I try not to be shocked by the workings of the Academy Awards, but at least two of the best documentaries of the year were surprisingly snubbed today with the announcement of the Documentary Feature shortlist of 15 semifinalists. I wasn’t certain that Senna would make it to the nomination stage, but I’m stunned it’s not recognized at this stage.
As for The Interrupters, I’ve been saying it will finally win Steve James an Oscar since first seeing it at Sundance on January. But never mind my broken pride; the real upset is that it really deserves it. And not just to make up for the Hoop Dreams snub in ‘95 (in the doc category anyway; it was nominated for the editing award). It’s a great film and it has a great message, which the Academy tends to like.
Oh well, with so many terrific docs out this year, narrowing down to 15 was sure to upset many, including fans of The Arbor, Better This World, Being Elmo and so many others. Out of my recent predictions and hopefuls, only 6 made it out of 15.
Besides, I do truly love many docs that are on the shortlist, particularly my favorite film of the year, Project Nim, and the spectacular 3D doc Pina. Congrats also to Hell and Back Again, If a Tree Falls, We Were Here, Buck, Bill Cunningham New York and Jane’s Journey.
The full list is after the jump.
If I didn’t mention a title it’s probably because I haven’t seen it yet.
The 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production company:
- “Battle for Brooklyn” (RUMER Inc.)
- “Bill Cunningham New York” (First Thought Films)
- “Buck” (Cedar Creek Productions)
- “Hell and Back Again” (Roast Beef Productions Limited)
- “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” (Marshall Curry Productions, LLC)
- “Jane’s Journey” (NEOS Film GmbH & Co. KG)
- “The Loving Story” (Augusta Films)
- “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory” (@radical.media)
- “Pina” (Neue Road Movies GmbH)
- “Project Nim” (Red Box Films)
- “Semper Fi: Always Faithful” (Tied to the Tracks Films, Inc.)
- “Sing Your Song” (S2BN Belafonte Productions, LLC)
- “Undefeated” (Spitfire Pictures)
- “Under Fire: Journalists in Combat” (JUF Pictures, Inc.)
- “We Were Here” (Weissman Projects, LLC)
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