The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is out with its finalists for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar, and it includes films about a singers, actors, heroes and a number of hot-button issues.
Among the pics on the shortlist are the Amy Winehouse docu Amy; What Happened, Miss Simone?, about singer Nina Simone; and Listen To Me Marlon, culled from 200-plus hours of audiotapes Oscar winner Marlon Brando made during his career. A number of films touching on controversial subjects during the past year also made the cut including The Hunting Ground, about campus rape; 3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets, about the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white man in Florida; Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief, an in-depth look at the Church of Scientology; Winter On Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom, which chronicles the unrest in the Eastern European country; and He Named Me Malala, about the young girl who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban for being outspoken about her country’s education system.
The field includes films from three directors who already have Documentary Feature Oscars on their mantels: Alex Gibney (Going Clear), who won for Taxi To The Dark Side; Davis Guggenheim (He Named Me Malala), a winner for An Inconvenient Truth; and Michael Moore (Where to Invade Next), who picked up a trophy with Bowling For Columbine. Four other helmers in the race have previous nominations: Kirby Dick (twice), Liz Garbus, Joshua Oppenheimer and Hubert Sauper.
Below is the complete list of pics that will vie for nominations for the 88th Academy Awards, whittled down from 124 entries. Noms will be announced January 14, and the trophy will be handed out during the Oscarcast on February 28 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Amy, On the Corner Films and Universal Music
Best Of Enemies, Sandbar
Cartel Land, Our Time Projects and The Documentary Group
Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief, Jigsaw Productions
He Named Me Malala, Parkes-MacDonald and Little Room
Heart Of A Dog, Canal Street Communications
The Hunting Ground, Chain Camera Pictures
Listen To Me Marlon, Passion Pictures
The Look Of Silence, Final Cut for Real
Meru, Little Monster Films
3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets, The Filmmaker Fund, Motto Pictures, Lakehouse Films, Actual
Films, JustFilms, MacArthur Foundation and Bertha BRITDOC
We Come As Friends, Adelante Films
What Happened, Miss Simone?, RadicalMedia and Moxie Firecracker
Where To Invade Next, Dog Eat Dog Productions
Winter On Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, Pray for Ukraine Productions