'Strong Island' Takes Top Cinema Eye Documentary Honors

Strong Island Still Sundance - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of Sundance

Strong Island Still Sundance - Publicity - H 2017

'Jane' won the Audience Choice Prize and also was recognized for Philip Glass' score.

Yance Ford’s documentary film Strong Island, which recounts the murder of the director’s brother and the effect it had on his family, claimed three prizes at the 11th annual Cinema Eye Honors, which were announced Thursday in New York. It not only won the award for Outstanding Nonfiction Feature Film, but was also cited for Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Debut.

Brett Morgen’s Jane, a portrait of primatologist, activist and scientist Dr. Jane Goodall, won two awards: the Audience Choice Prize as well as Outstanding Score for composer Philip Glass. 

The prize for Outstanding Editing went to Lindsay Utz for her work on Jonathan Olshefski’s Quest, a multiyear portrait of a North Philadelphia family. 

In addition to Strong Island and Jane, four other films on the Motion Picture Academy’s shortlist for the feature documentary Oscar received awards: ?Kareem Abeed, Stefan Kloos and Soren Steen Jespersen won Outstanding Production for Last Men in Aleppo; Andrew Ackerman and Jeff Orlowski won Outstanding Cinematography for Chasing Coral; Stefan Nadelman won Outstanding Graphic Design for Long Strange Trip; and director Bryan Fogel and producer Dan Cogan were presented with the Hell Yeah Prize for Icarus

Patrick Bresnan’s The Rabbit Hunt won the award for Outstanding Nonfiction Short, while Ryan White’s The Keepers (Netflix) took the prize for Outstanding Nonfiction Filmmaking for Broadcast or Streaming. The winner of the Spotlight Award was Gustavo Salmerón for Lots of Kids, A Monkey and a Castle

This year’s Heterodox Award, given to films that provocatively expand the blurry line between fiction and nonfiction, was presented to Sean Baker’s The Florida Project, and the Legacy Award was given to Leon Gast for his classic 1996 film When We Were Kings

The Cinema Eye Honors were presented at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, and were streamed live via the Museum of the Moving Image and Cinema Eye Facebook pages. Filmmaker Steve James, recently named a DGA nominee for his latest film Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, was the host.

A full list of winners follows.

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking
Strong Island
Directed by Yance Ford
Produced by Joslyn Barnes and Yance Ford

Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Yance Ford
Strong Island

Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Lindsay Utz

Outstanding Achievement in Production
Kareem Abeed, Stefan Kloos and Soren Steen Jespersen
Last Men in Aleppo

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Andrew Ackerman and Jeff Orlowski
Chasing Coral

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score
Philip Glass

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation
Stefan Nadelman
Long Strange Trip

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film
Strong Island
Directed by Yance Ford

Audience Choice Prize
Directed by Brett Morgen

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Films Made for Television
The Keepers
Directed by Ryan White
For Netflix: Ben Cotner, Jason Spingarn-Koff and Lisa Nishimura

Spotlight Award
Lots of Kids, A Monkey and a Castle
Directed by Gustavo Salmerón

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking
The Rabbit Hunt
Directed by Patrick Bresnan

Heterodox Award
The Florida Project
Directed by Sean Baker

Legacy Award
When We Were Kings
Directed by Leon Gast

Hell Yeah Prize
Directed by Bryan Fogel