Cinema Eye Honors Hand Top Awards To ‘All That Breathes,’ ‘All The Beauty And The Bloodshed’

All That Breathes All The Beauty And The Bloodshed.png

UPDATED with full winners’ list and more details, including a leading three awards for Fire of Love: All That Breathes and All the Beauty and the Bloodshed — the two frontrunners for best documentary at the Oscars — split the top awards at the 16th annual Cinema Eye Honors in New York tonight.

Filmmaker Laura Poitras won Outstanding Direction for her work on All the Beauty and the Bloodshed. But it was All That Breathes, directed by Shaunak Sen, that earned Outstanding Nonfiction Feature, the Cinema Eye Honors’ equivalent to the Oscars’ Best Documentary Feature (see full list of winners below).

Sen’s film examines the work of Nadeem and Saud – two brothers in Delhi, India – who have devoted their energies to rehabilitating birds of prey like the black kite, which suffer in the polluted air of the metropolis.

“I was just asking Nadeem today how many birds he thinks they would have saved so far,” Sen commented as he accepted the Cinema Eye Honor. “And he just nonchalantly said, ‘26,000.’ It’s almost like this aspect of the film, we almost forget to talk about, the sheer blunt force of the work that they do. So, it’s the greatest honor.”

All That Breathes also won the cinematography award, recognizing the skills of Ben Bernhard and Riju Das (Saumyananda Sahi also contributed cinematography on the film). The protagonists of the film, Nadeem and Saud, were among the subjects of leading documentaries this past year who were honored as “Unforgettables.” Artist Nan Goldin, the focus of All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, also was named an Unforgettable.

Poitras’s documentary tackles not only Goldin’s exceptional artistic career, but her efforts as part of the group PAIN to shame leading museums and art institutions around the world into cutting ties with the Sackler family, owners of OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma. The Sacklers have been major benefactors of such institutions, cleansing a reputation otherwise soiled by the disastrous impact of OxyContin in triggering the opioid crisis.

“I have to acknowledge the work of PAIN for taking on the Sackler family,” Poitras said as she accepted the directing award. “This film is not possible without Nan Goldin. Nan gives everything to her art and she gave everything to this film. She’s a collaborator, a friend, and I love her. And this is for her.”

Volcanologists Maurice and Katia Krafft, subjects of ‘Fire of Love’

National Geographic/NEON

Fire of Love, Sara Dosa’s film about French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft, who were killed in a volcanic eruption in Japan, earned three awards on the night — the most of any film. It took the prizes for Outstanding Editing, Outstanding Visual Design (in a tie with Moonage Daydream), and Outstanding Original Score, recognizing composer Nicolas Godin of French electronic music duo Air. 

Moonage Daydream, director Brett Morgen’s film about David Bowie, took home two awards. In addition to tying with Fire of Love for visual design, it won for sound design, an honor shared by sound designers Samir Foco, John Warhurst and Nina Hartsone.   

Daniel Roher’s Navalny, a strong Oscar contender about imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, also claimed a couple of awards, including Outstanding Achievement in Production, and the Audience Choice Prize, an award voted on by documentary fans around the world.

A polar bear crosses a road as tourists look on in 'Nuisance Bear'

‘Nuisance Bear’

The New Yorker

Nuisance Bear, directed by Jack Weisman and Gabriela Osio Vanden, earned Outstanding Nonfiction Short. The film released by The New Yorker has also made the Oscar shorts shortlist. Alex Pritz, director of The Territory, won the Outstanding Debut award for his feature about an Indigenous tribe in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest that is trying to protect its lands from illegal miners, farmers and homesteaders.

It was not a great night for Vladimir Putin. In addition to the awards for Navalny — a film about Putin’s harshest Russian critic — Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes won Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Film for Broadcast (an award that goes to a broadcast-oriented documentary, as opposed to films with a significant theatrical release). As he accepted the award, director James Jones called out Putin, and praised the people of Ukraine, whose territory includes the Chernobyl nuclear plant.

“It’s a film really about the kind of horrific consequences of Kremlin lies, but it’s also a film about the strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people,” Jones said from the podium. “And the film ends with Ukraine gaining its independence and the Soviet Union collapsing, exactly what Putin is currently trying to reverse and I guess [I] give the award to our contributors who are in Ukraine or have fled since the war started and have all been affected to varying degrees, some quite directly and extremely.”

It was a major night for HBO Documentary Films. It won for Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes, and its multi-parter Black and Missing, directed by Geeta Gandbhir and Samantha Knowles, won Outstanding Nonfiction Series. HBO Documentary Films also produced All That Breathes (along with Sideshow and Submarine Deluxe) and All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (along with Neon and Participant).

Cinema Eye Honors '23 logo

Cinema Eye Honors

The Cinema Eye Honors recognize the best in nonfiction filmmaking, including production, cinematography, editing and music composition. Tonight’s ceremony was held at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York.

This is the full list of winners:

16h Annual Cinema Eye Honors Winners | January 12, 2023

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking

All That Breathes

Directed and Produced by Shaunak Sen

Produced by Aman Mann and Teddy Leifer

Outstanding Achievement in Direction

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

Laura Poitras

Outstanding Achievement in Editing

Fire of Love

Erin Casper and Jocelyne Chaput

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography

All That Breathes

Ben Bernhard and Riju Das

Outstanding Achievement in Production


Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller and Shane Boris

Outstanding Achievement in Original Score

Fire of Love

Nicolas Godin

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Design

Moonage Daydream

Samir Foco, John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone

Outstanding Achievement in Visual Design (tie)

Fire of Love

Lucy Munger, Kara Blake, and Rui Ting Ji

Moonage Daydream

Stefan Nadelman

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film

The Territory

Directed by Alex Pritz

Audience Choice Prize


Directed by Daniel Roher

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Film for Broadcast

Chernobyl: The Lost Tapes

Directed by James Jones | HBO Documentary Films/HBO Max

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Series

Black and Missing

Directed by Geeta Gandbhir and Samantha Knowles | HBO Documentary Films/HBO Max

Outstanding Achievement in Anthology Series

How To with John Wilson (Season Two)

Nathan Fielder, Michael Koman, Clark Reinking and John Wilson, Executive Producers | HBO

Outstanding Achievement in Editing in a Nonfiction Film or Series for Broadcast

We Need to Talk About Cosby

Meg Ramsay | Showtime

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in a Nonfiction Film or Series for Broadcast

Playing With Sharks

Michael Taylor, Judd Overton, Nathan Barlow and Toby Ralph | Disney+

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking

Nuisance Bear

Directed by Jack Weisman and Gabriela Osio Vanden

Legacy Award 


Directed by Terry Zwigoff

Heterodox Award


Directed by Charlotte Wells

Spotlight Award

Master of Light

Directed by Rosa Ruth Boesten

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