Telling Tales of Nonfiction Filmmaking

Telling Tales of Nonfiction Filmmaking (photo)

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:

01192010_maysles.jpgOutstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking

Directed by Louie Psihoyos, produced by Paula DuPré Pesman and Fisher Stevens

Outstanding Achievement in Direction


Outstanding Achievement in International Feature Filmmaking

Directed by Anders Østergaard, produced by Lise-Lense Møller

01192010_plympton.jpgOutstanding 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

01192010_toback.jpgJanus 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

01192010_oreck.jpgSpotlight Award

Directed by Jessica Oreck

Audience Choice Prize

Directed by RJ Cutler

Legacy Award

Directed by Ross McElwee

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