Nonfiction pix awarded Emmy niche

Bar set high for docu entries

The Academy of TV Arts & Sciences is looking for a few good nonfiction films, creating a new Emmy award for projects that advance the form on television.

The exceptional merit in nonfiction filmmaking category was announced Tuesday by governors of the org’s Nonfiction Programming Peer Group.

According to the governors, Shari Cookson and Susan Lacy, entries will have to exhibit “profound social impact, significant innovation of form and/or remarkable mastery of filmmaking technique that perpetuates the power of the art form.”

“We have set the bar extremely high in creating this award,” Lacy said.

Nonfiction specials and episodes of nonfiction series are eligible, while programs that are informational or journalistic in nature are not (those are awarded by the National Academy of TV Arts & Sciences’ news Emmys). Also not eligible are reality programs.

“These are programs that unfold with a filmic expression of subject matter and represent the highest degree of achievement in cinematic craft,” Cookson said.

The TV Academy said eligible programs would include PBS’ “The Quilt Makers of Gee’s Bend.”

Programs must have aired between June 2004 and the end of this month. A jury made up of nonfiction pros will determine the nominees; one or no Emmy will be awarded during the Creative Arts Awards ceremony in September, depending on the ultimate nominations.

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