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  • Writer's pictureCarrie Specht

Eyes on the Prize to Receive 2019 Cinema Eye Legacy Award

The Cinema Eye Honors have announced that the landmark public television series Eyes on the Prize will be the recipient of the 2019 Legacy Award, a recognition of a classic work of nonfiction filmmaking that continues to inspire new generations of filmmakers and remains as relevant today as it was when it was first broadcast in 1987. Eyes on the Prize is the first series to receive the Legacy Award.

Created and Executive Produced by the late Henry Hampton, Eyes on the Prize is the definitive documentary record of the civil rights era in America. Over two series and fourteen episodes, Hampton and a purposefully diverse team of producers, writers and directors traced the country's long and brutal march toward equality and the fight to end decades of discrimination and segregation.

Cinema Eye Board Co-Chair Dawn Porter said, "For me and so many others, Eyes on the Prize was a transformational cinematic experience, artfully crafting the history of a nation into an unforgettable story. Countless filmmakers have been inspired by this elegant body of work." The Co-Chair, Marshall Curry stated, "It's hard to overstate the importance of this series. It captured a crucial chapter of American history and shared it with millions of viewers, opening eyes and challenging hearts. And for a generation of documentary filmmakers, its craft, style, journalistic thoroughness, and emotional power became the gold standard that we all still strive to reach."

A screening of one of the episodes from Series One: America's Civil Rights Years 1954-1965 will be held at the Museum on Wednesday, January 9. Follow the screening there will be a conversation with the filmmakers including Orlando Bagwell, the Writer/Director/Producer, Writer/Director/Producer Callie Crossley, series Producer Jon Else,Writer/Director/Producer Sam Pollard and Judith Vecchione, the Writer/Director and Senior Producer. The following night, January 10, the Legacy Award will be presented to veterans of the Eyes on the Prize creative team at the 12th Annual Cinema Eye Honors Awards Ceremony at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, New York. Cinema Eye was 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. The annual Awards Ceremony is the centerpiece of Cinema Eye Week, a multi-day, multi-city celebration that acknowledges the best work in nonfiction film through screenings and events. The final four days of the Cinema Eye Week takes place in New York City, where a series of celebratory events bring together many of the year's most accomplished filmmakers.

Tickets for, and more information about the Awards Ceremony are available at

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