Admittedly, we’ve been a stranger around these parts lately, but more on that in a moment.
As I write this, I’m en route to Los Angeles, returning from London, where we just announced the nominees for this year’s Cinema Eye Honors (you can find the full list here). It was a great experience on this end, terrific to see several weeks (months?) of hard work by a lot of different people come to fruition and wonderful to officially kick off this annual celebration of the artistry of nonfiction filmmaking.
I was struck by a number of things as Wednesday night ended and the word of this year’s nominations was starting to spread to nominees on all parts of the globe.
First, I realized that I sometimes underestimate the challenge of this part of our Cinema Eye process, the period from engaging our eligible filmmakers to launching the vote to tallying the nominees to relaunching a website complete with new artwork by the amazing Ben Chlapek. It’s not quite the massive undertaking that the actual event is, but it’s pretty close.
Second, I remembered that despite 11 categories and five (and occasionally six) slots for nominees per award, there were a number of films that I loved this year that weren’t on the Cinema Eye list. Mostly, this makes me think that this must be yet another great year for documentary (and I do believe that it is) but I still hope that some of my favorites will be recognized elsewhere before the year is done.
So for that reason, I was particularly glad to see HOW TO DIE IN OREGON announced as one of the five films up for the IDA Award for Best Documentary today. Here’s hoping that the Oscar shortlist and the Spirits might show some love to a couple of my other favorites.
Now, about that absence...
There’s this thing that I’ve been telling folks privately that I should finally share with those of you who still come over here from time to time, wondering why the last post was more than two months ago.
These long stretches are evidence of the fact that this nearly six and a half year endeavour is winding down. Writing this blog has been a huge surprise for me, quite obviously. It began as a way to chronicle the work on my film, KURT COBAIN ABOUT A SON, and it became someting else, something that came to change my life in a lot of ways and somehow came to mean something to more people than one could even imagine.
It’s allowed me to meet and talk with filmmakers, travel to festivals, experience parts of this documentary life that I could have never expected.
Without the blog there is no Cinema Eye.
But without making films there is no blog.
And it is time to make more films.
Soon, this thing that I’ve done, often late at night after the wife and child have gone to bed, will conclude. But the thing that it spawned, this thing of Cinema Eye that I’m so proud to share with a core of amazing friends and colleagues and with everyone who has ever been nominated in the now five years of our existence, will thrive. And proudly so.
And there will be a new focus on the thing that inspired the blog in the first place.
This isn’t goodbye yet - and I’ll try not to make it a long, drawn out goodbye - but the end of this chapter is coming.
Like my Cinema Eye colleague Sean Farnel said when he signed off from Hot Docs, six years was enough.
He also said, “I work for documentary.”
Allow me to second that emotion.