Michael Moore, Alex Gibney, Davis Guggenheim among filmmakers in contention
The clock is ticking on Oscar voters.
Academy members only have until January 8th to submit their nomination ballots for the 88th Annual Academy Awards. Voting officially got underway on Wednesday.
Fifteen feature-length documentaries remain under consideration, a shortlist narrowed from the original group of 124 qualifiers.
A bunch of previous Oscar-winners are in contention, including Michael Moore for Where to Invade Next; Alex Gibney for Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief; Morgan Neville for Best of Enemies [co-directed by Robert Gordon], and Davis Guggenheim for He Named Me Malala.
In the Documentary Short category, only 10 films remain in contention, including IDA Award-winner Last Day of Freedom, from directors Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman, and Body Team 12 directed by David Darg.
Members of the Academy's Documentary Branch voted to determine the shortlists for both features and short documentaries. This same group will vote again to determine which five feature-length documentaries and which five shorts earn Oscar nominations.
Nominations will be revealed Thursday, Jan. 14. According to the Academy, winners in both documentary categories will be determined by a vote of "active and life members of the Academy who have viewed all of the nominated documentaries." Oscar Sunday is February 28.
Here are the 15 feature length documentaries still in the running for nominations:
Amy, directed by Asif Kapadia.
Best of Enemies, directed by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon
Cartel Land, directed by Matthew Heineman
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, directed by Alex Gibney
He Named Me Malala, directed by Davis Guggenheim
Heart of a Dog, directed by Laurie Anderson
The Hunting Ground, directed by Kirby Dick
Listen to Me Marlon, directed by Stevan Riley
The Look of Silence, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer
Meru, directed by Jimmy Chin and E. Chai Vasarhelfyi
3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets, directed by Marc Silver
We Come as Friends, directed by Hubert Sauper
What Happened, Miss Simone?, directed by Liz Garbus
Where to Invade Next, directed by Michael Moore
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, directed by Evgeny Afineevsky
These are the 10 films on the Documentary Short shortlist:
Body Team 12, directed by David Darg
“Chau, beyond the Lines,” Cynasty Films
“Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah,” Jet Black Iris America
“50 Feet from Syria,” Spin Film
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness,” SOC Films
Last Day of Freedom, directed by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman
“Minerita,” Kanaki Films
My Enemy, My Brother, directed by Ann Shin
“Starting Point,” Munk Studio – Polish Filmmakers Association
“The Testimony,” Atria Film in association with Escape Artists
A few interesting notes regarding Academy rules relating to Documentary Features:
88TH ACADEMY AWARDS
SPECIAL RULES FOR THE DOCUMENTARY AWARDS
An eligible documentary film is defined as a theatrically released nonfiction motion picture dealing creatively with cultural, artistic, historical, social, scientific, economic or other subjects. It may be photographed in actual occurrence, or may employ partial reenactment, stock footage, stills, animation, stop-motion or other techniques, as long as the emphasis is on fact and not on fiction.
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT - motion pictures with a running time of 40 minutes or less, including all credits.
Matthew Carey is a documentary filmmaker and journalist. His work has appeared on CNN, CNN.com, TheWrap.com, NBCNews.com and Documentary.org.