Asif Kapadia film is named Best Documentary by the National Society of Film Critics
The New Year is looking a lot like the old year for Asif Kapadia -- which is to say, very good. The British director saw his documentary on Amy Winehouse win the Best Documentary award today from the National Society of Film Critics.
The NSFC honor is the first critics award of 2016, and comes after Amy earned Best Documentary in 2015 from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Washington Area Film Critics Association, the Chicago Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review.
The NSFC releases vote totals for the top three finishers in each category. Amy earned 23 votes for first place. Fred Wiseman's filmIn Jackson Heights came in second with 18 votes, and Seymour: An Introduction, directed by Ethan Hawke, earned 15 votes for third place.
Amy is one of the most successful documentaries in recent years, having earned more than $8 million alone in North America -- vindication for Kapadia, who told Nonfictionfilm.com he had trouble initially convincing Winehouse's friends, associates and family to participate.
"In the beginning no one wanted to talk to me. No one wanted to make this film," Kapadia said. "No one wanted to be a part of it because it [Winehouse's death] was all still too painful. It had been too soon, too recent."
Winehouse died in July 2011 from the effects of drug and alcohol addiction. She was 27. Kapadia's film has earned wide praise from virtually every quarter, with the exception of Winehouse's father Mitch, who has said it presents a distorted picture of his daughter and the circumstances surrounding her decline.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.