Ten nonfiction short films have been selected as semi-finalists for the 2017 Cinema Eye Honors, the 10th edition of the largest annual celebration for and recognition of the nonfiction film artform and the creators of those films.
For the third year in a row, all ten films, which are among the most acclaimed short documentaries of the year, screened at the 12th Annual Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) in Maine.
“In the past few years, the short form has been one of documentary’s most exciting modes to engage subjects and stories,” said Rachel Rosen, Director of Programming for the San Francisco Film Society and the Chair of the Cinema Eye Shorts Committee. “This year is no exception as these 10 excellent films take us to unexpected places and introduce us to characters we’ve never seen before.”
From the ten semi-finalists on this year’s Shorts List, five films will be named as nominees for the Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking Honor. Nominees in that category and nearly a dozen feature film categories will be announced on Wednesday, November 2 in New York City. The winner will be announced at the 10th Annual Cinema Eye Honors Ceremony at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens on January 11, 2017.
This year’s ten semi-finalists are:
Bacon and God’s Wrath (Canada)
Directed by Sol Friedman
The Black Belt (USA)
Directed by Margaret Brown
Directed by Dan Krauss
Directed by Yung Chang
La Laguna (Mexico)
Directed by Aaron Schock
My Aleppo (USA)
Direct by Melissa Langer
Directed by Amy Nicholson
The Send-Off (USA)
Directed by Ivette Lucas and Patrick Bresnan
Peace in the Valley (USA)
Directed by Mike Palmieri and Donal Mosher
Directed by Gaspard Kuentz
Yung Chang and Michael Palmieri & Donal Mosher are previous Cinema Eye Honorees, having been awarded the Best Debut Feature Honor for Up the Yangtze (CEH 2009) and October Country (2010), respectively. Margaret Brown was previously nominated for three Cinema Eye Honors in 2009, including Outstanding Feature and Direction, for The Order of Myths. Aaron Schock directed the feature Circo, which was nominated for Outstanding Score (CEH 2011).
Semi-finalists for the Short Filmmaking award were determined in voting by top short film/documentary programmers from international film festivals. Members of this year’s Short Film Nominations Committee included: Chair Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Claire Aguilar (Sheffield), Chris Boeckman (True/False), Cara Cusumano (Tribeca), Ben Fowlie (Camden), Claudette Godfrey (SXSW), Jasper Hokken (IDFA), Doug Jones (Images Cinema), Maggie McKay (Aspen Shortsfeset), Ted Mott (Full Frame), Veton Nurkollari (Dokufest Kosovo), Dan Nuxoll (Rooftop), Mike Plante (Sundance), Shane Smith (Hot Docs) and Kim Yutani (Sundance).
This is the seventh year that Cinema Eye has presented an award for Nonfiction Short Filmmaking. Previous winners in the category include The Poodle Trainer (directed by Vance Malone, 2011), Diary (Tim Hetherington, 2012), Goodbye Mandima (Kwa Heri Mandima) (Robert-Jan Lacombe, 2013), A Story for the Modlins (Sergio Oksman, 2014), The Lion’s Mouth Opens (Lucy Walker, 2015), and Buffalo Juggalos (Scott Cummings, 2016) & Hotel 22 (Elizabeth Lo, 2016) .