By Ray Pride

Cinema Eye Honors Announces 2013 Heterodox Nominees


Award Celebrates Narrative Features that Blur the Line Between Scripted and Nonfiction

November 25, 2013, New York – The Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking today announced the five nominees for its fourth annual Cinema Eye Heterodox Award, sponsored by Filmmaker Magazine.  The Cinema Eye Heterodox Award honors a narrative film that imaginatively incorporates nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production.

 The five films nominated for the 2014 Heterodox Award are: Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess, Randy Moore’s Escape From Tomorrow, James Franco and Travis Matthews’ Interior. Leather Bar., Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Neighboring Sounds and Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux.

These films illuminate the formal possibilities of nonfiction filmmaking while raising provocative questions about on-going documentary orthodoxy and the perceived boundaries between fiction and nonfiction filmmaking.  Previous winners of the award were Matt Porterfield’s Putty Hill (2011), Mike Mills’ Beginners (2012) and Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours (2013).

The 2014 Heterodox Award will be presented at the 7th Annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking on January 8, 2014,  at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, New York.

“The 2014 Cinema Eye Honors Heterodox nominees prove once again that the contested space between narrative and documentary is the ideal cinematic environment to delve deep into our most modern tensions,” said Esther Robinson, Chair of the Cinema Eye Honors. Bringing us to settings as diverse as rural Mexico, dystopian Disneyland, and a forgotten leather bar, these films break convention to move us thrillingly out of our doctrinaire cinema comfort zone.”

Ten finalists for the Heterodox Award were selected in voting by the Cinema Eye Honors Nominations Committee.  The ten finalists were then viewed and five nominees selected by the writers and editors of Filmmaker Magazine.  A jury will watch the five nominees and choose a winner that will be announced on January 8.

“This year’s Heterodox nominees are a formally audacious bunch as they allow their fictions to be shaped and remixed by historical, economic and technological currents,” said Filmmaker Magazine Editor-in-Chief Scott Macaulay. “From within their cinematic hybrid spaces, these films cast a compelling, critical eye on the changing world around us.”

The Five Nominees for the 2013 Cinema Eye Heterodox Award:

Computer Chess

Directed by Andrew Bujalski

Masterfully evoking the nerdy world of artificial intelligence engineers at a weekend computer chess convention, Andrew Bujalski’s 1980-set feature feels like a low-fi emissary from a pre-networked age. Shot in black-and-white on vintage video cameras, Computer Chess’s near-anthropological recreation is enormously witty — a loopy commentary on social ritual mediated by technology.

 Escape From Tomorrow

Directed by Randy Moore

The copyrighted images of the Walt Disney Corporation are deliciously appropriated by Randy Moore for his comic fantasia, Escape from Tomorrow. Shot secretly using consumer DSLRs and a stealth crew at real Disney theme parks, the film is both a hilarious psychosexual comedy and, with its legal provocation, a demonstration of how our childhood memories are the stuff of intellectual property disputes.

Interior. Leather Bar.

Directed by James Franco and Travis Matthews

Some 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was purportedly deleted from William Friedkin’s 1980 feature Cruising, and it is this lost material that inspires Travis Matthews and James Franco’s Interior. Leather Bar. What initially feels like a behind-the-scenes documentary about the recreation of these scenes turns into something very different as the film plumbs issues of sexual anxiety, the cinematic history of gay representation and the power of celebrity.

 Neighboring Sounds

Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho

The social strata of a Brazilian seaside high-rise are depicted with a hallucinatory tension in Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Neighboring Sounds. When a wealthy apartment complex — the director’s own — is hit by a series of crimes, a private security firm creates its own unease in a film that cooly captures a society amidst economic and cultural transformation.

Post Tenebras Lux

Directed by Carlos Reygadas

Boundaries between documentary and fiction, myth and autobiography are elided in Post Tenebras Lux, a seductively mysterious feature from Carlos Reygadas. A rich family moving to a mountainside home in a poor Mexican village face a series of psychic disruptions in this visually ravishing, deeply experimental work.

About the Cinema Eye Honors and the 2014 Awards

The Cinema Eye Honors were founded in 2007 to recognize excellence in artistry and craft in nonfiction filmmaking.  It was the first and remains the only international nonfiction award to recognize the whole creative team, presenting annual craft awards in directing, producing, cinematography, editing, composing and graphic design/animation.

Cinema Eye is headed by a core team that includes Founding Director AJ Schnack (director, Caucus and Kurt Cobain About A Son), Honors Chair Esther Robinson (director, A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and the Warhol Factory; Cinema Eye nominee for Outstanding Debut, 2008), Board Chair Andrea Meditch (executive producer, Buck and Man on Wire), Nominations Committee Chair Charlotte Cook (Head of Programming, Hot Docs Film Festival) and Managing Director Nathan Truesdell (producer, Caucus and We Always Lie to Strangers).  Will Lennon is Cinema Eye’s Program Manager.

Nominees for the Cinema Eye Honors feature awards are determined in voting by the top documentary programmers from throughout the world.  This year’s nominations committee included Charlotte Cook (Hot Docs), David Courier (Sundance), Heather Croall (Sheffield Doc/Fest), Hussain Currimbhoy (Sheffield Doc/Fest), Joanne Feinberg (Ashland Film Festival), Tine Fischer (CPH:DOX), Elena Fortes (Ambulante), Ben Fowlie (Camden International Film Festival), Tom Hall (Sarasota Film Festival), Doug Jones (Los Angeles Film Festival), Jim Kolmar (SXSW), Amir Labaki (It’s All True, Brazil), Grit Lemke (DOK Liepzig), Artur Liebhart (Planete Doc Review), David Nugent (Hamptons Film Festival), Veton Nurkollari (DokuFest Kosovo), Janet Pierson (SXSW), Thom Powers (Toronto International Film Festival, DOC NYC), Rachel Rosen (San Francisco), Charlotte Selb (RIDM Montreal), Sky Sitney (Silverdocs), Genna Terranova (Tribeca), Sadie Tillery (Full Frame) and David Wilson (True/False).

The 7th Annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking will take place at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, NY on January 8.  In December 2013, voting for this year’s Audience Choice Award will open and tickets will go on sale.

About Filmmaker Magazine

Under the guidance of founder and editor-in-chief, Scott Macaulay, Filmmaker Magazine has grown into the foremost magazine in the independent film community. Published by IFP – the Independent Filmmaker Project — Filmmaker is the go-to publication for writers, directors, producers, film industry representatives, and others working in independent film. Written by working independent filmmakers, and with a unique, authoritative voice, Filmmaker’s print edition is published quarterly with new interviews, festival reports, and technical and business news appearing on its website daily. Learn more at:

 About IFP

The Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP) is the premier organization for independent filmmakers, championing the future of storytelling in the digital age by fostering a vibrant and sustainable independent storytelling community.  IFP guides filmmakers in the art, technology, and business of independent storytelling through its annual programming and with the introduction of the state-of-the-art Made in NY Media Center by IFP, a new incubator space developed with the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, where storytellers from multiple disciplines, industries, and platforms create, collaborate, and connect.

IFP has supported over 7,000 films and offered resources to more than 20,000 filmmakers over its 34-year history, developing 350 new feature and documentary films each year. IFP represents a growing network of 10,000 storytellers in New York City and around the world.

 In addition to its workshops, seminars, conferences, mentorships, and Filmmaker Magazine, IFP’s annual programs include The Gotham Independent Film AwardsTM, Independent Film WeekTM, EnvisionTM, and the Independent Filmmaker LabsTM.

Founded in 1979, IFP is the largest and oldest not-for-profit dedicated to independent film.  For more information and to become a member, visit


 For more information about Cinema Eye, visit the website at and follow Cinema Eye on Twitter at

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