Conceived in 2008 as a bid to broaden awareness for documentary achievements, the Cinema Eyes highlight a dozen categories that range from best director to best cinematography to graphic design. However, while it began as a tonic to the five-nominee limitations that circumscribe the Oscars, the Cinema Eyes have evolved into an idiosyncratic celebration all its own. Although the awards are Wednesday night at the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, the ceremony is now only the culmination of a full week of programming that includes three days of activities.
“It’s kind of like senior skip week,” said co-founder and filmmaker Aj Schnack, catching his breath on Monday night before delivering a speech to the filmmakers in attendance. “Yes,