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From Chilean Politics and Christian-Muslim Relationships to Ayrton Senna and Justin Bieber: 2012 Cinema Eye Honors Nominations

Nostalgia for the Light, Patricio Guzman
Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light

From the the remains of political prisoners buried in Chile’s Atacama desert to Muslim-Christian relationships within a (very large) family in Indonesia: Clio Barnard’s The Arbor, Steve James’ The Interrupters, Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light, Leonard Retel Helmrich’s Position Among the Stars, James Marsh’s Project Nim and Asif Kapadia’s Senna are all in the running for Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking at the 2012 Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking. It’s the first time that six films are competing for the top Cinema Eye award.

Seven documentaries received four nominations each, the highest number this year:Tristan Patterson’s Dragonslayer, Danfung Dennis’ Hell and Back Again, The Arbor, The Interrupters, Nostalgia for the Light, Position Among the Stars and Senna. In all, 33 films from 12 countries are vying for Cinema Eye awards in 11 categories.

The five nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Direction are Steve James, best-known for Hoop Dreams (which caused quite a stir when it was bypassed by the 1994 Academy Awards), Clio Barnard, Danfung Dennis, Patricio Guzmán, and Leonard Retel Helmrich. Missing from the roster are Senna’s Asif Kapadia and Project Nim’s James Marsh. (Marsh’s Man on Wire was the Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction of 2009.)

For the first time this year the result of a direct vote by the Cinema Eye nominations committee, the ten contenders for the Audience Choice prize are Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking nominees Senna, Project Nim, and The Interrupters, in addition to Cindy Meehl’s Buck, Richard Press’ Bill Cunningham New York, Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Errol Morris’ Tabloid, Michael Collins’ Give Up Tomorrow, Göran Olsson’s The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, and, are you ready, Jon M. Chu’s Justin Bieber: Never Say Never.

Tim Hetherington, one of the journalists killed in Libya during that country’s blood revolution, was nominated in the Nonfiction Short Filmmaking category for the autobiographical Diary. Fellow nominees are Yuri Ancarani’s Il Capo (Italy), Davina Pardo’s Minka (USA), Jakub Stozek’s Out of Reach (Poland) and Andy Taylor Smith’s This Chair Is Not Me (UK). None of those five shorts are among the semi-finalists for the 2012 Academy Awards in the Best Documentary Short Subject category.

The Cinema Eye Honors winners will be announced on January 11, 2012 at New York City’s Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

Nostalgia for the Light picture: Icarus Films

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