Artist is Present, Tippet and Mims’ Only the Young and Malik Bendjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man.

This year’s Legacy Award was presented to the 1993 verite classic The War Room, which took viewers behind the scenes of the 1992 Bill Clinton campaign.  The Legacy Award is intended to honor classic films that inspire a new generation of filmmakers and embody the Cinema Eye mission: excellence in creative and artistic achievements in nonfiction films.  The Legacy Award celebrates the entire creative team behind the chosen film.  Directors Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker and producers Wendy Ettinger and Frazer Pennebaker accepted the award on behalf of the film.


The following is a complete list of Cinema Eye Honors winners for 2012:

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking

5 Broken Cameras
Directed by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
Produced by Christine Camdessus, Serge Gordey, Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
Presented by Chris Hegedus & D A Pennebaker

Outstanding Achievement in Direction

Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady
Detropia
Presented by Marshall Curry

Audience Choice Prize

Bully
Directed by Lee Hirsch
Presented by Andrea Meditch

Outstanding Achievement in Production

Dimitri Doganis
The Imposter
Presented by Daniel Chalfen and Judith Helfand

Outstanding Achievement in Editing

T. Woody Richman and Tyler H. Walk
How to Survive a Plague
Presented by Daniel Chalfen and Judith Helfand

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

Jeff Orlowski
Chasing Ice
Presented by Jennie Livingston and Darius Marder

Spotlight Award

Argentinian Lesson
Directed by Wojciech Staron
Presented by Jennie Livingston and Darius Marder

Heterodox Award

Museum Hours
Directed by Jem Cohen
Presented by Marie Therese Guirgis and Eugene Hernandez

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking

Goodbye Mandima (Kwa Heri Mandima)
Directed by Robert-Jan Lacombe
Presented by Laura Gabbert and Sam Green

Outstanding Achievement in an Original Music Score

Dial.81
Detropia
Presented by Laura Gabbert and Sam Green

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design and Animation

Oskar Gullstrand and Arvid Steen
Searching for Sugar Man
Presented by Jonathan Caouette and Susan Froemke

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film

Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims
Only the Young
Presented by Jonathan Caouette and Susan Froemke

Legacy Award

The War Room
Directed by Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker
Produced by R.J. Cutler, Wendy Ettinger and Frazer Pennebaker
Presented by Michael Moore

About the Cinema Eye Honors and the 2013 Awards
The Cinema Eye Honors were founded in 2007 to recognize excellence in artistry and craft in nonfiction filmmaking.  It remains the only international nonfiction award to recognize the whole creative team, presenting annual craft awards in directing, producing, cinematography, editing, composing and graphic design/animation.  The 5th edition of the Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking will be held January 11, 2012 at New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.  Nominees for the 2012 awards were announced on October 26, 2011.  A full list of nominees can be found at www.cinemaeyehonors.com.

Cinema Eye is headed by a core team that includes Co-Chairs Esther Robinson (director, A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory; Cinema Eye nominee for Outstanding Debut, 2008) and AJ Schnack (director, Kurt Cobain About A Son and founder of Cinema Eye), Producer Nathan Truesdell (producer, Caucus), Nominations Committee Chair Sean Farnel (Former Head of Programming, Hot Docs Film Festival), Advisory Board Chair Andrea Meditch (executive producer, Buck and Man on Wire) and Filmmaker Advisory Board Chair Laura Poitras (director, The Oath; Cinema Eye winner for Outstanding Direction, 2011).

This article is related to: Awards, Documentary, Cinema Eye Honors