I just got the press release announcing the nominees for the inaugural Cinema Eye Honors for Non-Fiction Filmmaking (and now they are posted to A.J. Schnack’s blog), designed to reward documentaries in a variety of categories, including direction, editing, and graphic design. As I mentioned a few days ago, I think these awards are a pretty cool idea, in that they recognize the importance of craft and storytelling in creating good documentaries. It looks like the biggest winners are Philip Gröning’s very deserving Into Great Silence, which focuses on the daily routines of a group of monks living in a monastery in the French Alps, and Jason Cohn’s Manda Bala, which focuses on political corruption in Brazil (and which was one of the films I most regretted missing at Full Frame this year). Tony Kaye’s highly confrontational Lake of Fire, which focuses on the abortion issue, and Charles Ferguson’s No End in Sight also received a number of nominations. But I’m impressed by the breadth and variety of films that were nominated or, at least, received consideration for awards, including many that I’m hoping to see in the near future. Also glad to see among the graphic design/animation nominees: Trollbäck & Co. for Helvetica and Petra Epperlein for The Prisoner Or: How I Planned to Kill Tony Blair.
Instead of posting the full list of nominees, I’ll just send you over to A.J.’s blog, but I’d love to get a discussion going here. What’s your take on some of the nominated docs? Do you think Sicko (or any other doc) was snubbed? Awards will be announced March 18 at the IFC Center in New York.