15 Documentaries to Compete for Oscar Nominations

AMPAS released its list of 15 documentaries that will be eligible to be nominated for Best Documentary Feature at this year's Academy Award ceremony. They are:

Project Nim

  • "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)
I'm a particular fan of  Project Nim and We Were Here, but I'm sad to see that The Interrupters (which seems like the kind of thing the Academy would love) and Armadillo (my favorite documentary of the year) were omitted. Two of my other favorites of the year, The Woman with the Five Elephants and The Swell Season were also overlooked, and Where Soldiers Come From should also probably be on this list. Buck and If a Tree Falls are both just OK, but neither are extraordinary. I enjoyed Bill Cunningham New York quite a bit, but it may be too light for the Academy. They like their documentaries issue-driven for the most part, and a lighthearted doc about a fashion reporter may not be what they're looking for. I'm not sure if the Academy can ignore Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory given the immediacy of what happened with the West Memphis 3 this year. I'm going to say Project Nim and We Were Here are locks, followed by Hell and Back Again. But what fills out the other two spots? Any thoughts?


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