Emmy nominations bring vindication for 'Jane,' recognition for 'Wild Wild Country,' Anthony Bourdain's 'Parts Unknown'
Brett Morgen's film on Jane Goodall was shut out of the Oscar nominations, but gets love from TV Academy
The announcement of the nominations for the 70th annual Primetime Emmy Awards Thursday brought welcome news to acclaimed documentary filmmaker Brett Morgen, months after his Oscar heartache.
His film Jane, about pioneering primatologist Jane Goodall, earned seven nominations including one in the exclusive category of Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. Nominees for that award are selected through a special juried process, making it arguably the most prestigious of the documentary categories.
This is my favorite film I've worked on.
The cascade of nominations -- which also came for nonfiction directing, cinematography, picture editing, writing, sound editing and sound mixing -- offer vindication for the filmmaker after Jane was shockingly denied an Oscar nomination. Up to that point it had appeared a lock for a nomination and, according to many observers, the favorite to win.
Morgen tweeted his thanks to Emmy voters and distributor National Geographic, writing "This film is the culmination of 60 years of animal research and continuous filming and is a tribute to generations of researchers, Jane and Hugo." (The Hugo he refers to is Hugo van Lawick, the late cinematographer who filmed Goodall's early research in Tanzania).
Also nominated in the Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking category are Matthew Heineman's City of Ghosts, which aired on A&E, Yance Ford's Strong Island (Netflix), and What Haunts Us (Starz).
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on Deadline.com, CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and in Documentary magazine.