Flee, Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s animated documentary telling the story of a young refugee’s journey to asylum, took the top prize at the 15th Annual Cinema Eye Honors, winning the award for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking. Jessica Kingdon’s Ascension, an observational look at the class structure in China, won three awards, the most of the evening, for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography, Original Score and Debut Feature. Both films have been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
Filmmaker Robert Greene won the award for Outstanding Direction for his collaborative documentary, Procession, a film that tracks six men using artistic therapy to reclaim their life story after years of abuse by Catholic Priests. It’s the fourth nomination in the Directing category for Greene and his first win. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s rousing debut Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) won the Editing Prize for Joshua Pearson. E. Chai Vasarhely and Jimmy Chin took the Audience Choice Prize for The Rescue, It’s the 3rd win in the category for the filmmaking duo, having previously won the Audience Prize for Meru and Free Solo.
Two new awards were presented this year. The Velvet Underground’s Leslie Shatz and Jahn Sood won the award for Sound Design, while Pretend It’s a City, Martin Scorsese’s series of conversations with Fran Lebowitz, was awarded Outstanding Anthology Series.
Among other Broadcast Honors, awards were given to Nanfu Wang for her HBO documentary In the Same Breath (Broadcast Film), Steve James for his National Geographic series City So Real (Nonfiction Series). Ellen Kuras for her Cinematography on Spike Lee’s filmed version of David Byrne’s American Utopia and Adam Locke-Norton for his Editing on How to with John Wilson.
This year’s Cinema Eye Honors Awards Ceremony returned to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens after being a fully virtual event last year. The ceremony had originally been planned for January but was rescheduled for tonight due to the effects of the omicron variant. In celebration of the event’s 15th anniversary, winners and honorees from all fifteen years of Cinema Eye sent videos from around the world introducing nominees in the events eighteen categories.
Here is the complete list of winners of the 15th Cinema Eye Honors.
Outstanding Nonfiction Feature: Flee (directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen)
Outstanding Direction: Robert Greene, Procession
Outstanding Debut Feature: Jessica Kingdon, Ascension
Outstanding Cinematography: Jessica Kingdon and Nathan Truesdell, Ascension
Outstanding Editing: Joshua Pearson, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Outstanding Graphic Design/Animation: Kenneth Ladekjær and Jess Nicholls, Flee
Outstanding Original Score: Dan Deacon, Ascension
Outstanding Production: Matthew Heineman, Jenna Millman, & Leslie Norville, The First Wave
Outstanding Sound Design: Leslie Shatz and Jahn Sood, The Velvet Underground
Heterodox: El Planeta (directed by Amalia Ulman)
Spotlight: North by Current (directed by Angelo Madsen Minax)
Outstanding Nonfiction Short Film: Three Songs for Benazir (directed by Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei)
Audience Choice Prize: The Rescue (directed by E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin)
Broadcast Film: In the Same Breath (directed by Nanfu Wang)
Nonfiction Series: City So Real (directed by Steve James)
Anthology Series: Pretend It’s a City
(Martin Scorsese, Fran Liebowitz, David Tedeschi, Ted Griffin, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Joshua Porter and Margaret Bodde)
Broadcast Editing: Adam Locke-Norton, How to with John Wilson
Broadcast Cinematography: Ellen Kuras, David Byrne’s American Utopia