The Best Documentary Feature Oscar shortlist was just announced, narrowing the nearly 150 qualifiers to just fifteen contenders. Congratulations go to all the filmmakers for making it on to this list, especially the eleven Sundance alums and the nine DOC NYC Short List alums!
It’s now a waiting game until the five final nominees are revealed on Thursday, January 16. In the meantime, here is the official shortlist, with links to my previous coverage for each of the films:
THE ACT OF KILLING
THE ARMSTRONG LIE
THE CRASH REEL
CUTIE AND THE BOXER
FIRST COUSIN ONCE REMOVED
GOD LOVES UGANDA
LIFE ACCORDING TO SAM
PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER
STORIES WE TELL
20 FEET FROM STARDOM
WHICH WAY IS THE FRONT LINE FROM HERE?
Available on DVD today, Tuesday, December 3: THE STONE ROSES: MADE OF STONE
Shane Meadows’ love letter to the eponymous band debuted in their hometown of Manchester this past Spring. It went on to screen theatrically in the UK, Ireland, the US, and Canada, and to screen at fests in Sydney, Athens, Karlovy Vary, and Tokyo.
I previously wrote about the doc upon its theatrical release here.
Available on DVD today, Tuesday, December 3: BUYING SEX
Kent Nason and Teresa MacInnes’ expansive consideration of sex work had its debut at Hot Docs this past Spring. It went on to screen at additional Canadian fests, including Atlantic, Victoria, and the St John’s International Women’s Film Festival.
I previously wrote about the film out of Hot Docs here.
Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, December 3: SMASH & GRAB: THE STORY OF THE PINK PANTHERS
Havana Marking’s investigation into an infamous gang of jewel thieves had its world premiere at IDFA last year. Its fest circuit has also included Sheffield, East End, Ireland’s Stranger Than Fiction, Zagreb, and Dubai, and the film was released theatrically this Summer.
I included the doc in my IDFA coverage here.
Coming to DVD tomorrow, Tuesday, December 3: MR ANGEL
Dan Hunt’s portrait of FTM porn star and activist Buck Angel had its world premiere at SXSW earlier this year. It’s gone on to screen at Brooklyn, Rio, and at LGBT fests in Paris, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Atlanta, among others.
I included the doc in my SXSW coverage here.
Now available on VOD: LA CAMIONETA
Mark Kendall’s look at the journey of one school bus from the US to Guatemala had its debut at SXSW last year. Other fest berths included DOC NYC, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Denver, DocsDF, Big Sky, Nashville, Guadalajara, Cleveland, and It’s All True, among others. It’s now available on iTunes.
I previously wrote about the doc out of SXSW here.
The director of HOOP DREAMS and THE INTERRUPTERS profiles the man who popularized film criticism in the United States.
Steve James’ latest project tells the story of Roger Ebert, who, with fellow Chicago critic Gene Siskel, became unlikely celebrities through their weekly television show reviewing movie releases. While their rating system, “Two Thumbs Up,” quickly became familiar to even the most casual filmgoer, the pair’s reviews on air and in print demonstrated a deep love of cinema. After Siskel’s untimely death in 1999, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ebert continued their show, becoming the most recognizable and influential film critic in the country. A familiar face at film festivals, often in the company of his beloved wife Chaz, and an active presence online, he struggled with various cancer diagnoses for more than a decade before passing away earlier this year. Based on Ebert’s titular memoir, James details the critic’s life and work, drawing on an impressive range of interview subjects, from the film’s executive producer Martin Scorsese to other directors Ebert championed, from Errol Morris to Ava DuVernay. Continue reading