'Citizenfour' Wins Four Awards at Cinema Eye Honors

Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour dominated Wednesday night's 8th annual Cinema Eye Honors, devoted to recognizing the best in nonfiction film.

The Laura Poitras-directed film about the NSA leaker, which is a frontrunner for a best documentary Oscar nomination, took home four awards, including best nonfiction feature and best direction, making Poitras the first person in Cinema Eye history to win the award for best direction twice, having taken home the prize in 2011 for The Oath. In total, Poitras won three awards, tying the record set by Lixin Fan in 2011 for Last Train Home. Citizenfour also won the outstanding achievement in editing and production prizes, becoming the second film in Cinema Eye history to capture that many awards in one year and win the best nonfiction feature and direction prizes. Going into the show, the documentary was up for six awards.

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Fellow Oscar documentary frontrunner Keep On Keepin' On won the audience choice prize, determined by votes on the Cinema Eye website.

There were two ties at this year's awards, a Cinema Eye first. Syd Garon of Jodorowsky’s Dune and Heather Brantman and Tim Fisher of Particle Fever shared the award for outstanding achievement in graphic design or animation. 20,000 Days on Earth's Erik Wilson and Virunga's Franklin Dow and Orlando von Einsiedel shared the best cinematography prizes.

Oscar-nominated director Sam Green hosted this year's event, at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, and Serial podcast host Sarah Koenig served as the announcer for the awards show.

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Cinema Eye was founded in 2007 to recognize excellence in artistry and craft in nonfiction filmmaking and remains the only international nonfiction award to recognize a film's entire creative team. The film nominees are determined by top documentary programmers from festivals all over the world. The television award nominees were selected by a nominations committee of film critics and writers.

A full list of this year’s winners follows.

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking


Directed by Laura Poitras

Produced by Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

Outstanding Achievement in Direction

Laura Poitras


Outstanding Achievement in Editing

Mathilde Bonnefoy


Outstanding Achievement in Production

Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky


Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography (tie)

Erik Wilson

20,000 Days on Earth

Franklin Dow and Orlando von Einsiedel


Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Films Made for Television

The Price of Gold

Directed by Nanette Burstein

Produced by Libby Geist

For ESPN/30 for 30: John Dahl, Connor Schell, Bill Simmons

Audience Choice Prize

Keep On Keepin’ On

Directed by Alan Hicks

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film

Finding Vivian Maier

Directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis

20,000 Days on Earth

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation (tie)

Syd Garon

Jodorowsky’s Dune

Heather Brantman & Tim Fisher

Particle Fever

Spotlight Award


Directed by Johanna Hamilton

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking

The Lion’s Mouth Opens

Directed by Lucy Walker

Heterodox Award


Directed by Richard Linklater

Legacy Award

Paris Is Burning

Directed by Jennie Livingston

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