New York – January 18, 2011 – EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, the self-tagged “world’s first street art disaster movie”, took the top award at the 2011 Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking tonight at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York.
The film, directed by the acclaimed and provocative British artist Banksy and produced by Jaimie D’Cruz, was named the year’s Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking. EXIT also won the Cinema Eye for Outstanding Editing for Chris King and Tom Fulford.
Filmmaker Laura Poitras received the Outstanding Achievement in Direction award for her work on THE OATH, which follows the surprisingly different paths of two former members of Al Qaeda. Poitras is the second woman in a row to receive Cinema Eye’s directing prize, following the award last year for Agnès Varda.
Lixin Fan’s LAST TRAIN HOME took home three awards, including Outstanding Production for Mila Aung-Thwin and Daniel Cross, Cinematography for Fan and International Film, which was shared by Fan, Aung-Thwin and Cross.
With nearly 10,000 votes – and just 58 votes separating the top two finishers, the Audience Choice Prize went to Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s JOAN RIVERS: A PIECE OF WORK.
The Debut Film award was given to Jeff Malmberg for MARWENCOL.
Two awards were presented for the first time: the Nonfiction Short award went to Vance Malone for THE POODLE TRAINER and the inaugural Heterodox Award, for narrative films that blur the lines between fiction and nonfiction, went to Matt Porterfield’s PUTTY HILL.
The 4th Annual Cinema Eye Honors were held at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York, just 4 days after the Museum’s grand re-opening after years of renovation and expansion. The event will be broadcast on the Documentary Channel on January 30, 2011 with Esther Robinson and AJ Schnack as this year’s co-chairs and co-hosts. Nathan Truesdell was the producer.
Among the highlights of the evening, Cinema Eye Honorees Lixin Fan (LAST TRAIN HOME), Jeff Malmberg (MARWENCOL) and Laura Poitras (THE OATH) presented the Legacy Award to GREY GARDENS filmmakers Albert Maysles and Muffie Meyer.
Academy Award and Cinema Eye winning filmmakers James Marsh (MAN ON WIRE) and Louie Psihoyos (THE COVE), actor/filmmaker Harry Shearer and musician John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants were amongst this year’s other presenters.
The Cinema Eye ceremony included tributes by Academy Award nominee Morgan Spurlock to George Hickenlooper, the director of the documentaries MAYOR OF THE SUNSET STRIP and HEARTS OF DARKNESS, who died in October 2010; and by filmmakers Liz Garbus, Lucia Small and Greg Barker to their editor Karen Schmeer, who died in January 2010.
In addition to Documentary Channel and the Museum of the Moving Image, this year’s Cinema Eye sponsors included The Economist, HBO Documentary Films, A&E IndieFilms, SnagFilms, POV, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Hot Docs, Camden International Film Festival, Abel Cine Tech, Danish Film Institute, Hudson Hotel, Maine Distilleries and Film Sales Company.