DOC NYC Visionaries Tribute

DOC NYC’s fourth annual Visionaries Tribute lunch will take place at the Edison Ballroom on Nov. 9, 2017. More details to come soon.

Last year’s Visionaries Tribute booklet can be found here.

Lifetime Achievement Awards are given for a distinguished output of documentaries. This year’s two recipients are:

Errol Morris has been a continuous innovator in the documentary form with films such as Gates of Heaven; Vernon, Florida; The Thin Blue Line; Fast, Cheap & Out of Control; Mr. Death; the Oscar-winning The Fog of War; and Standard Operating Procedure. His film Tabloid was the Closing Night Film of DOC NYC’s first year in 2010; and The Unknown Known was the Opening Night film of the 2013 festival. His latest film is The B-Side, while his highly anticipated Netflix series, Wormwood, will debut later this year.

Sheila Nevins is President of HBO Documentary Films and has overseen documentaries for the channel for over 30 years. She has supervised the production of over 1,000 documentary programs for HBO. As an executive producer or producer, she has received 32 Primetime Emmy Awards, 34 News and Documentary Emmys, and 42 George Foster Peabody Awards. During her tenure, HBO’s documentaries have gone on to win 26 Academy Awards. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling book You Don’t Look Your Age… and Other Fairy Tales.

Past Lifetime Achievement recipients are Jon Alpert, Jonathan Demme, Chris Hegedus, Barbara Kopple, Albert Maysles, D.A. Pennebaker, Stanley Nelson, and Frederick Wiseman. The honorees are selected by the festival programming team, based on recommendations from the Visionaries Host Committee.

The Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence goes to a mid-career filmmaker distinguished for observational cinema who will receive a $5,000 cash prize sponsored by Drew Associates. Last year’s recipient was:

– Dawn Porter’s latest film Trapped, about abortion providers struggling to stay open in the South, screens at DOC NYC as part of this year’s Short List and previously won a Sundance Special Jury prize for Social Impact Filmmaking. Her previous films include Gideon’s Army and Spies of Mississippi. The award’s name celebrates Robert Drew, who pioneered the documentary style that came to be known as American cinema vérité, and his wife Anne, who was his filmmaking partner for more than four decades.

Jill Drew, the general manager of Drew Associates, who helped select the recipient, said “My father- in-law Robert Drew felt the best documentary stories were told up-close with people under pressure making difficult choices of real consequence. Dawn’s work does just that. It doesn’t matter which side of an issue you’re on, her subjects are true-to-life riveting.”

Past recipients of the Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence were Kim Longinotto and Laura Poitras.

The Leading Light Award is given to a mid-career professional who has served documentary in a role outside of filmmaking. Last year’s recipient:

– Molly Thompson who is the founder and head of A&E IndieFilms, the feature documentary division of A+E Studios. Her credits as an executive producer include the Academy Award® nominated films, Cartel Land, Jesus Camp, and Murderball, as well asAmerican Teen, The September Issue, The Tillman Story, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Under African Skies, The Imposter, No Place on Earth,The Unknown Known, and two films this year, Author: The JT Leroy Story and Life, Animated.

Past recipients of the Leading Light Award are Dan Cogan and Tom Quinn.

The 2017 Visionaries Host Committee includes Amir Bar-Lev, Joslyn Barnes, Geof Bartz, Amy Berg, Joe Berlinger, Rachel Boynton, Nancy Buirski, Maro Chermayeff, Christine Choy, Marshall Curry, Kate Davis, Carl Deal, Nicholas Doob, Ezra Edelman, Bob Eisenhardt, Lewis Erskine, Heidi Ewing, Susan Froemke, Geeta Gandbhir, Alex Gibney, Julie Goldman, Rachel Grady, Thomas Allen Harris, Chris Hegedus, Matthew Heineman, Kristi Jacobson, Ross Kauffman, Barbara Kopple, Penny Lane, Tia Lessin, Marc Levin, Marilyn Ness, D.A. Pennebaker, Frazer Pennebaker, Laura Poitras, Bob Richman, Robert Richter, Richard Rowley, Deborah Shaffer, Morgan Spurlock, Jonathan Stack, Ricki Stern, Robert Stone, Annie Sundberg, Jean Tsien, Chai Vasarhelyi, and Pamela Yates.


Tickets for the Visionaries Tribute lunch are available for $625 per seat or $5000 per table. To buy individual tickets, click here.

For more information on purchasing a seat or ad, contact