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Exclusive: The 25 Most Influential Documentaries (According to Cinema Eye Honors)

Exclusive: The 25 Most Influential Documentaries (According to Cinema Eye Honors)

“Roger and Me,” “Grey Gardens” and “Crumb” are among the Cinema Eye Honors’ annual list of “The Influentials,” the 25 classic nonfiction features which most inspired this year’s class of filmmakers eligible for the 2015 Cinema Eye Honors awards.

READ MORE: The Best Documentaries of 2014 So Far

“This is not a list that hopes to name the 25 best documentaries of all-time,” said Cinema Eye Honors Chair Esther Robinson, “but rather a way for us to find out what films were most on the minds of this year’s filmmakers as they set out to make their own work. We’re fascinated to see what films repeat each year and which films suddenly leap onto the list.”

Among the films that have been mainstays on the list of “The Influentials” are all five films that have previously been named as Legacy Award winners at Cinema Eye: “Sherman’s March,” “Grey Gardens,” “Titicut Follies,” “The War Room” and “Harlan County, USA.” Although Cinema Eye has been surveying filmmakers for several years, this marks the second year that the group has announced “The Influentials.” More than 70 of this year’s eligible filmmakers submitted their votes.

The full list of 2015 Influentials is below:

American Movie / Chris Smith (1999)
Burden of Dreams / Les Blank (1982)
Crumb / Terry Zwigoff (1994)
Darwin’s Nightmare / Hubert Sauper (2004)
Don’t Look Back / D A Pennebaker (1967)
Fast, Cheap and Out of Control / Errol Morris (1997)
The Five Obstructions / Lars von Trier and Jørgen Leth (2003)
Fog of War / Errol Morris (2003)
Gimme Shelter / Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin (1970)
The Gleaners and I / Agnès Varda (2000)
Grey Gardens / Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer (1975)
Grizzly Man / Werner Herzog (2005)
Harlan County, USA / Barbara Kopple (1976)
Paris is Burning / Jennie Livingston (1991)
Roger & Me / Michael Moore (1989)
Salesman / Albert Maysles, David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin (1968)
Sans Soleil / Chris Marker (1983)
Seventeen / Joel DeMott and Jeff Kreines (1983)
Shreman’s March / Ross McElwee (1985)
Tarnation / Jonathan Caouette (2003)
The Thin Blue Line / Errol Morris (1988)
The Times of Harvey Milk / Rob Epstein (1984)
Titicut Follies / Frederick Wiseman (1967)
The War Room / Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker (1993)
When We Were Kings / Leon Gast (1996)

The 8th edition of the Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking will be held in January 2015 at New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens. Nominees for the 2015 awards will be announced in November at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen, Denmark.

For more information about Cinema Eye, visit the website at http://www.cinemaeyehonors.com.

READ MORE: Cinema Eye Honors Names 10 Finalists for Nonfiction Short Film Award

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