The First-Ever Cinema Eye Honors.

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03192008_cinemaeye.jpgLooking over the many documentarians in the crowd gathered at the first-ever Cinema Eye Honors for nonfiction film last night, awards co-chair AJ Schnack (himself a filmmaker) proclaimed “I don’t see journalists, I don’t see activists — I see filmmakers and I see artists.” Not that there’s anything wrong with journalism or activism, but it’s a fair point — subject matter so often comes first and foremost when people look at a documentary film, and everyone working behind the camera is relegated to the role of a chronicler. One of the common themes of the evening, and one of the reasons the Cinema Eye Honors were created, was that nonfiction films deserve just as serious a consideration of their craftsmanship, of their art, as narratives, which is why there were awards given out for editing, cinematography and production, in addition to ones recognizing films and directors.

Over the course of two friendly and informal hours that featured presenters like recent Oscar-winner Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) and Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofski (“Metallica: Some Kind of Monster”), thoughts on the state of documentaries, the difficulties and making them and the frequent lack of recognition were unveiled, and nifty statuettes were dispensed. “Manda Bala (Send a Bullet,)” Jason Kohn’s look at class issues, corruption and kidnapping in Brazil, walked away with the most awards — three, for editing, cinematography and overall outstanding achievement. The winners were selected by an invited pool of filmmakers, festival directors and distributors, with the exception of the audience award, which was determined by public vote and which went, appropriately, to the Seth Gordon’s crowd-pleasing look at competitive video gaming, “The King of Kong.”

After the jump, a complete list of winners and a way low quality video of Jason Kohn’s funny and fervent acceptance speech for the night’s big prize (that’s Barbara Kopple presenting the award).

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[Winners are in bold.]

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РDir. Philip Gr̦ning, Prods. Philip Gr̦ning, Elda Guidinetti, Andres Pfaffli & Michael Weber
* LAKE OF FIRE – Dir., Prod. – Tony Kaye
* MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET – Dir. Jason Kohn, Prods. Joey Frank, Jared Goldman & Jason Kohn)
* THE MONASTERY – MR. VIG AND THE NUN – Dir. Pernille Rose Grønkjær, Prod. Sigrid Dyekjær
* NO END IN SIGHT – Dir. Charles Ferguson, Prods. Jennie Amias, Charles Ferguson & Jessie Vogelson

Outstanding Achievement in Direction
* LAKE OF FIRE – Tony Kaye
* ZOO – Robinson Devor

Outstanding Achievement in Production
* BLINDSIGHT – Sybil Robson Orr
* CHICAGO 10 – Brett Morgan & Graydon Carter
* GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL – Seth Kanegis, Tomas Radoor & Mikael Rieks
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РPhilip Gr̦ning, Elda Guidinetti, Andres Pfaffli & Michael Weber
* LAKE OF FIRE – Tony Kaye
* MANDA BALA – Joey Frank, Jared Goldman & Jason Kohn

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
* LAKE OF FIRE – Tony Kaye
* MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET) – Heloisa Passos
* ZOO – Sean Kirby

Outstanding Achievement in Editing
* CRAZY LOVE – David Zieff
* LAKE OF FIRE – Peter Goddard
* MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET) – Doug Abel, Jenny Golden & Andy Grieve
* NO END IN SIGHT – Chad Beck and Cindy Lee

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design and Animation
* CHICAGO 10 – Animation by Curious Pictures
* HELVETICA – Motions Graphics by Trollbäck & Co.
* THE PRISONER OR: HOW I PLANNED TO KILL TONY BLAIR – Graphic Design by Petra Epperlein
* THE UNFORESEEN – Motion Graphics by Jef Sewell
* SUPER AMIGOS – Animation by David Quesnelle

Outstanding Debut Feature
* BILLY THE KID – Jennifer Venditti
* THE MONASTERY – MR. VIG AND THE NUN – Pernille Rose Gronkjær
* NO END IN SIGHT – Charles Ferguson

Outstanding International Feature
* GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL – Dir. Asger Leth, Prods. Seth Kanegis, Tomas Radoor and Mikael Rieks
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РDir. Philip Gr̦ning, Prods. Philip Gr̦ning, Elda Guidinetti, Andres Pfaffli & Michael Weber
* MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES – Dir. Jennifer Baichwal, Prods. Jennifer Baichwal, Daniel Iron & Nick de Pencier
* THE MONASTERY – MR. VIG & THE NUN – Dir. Pernille Rose Grønkjær, Prod. Sigrid Dyekjær
* PLEASE VOTE FOR ME – Dir. Weijun Chen, Prod. Don Edkins

Audience Choice Prize
* DEEP WATER – Dirs. Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell
* IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON – Dir. David Sington
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РDir. Philip Gr̦ning
* MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES – Dir. Jennifer Baichwal
* NO END IN SIGHT – Dir. Charles Ferguson
* SICKO – Dir. Michael Moore


Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…


IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.


Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:

Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.


Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.


From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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