Cinema Eye Honors Non-Fiction Films

At the Cinema Eye Honors luncheon celebrating documentary films and the filmmakers who make them, Otto Bell exulted: his The Eagle Huntress had just received a BAFTA nod, and one from the Directors' Guild of America, but more exciting to him was a tea last week at the Plaza Athenee where Robert Kennedy Jr. had a conversation with him about falconry, and brought his own eagle. Successful with this first-time feature, Bell makes commercials for CNN. Blown away, he asked, "Can you believe it: "Robert Kennedy, Jr.!"

We were seated at an elegantly appointed table at a Manhattan penthouse, amidst Alex Gibney, Steve James, Barbara Kopple, Frederick Wiseman, Laura Poitras, a who's who of the documentary world gathered for the 10th year of Cinema Eye Honors. The focus of the lunch was the presentation of the Legacy Award for The Life and Times of Harvey Milk (1984). Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady presided. Laura Albert, the star of Author: The JT Leroy Story, and Kirsten Johnson, whose Cameraperson is a frontrunner for Oscar nomination. Keith Maitland's Tower is also a strong contender. The Harvey Milk director Robert Epstein acknowledged Barbara Kopple's important influence on his film, and Kopple remembered Sharon Jones, the subject of her film, Miss Sharon Jones!, who recently died of cancer. "I thought she would live on," said Kopple in tribute to the singer dubbed the female James Brown.

Here is a list of the Camera Eye Award winners from a ceremony last night at the Museum of the Moving Image:

g Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking


Directed by Kirsten Johnson

Produced by Marilyn Ness

Outstanding Achievement in Direction

Ezra Edelman

OJ: Made in America

Outstanding Achievement in Editing

Nels Bangerter


Outstanding Achievement in Production

Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow

OJ: Made in America

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

Kirsten Johnson


Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score

David Byrne, LeeAnn Rossi and Aaron Rosenblum

Contemporary Color

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation

Keith Maitland and Craig Staggs


Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film

Hooligan Sparrow

Directed by Nanfu Wang

Audience Choice Prize


Directed by Clay Tweel

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Films Made for Television

Making a Murderer

Directed and Produced by Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos

For Netflix: Adam Del Deo and Lisa Nishimura

Spotlight Award

Those Who Jump

Directed by Moritz Siebert and Estephan Wagner

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking

La Laguna

Directed by Aaron Schock

Heterodox Award

All These Sleepless Nights

Directed by Michal Marczak

Legacy Award

The Times of Harvey Milk

Directed by Rob Epstein

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.