Joan Churchill, ASC to be Honored by DOC NYC for Her Exceptional Career

The cinematographer and director was one of the first to be invited into the Society for non-fiction work.

David E. Williams

The cinematographer and director was one of the first to be invited into the Society for non-fiction work.

DOC NYC announced its annual Visionaries Tribute honorees for 2021, bestowing Lifetime Achievement honors to Joan Churchill, ASC and director and educator Raoul Peck. Also honored will be Emmy-winning director, producer and cinematographer Peter Nicks, with the Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence; and Chi-hui Yang, senior program officer for Ford Foundation’s JustFilms Initiative, with the Leading Light Award.

The Visionaries Tribute event will take place on November 10 at Gotham Hall in midtown Manhattan as a private, in-person ceremony.

Churchill is recognized for her distinguished career as a documentary director and cinematographer. Her directing credits include Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer, Soldier Girls and Juvenile Liaison.

She is also one of the first documentary-focused directors of photography invited into the American Society of Cinematographers — becoming a member in 2005 — with her many credits behind the camera including Last Days in Vietnam, Shut Up & Sing, Down from the Mountain and Medicating Normal (2020).

(You can learn much more about Churchill in this AC interview.)

Previous recipients of the DOC NYC Lifetime Achievement Award include Michael Apted, Orlando Bagwell, Jonathan Demme, Albert Maysles, Errol Morris, D.A. Pennebaker, Sam Pollard, Martin Scorsese, Jean Tsian and Wim Wenders.

The 12th annual DOC NYC Festival (November 10-18) will be a hybrid event — in person and online — and take place at the IFC Center, SVA Theatre and Cinepolis Chelsea, with online screenings and presentations that will extend through Nov. 28.

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