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The First-Ever Cinema Eye Honors.

Looking 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...

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
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РPhilip Gr̦ning
* LAKE OF FIRE – Tony Kaye
* MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET) – Jason Kohn
* TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE – Alex Gibney
* 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
* INTO GREAT SILENCE РPhilip Gr̦ning
* LAKE OF FIRE – Tony Kaye
* MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET) – Heloisa Passos
* MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES – Peter Mettler
* ZOO – Sean Kirby

Outstanding Achievement in Editing
* CRAZY LOVE – David Zieff
* FLYING: CONFESSIONS OF A FREE WOMAN – Niels Pagh Andersen
* GHOSTS OF CITE SOLEIL – Adam Nielsen
* 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
* MANDA BALA (SEND A BULLET) – Jason Kohn
* THE MONASTERY – MR. VIG AND THE NUN – Pernille Rose Gronkjær
* NO END IN SIGHT – Charles Ferguson
* A WALK INTO THE SEA: DANNY WILLIAMS AND THE WARHOL FACTORY – Esther B. Robinson

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
* JOE STRUMMER: THE FUTURE IS UNWRITTEN – Dir. Julien Temple
* THE KING OF KONG: A FISTFUL OF QUARTERS – Dir. Seth Gordon
* MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES – Dir. Jennifer Baichwal
* NO END IN SIGHT – Dir. Charles Ferguson
* SICKO – Dir. Michael Moore

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