Saturday, November 19, 2011

Academy Award Shortlist for Documentary Feature Announced

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will be considered for the five nominated positions.

They include (in alphabetical order):

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 (
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)

No Senna? No The Interrupters? What are your thoughts on the selections? I have actually only seen Project Nim and Bill Cunningham, and I enjoyed both. Especially the former. I am shocked that Senna missed out, though. If anyone is also wondering why Cave of Forgotten Dreams missed out, I have been informed it was a 2010 candidate.

The final Oscar nominees for the 84th Academy Awards will be announced 24 January 2012.


  1. No Senna?!!!! No film by Werner Herzog? No films about a Tribe Called Quest, Pearl Jam, or U2?


  2. Haven't actually seen any of these - eep! But from what I've been hearing I wouldn't be surprised to see Project Nim in amongst the final nominees.

  3. I would have like to see 'Life in a Day' get a shout. And the Pearl Jam doc was excellent too but probably not Oscar stuff. Leaving out Senna souns like a joke from what I've heard about it.

  4. Grizzly Man didn't make the cut in 2005, right? I'd like to be in the room when whoever is in charge of making these lists is debating things. What goes on?

    As an insane Tribe Called Quest fan I was kind of hoping that would sneak in there but knew it probably wouldn't.

  5. I'm not actually familiar with any of these films. I don't trust the Academy at all... the HOOP DREAMS snub in '94 was just completely unforgivable.

  6. Good thing "The Interrupters" is on here.

    Oh wait.

  7. @ Steven - Nope. I haven't seen Into the Abyss so I can't comment on that, but I heard that doco on A Tribe Called Quest was pretty rad.

    @ Ruth - It 'should' be there, but who knows now!

    @ Pete - It is a huge joke. Senna is wonderful. The best cinema experience of the year to date.

    @ Nick - I don't know what's going on in there. BUT, it's very possible these films are all great - no-one has seen them yet. But, in the history of docos and what has been nominated before, SENNA is very worthy of being in the Top 5. Damn.

    @ Tyler - Yeah, that is unforgivable.

  8. @ Sam - Yeah buddy! Haven't seen it, but heard nothing but high praise. Seems like it's absence is unforgivable.

  9. I'm was really surprised by this short list, particularly by the absence of The Interrupters, which seemed like it would be right up the Academy's alley.

  10. I was expecting Senna on here too. Oh well at least there's Pina.

  11. @ NeverTooEarlyMP - Yeah, that was a shock - and there has been plenty of disgruntlement around Twitter re: it's snub. Even Ebert haha.

    @ Bonjour - I missed PINA unfortunately. I know you liked it, so I'll try and see it before the Oscars.

  12. What about The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975? Too bad. Both Senna and Mixtape utilized the very effective style of using only footage from the time period and contemporary VO. A shame, really.

  13. I haven't seen The Black Power Mixtape 1967-75 but sounds like another engrossing docmentary (and I loved the way that Senna used only archival footage - It really was one of the best edited docos I have ever seen) that missed the cut. I'd really like to see what these other ones have going for them. Thanks for reading!

  14. In my opinion Senna is the best film of the year so far, never mind documentary. Although to be fair i haven't actually seen any of these, so my opinion means nothing!

  15. Senna is the best film of the year in my opinion too! I have only seen two, so it is hard to compare - but still, disappointment.