Telling Tales of Nonfiction Filmmaking
At this year's Cinema Eye Honors, shout-outs to first dates, Albert Maysles' dishes and the rocks.
Documentarians carve stories out of the ebb and flow of real life, making the struggles of a Canadian metal band into a rousing tale of standing by your dreams, or finding echoes of “A Chorus Line” in the backstage process of putting together a Broadway revival of the show. So it’s no surprise that the 2010 Cinema Eye Honors, which took place on Friday in New York, were filled with their own anecdotes about nonfiction films and the process of making them.
The venerable Albert Maysles, in a salute to influential Canadian filmmaker Allan King, who passed away earlier this year, told the crowd how his first date with his wife was to see King’s 1967 doc “Warrendale.” Editor Sloane Klevin, presenting the award for Outstanding Achievement in Editing, in turn recounted how the back of her apartment faces that of Maysles, and how she often sees him at night, washing dishes, and longs to stop by to chat and help him dry.
Accepting the cinematography award, “The Cove”‘s Brook Aitken paused to give a special shout out to the inanimate objects — specifically, the fake rocks containing hidden camera — that handled some of the film’s shooting. And “Burma VJ”‘s Janus Billeskov-Jansen and Thomas Papapetros, accepting the editing prize, noted that their film couldn’t have been made a decade a go. It was because of Google Earth, they said, that they were able to zoom down into the streets of the closed country, investigating where the footage from each of the video-journalists was shot and weaving it together into a more complete picture of the 2007 uprising.
A complete list of the winners is below:
Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking
Directed by Louie Psihoyos, produced by Paula DuPré Pesman and Fisher Stevens
Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Agnès Varda, THE BEACHES OF AGNES
Outstanding Achievement in International Feature Filmmaking
Directed by Anders Østergaard, produced by Lise-Lense Møller
Outstanding Achievement in Debut Feature Filmmaking
Directed by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher
Outstanding Achievement in Production
Paula DuPré Pesman and Fisher Stevens, THE COVE
Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Brook Aitken, THE COVE
Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Janus Billeskov-Jansen and Thomas Papapetros, BURMA VJ
Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score
Danny Grody, Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri, Ted Savarese and Kenric Taylor, OCTOBER COUNTRY
Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design and Animation (tie)
Bigstar, FOOD, INC.
Francis Hanneman, Darren Pasemko, Kent Hugo, Omar Majeed, Brett Gaylor + The Open Source Cinema Community, RIP: A REMIX MANIFESTO
BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO
Directed by Jessica Oreck
Audience Choice Prize
THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE
Directed by RJ Cutler
Directed by Ross McElwee