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By Film Threat Staff | March 19, 2008

The inaugural ‘Cinema Eye Honors’ for Nonfiction Filmmaking were held last night at the IFC Center Cinema in New York. Over 250 guests from the independent film community, including directors, producers and distributors, as well as members of the film press, attended the event – the first of its kind to specifically recognize nonfiction film. The event was hosted by IndiePix, the Internet-based distributor of independent films, along with award-winning Producer, AJ Schnack, and Thom Powers, Documentary Programmer of the Toronto International Film Festival.

Jason Kohn’s “Manda Bala (Send a Bullet),” an examination of corruption in Brazil, was the big winner on the night and received three out of the nine awards – Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking, Outstanding Achievement in Editing and Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography. The winner of the Audience Choice Award was “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters,” Seth Gordon’s tale of a science teacher battling for the Guinness World Record at video game ‘Donkey Kong’.

As well as hosting the awards, Indiepix sponsored the Audience Choice Award – the only prize to be chosen by members of the film-going public. The Indiepix Award was presented by Academy award-winning Director, Alex Gibney – who was separately nominated for and won a Cinema Eye Award in the category Outstanding Achievement in Direction Award for his film, “Taxi to the Dark Side”. In all, twenty-five films were nominated for their achievements in nine specific categories spanning Producing, Editing and Cinematography. Winners were chosen by a voting pool of selected industry figures from the documentary community. A full list of award winners can be found below.

In the words of Bob Alexander, President of IndiePix: “We are delighted with the success of the inaugural ‘Cinema Eye Honors’. These were the first awards to specifically recognize the professionalism, craftsmanship and passion that goes into making nonfiction films. Each category was specially selected to acknowledge every individual aspect of making an independent film, from production and direction through to editing and animation. Each of the films nominated and especially the winners themselves, were chosen because they fully represent how successful independent films can be.

“We are especially gratified by the extraordinary support for these awards. Festival Program Directors from twelve top festivals comprised the film nominating committee; almost three hundred industry leaders throughout the independent film community were invited to vote on the nominees and fifteen festivals extended invitations to over 200,000 film-lovers to vote for their favorite films. These awards represent thousands of voices raised to honor the best and most outstanding films of 2007 from this community. We hope that many who have not had the opportunity to see these films will now be able to.”

Jennifer Venditti’s “Billy the Kid”, winner of the Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Award has just been commissioned by Channel 4 and will be screened in the UK next month.

Winners of the ‘Cinema Eye Honors’:

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking: “Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)” – Director: Jason Kohn

Outstanding Achievement in Production: “Ghosts of Cite Soleil” – Producers: Seth Kanegis, Tomas Radoor, Mikael Rieks

Outstanding Achievement in an International Feature: “The Monastery – Mr Vig & The Nun” – Director: Pernille Rose Grønkjær

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design & Animation: “Chicago 10” – Animation: Lewis Kofsky and Richard Winkler: Curious Pictures

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature: “Billy the Kid” – Director: Jennifer Venditti

Outstanding Achievement in Editing: “Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)” – Director: Jason Kohn

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography: “Manda Bala (Send a Bullet)” – Director: Jason Kohn

Outstanding Achievement in Direction: “Taxi to the Dark Side” – Director: Alex Gibney

Indiepix Audience Choice Award: “The King of Kong: A Fistful of Dollars” – Director: Seth Gordon

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