The Cinema Eye Honors are awarded each year to the best in nonfiction filmmaking. Since the Museum of the Moving Image opened its renovated building in 2011, the Awards Ceremony has been held there. The 11th Annual Awards Ceremony will take place on Thursday, January 11. Films are nominated by industry professionals including those from festivals such as True/False, the Hamptons International Film Festival, CPH:DOX, Tribeca Film Festival, the Camden International Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Film Festival. Four of the nominated films feature scientific or technological themes.

JANE, directed by Brett Morgen, is about primatologist Jane Goodall’s first interactions with the chimpanzee population in Tanzania. The film is composed from over 100 hours of archival footage taken by esteemed wildlife photographer, and Jane Goodall’s former husband, Hugo van Lawick. Philip Glass composed the score, for which he is nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score. The film’s editor, Joe Beshenkovsky, is nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Editing. JANE is one of ten documentary features nominated for the Audience Choice Prize. For more, read Science & Film’s write-up from a preview of the film with Brett Morgen and Jane Goodall in person.


Acclaimed documentarian Bill Morrison’s DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME tells the history of nitrate film projection through found footage of decomposing prints. The footage is from a collection of 533 silent films on nitrate that were unearthed in Dawson City, Canada. Morrison is nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Editing, and composer Alex Somers for the music. Science & Film interviewed Morrison about working with nitrate film.


CHASING CORAL advocates for awareness of the devastatingly large mass of corals dying in oceans throughout the world. Along with JANE, the film is nominated for an Audience Choice Prize. Andrew Ackerman and Jeff Orlowski (who is also directed) are nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography. Matt Schultz and Shawna Schultz are nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Animation.

LET THERE BE LIGHT goes inside the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), being built in the South of France, which could one day generate enough energy to power the world. Daniel Gies and Emily Paige are nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Animation. Science & Film interviewed writer and director Mila Aung-Thwin, co-director Van Royko, producer Bob Moore, and experimental plasma physicist Mark Henderson at CPH: DOX where the film made its European premiere.


The winners of the Cinema Eye Honors will be announced in a live ceremony at the Museum of the Moving Image on January 11, 2018.