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2014 | 2013 | 2012

1-20 of 39 items from 2014   « Prev | Next »


Best of Fest – Docs: Citizenfour Wins Over Critics, While Dubai, Torino and EntreVues Wrap by Handing Out Awards (December 2014)

31 December 2014 7:00 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Academy Awards

On December 2, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that they’d whittled down the 134 eligible documentary submissions to a 15 film shortlist. The chosen films include:

Art and Craft – Purple Parrot Films

The Case Against 8 – Day in Court

Citizen Koch – Elsewhere Films

CitizenfourPraxis Films

Finding Vivian Maier – Ravine Pictures

The Internet’s Own Boy – Luminant Media

Jodorowsky’s Dune – City Film

Keep on Keepin’ On – Absolute Clay Productions

The Kill Team – f/8 filmworks

Last Days in VietnamMoxie Firecracker Films

Life Itself – Kartemquin Films and Film Rites

The Overnighters – Mile End Films West

The Salt of the Earth – Decia Films

Tales of the Grim Sleeper – Lafayette Film

Virunga – Grain Media

EntreVues Belfort International Film Festival - France - November 22nd – November 30th

The 29th edition of the Entrevues Belfort International Film Festival jury members announced the 2014 Awards, giving Anna Roussillon’s Je suis le peuple, »

- Jordan M. Smith

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Havana is Not Just a Film Festival

27 December 2014 11:50 AM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

On December 17, El Dia de St. Lazaro, something extraordinary happened! Equivalent to the “Fall of the Wall”, President Barak Obama simultaneously with Raul Castro of Cuba announced that diplomatic relations between our two countries was being restored; the last of the Cuban Five imprisoned for 15 years in the U.S. for spying (on Cuban terrorists based in Miami) would be returned to Cuba in exchange for Alan Gross (imprisoned for 5 years for bringing Cuba forbidden internet technology), and an unnamed CIA agent incarcerated for 20 years, along with other Cuban political prisoners; And that this would be the first step in finally normalizing relations between Cuba and the U.S.A.

Read More: Sydney Levine's First Impression at the 2014 Havana Film Festival

As my friends and I were driving from Trinidad to visit a sugar plantation which was the basis for the Cuban wealth of the 19th century, we got a message that in one hour Raul Castro would make the formal announcement and President Obama’s address would also be broadcast.

As we entered the former plantation home, now a restaurant, we heard the singing and jubilation coming from the bar and immediately joined in as the only Americans to share the joy; the Scotch (not rum) was flowing and the dancing and singing continued until the address came on the television.

I realized that in my 15 years of coming to Cuba, this was the moment I had been waiting for. We watched Raul Castro explain, and we watched President Obama explain, and as I watched the faces of the beautiful Cuban people as they listened, some with tears and others with smiles, all with great intensity, I understood the meaning of “rapprochement”. We turned toward each other in pure happiness and felt ourselves united after 55 years of separation.

This is The Place and I am here.

We knew when the Mercosur Heads of State were gathered under tight security at the Hotel Nacional during the first days of the festival that something was afoot. We heard that not only were they planning a possible counter boycott of U.S. in their upcoming May meeting, shutting out U.S. from attending, but the Hotel Nacional’s guest roster included the name of an American who was negotiating something much bigger.

Some speak of the idealism behind this long-wished-for move of U.S.; others speak of the economic necessity. Looking back at my most incredible year of traveling around Latin America, I understand that with the new expansion of the Panama Canal enabling the huge Chinese container ships to pass through, the most convenient next-stop-port for them is Havana. And from Havana, the most convenient port is not Cartagena or Cali in Colombia but New Orleans! And so we may see the rapprochement bring back the glorious days when music and adventure were equated with the Louisiana-Cuban connection. My hope is that the values held so dear in Cuba spread to U.S. and that we Americans don’t spread our U.S. arrogance when we land on the shores of the country which has managed 55 years with no help from us.

There is still more to this tale of reunion, but I am sworn to secrecy for the moment. But you will read it in papers other than this blog. Thirteen months of secret negotiations took place in Canada with the help of the Pope. At a wonderful dinner at a newly opened up Cuban-Russian restaurant on the Malecon, “Nostrovia”, our friend the restaurant owner, Rolando Almirante, whom we know as a documentary filmmaker and host of a weekly Cuban TV show, introduced us to a Canadian and an American both of whom had been involved with the long negotiations. Together we toasted the event with vodka.

To return to the Hotel Nacional and the festival:

Exceptionally quiet for those political reasons, it was also quiet because but there was none of the active debating over the new Law of Cinema which so excitedly animated the festival here last year. There was a low-key conference about the law of cinema and audiovisual culture held by the Cuban Association of Cinema Press with Fipresci and other invited guests to discuss and express opinions about whether most countries by now have a law of cinema, whether developing countries are planning on establishing a law of cinema, whether a law of cinema is necessary for a country aspiring to a higher level of culture for its population, and in what way would a law contribute to the development of production and to the appreciation of cinema. But you do not see everyone gathering in groups to discuss these ideas as they did last year.

Some of last year’s top filmmakers – producers like Ivonne Cotorruelo and Claudia Calvino are so busy preparing their next coproductions that they have no time for such discussions. Others shrug and resignedly express Cuban forbearance as usual.

I asked my friends what is the status of the law being established here in Cuba where only one law of cinema exists, which is the establishment of Icaic, the government institute that determines everything about film behind closed doors. Their answer was “Nothing”. Nothing has changed since last year. Discussions are continuing, and there will be a law established, but not yet…and so I learned that once the first big step is taken here, the next steps are very slow to follow.

So here is what happened on Day 3, December 7 of the my festival:

Our friend Pascal Tessaud whose short from France “City of Lights” brought him to Los Angeles several years ago, had a screening of his new film “Brooklyn”. Its premiere screening here (It premiered in Cannes’ Acid section earlier this year) was to an odd audience of older people. No doubt they were expecting a film about “Brooklyn” (which used to be the name of a bar in Central Havana) but instead got a film about a young Afro-Swiss rapper-girl named “Brooklyn” who enters the rap scene of Paris, made up of Arabs and Africans. 

“Afronorteamericano” films were also spotlighted with Oscar Micheaux’s “Assassination in Harlem” (1935), “Within our Gates” (1920), “Body and Soul” (1926) starring Paul Robeson, “Underworld” (1937), “Swing” (1938), and Spencer William’s “The Blood of Jesus” (1941).

Also showing were North American documentaries “Citizen Koch”, “The Notorious Mr. Bout”, “The Overnighters”, and an homage to filmmaker, Eugene Jarecki (“Capturing the Friedmans” 2003, “Arbitrage” 2012, “The Trials of Henry Kissinger” 2002, “Why We Fight” 2006, Emmy Award winning “Reagan” 2011 and 2012’s “The House I Live In” about the war against drugs which along with “Why We Fight” won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at Sundance) and a retrospective of Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck. Trinidad & Tobago’s annual showcase featured “Creole Soup” from Guadalupe and “Legends of Ska” by American DJ and ska specialist Brad Klein. And of course there was the latest crop of new films from Latin America and the newest films from Cuba, and much, much more.

Today Benecio del Toro, a regular at this festival, won the Coral of Honor for his role as “Che” in Steven Soderbergh’s movies and for his role as the narcotraffiker, Pablo Escobar in the NBC miniseries “Drug Wars: The Camarena Story” and here now, as Escobar in “Escobar: Paradise Lost” directed by the Italian Andrea Di Stefano. For Benecio, Cuba is “a dream come true”.

Day 4, December 8.

There seems to be a trend toward films about children. The prize winning film “Conducta” and Cuba’s submission for Academy Award Nomination as Best Foreign Language Film has already won awards around the world including The Coral for Best Picture and Best Actor here in Havana. This young boy loses every government protection because of his family’s dysfunctions and yet he maintains the spirit of survival and transcendence. Another story from Argentina, Poland and Colombia, France and Germany, “Refugiado” directed by Diego Lerman, also deals with a child who returns home from a birthday party to find his mother unconscious on the floor. The mother then flees seeking a safe place for them and he experiences fear in all the formerly secure places he has known. “Gente de Bien” a Colombia-France coproduction directed by Franco Lolli also explores the world of a young boy, abandoned by his mother and placed in the disheveled home of his impecunious father, who is taken in by a teacher who means well but whose family refuses to accept him. This little kid reaches his limit when his dog dies; but thrown back to his caring if off-kilter father, you get the feeling he too will be all right after all.

A couple of new gay films showed: Cuba’s “Vestido de Novia” was so crowded I could not get near it. Lines around blocks and blocks to get into the 1,000 seat theater were incredible proof of how much Cubans love cinema. Winner of last year’s prize for a work-in-progress, “Vestido de Novia” (“Wedding Dress) will soon be on the festival circuit. Two years ago, at Guadalajara’s coproduction market “Cuatro Lunas” by Sergio Tovar Velarde was being pitched. A sort of primer on gayness, four stories tell the tale of 1) discovery of one’s gayness, 2) first gay love, 3) first gay betrayal of love and 4) love at a mature stage of life. Producer Fernando … hung out with us a bit as we all come from L.A. and have friends in common.

What – aside from the new rapprochement between Cuba and U.S.A. – is “good for the Jews”? A wonderful film from Uruguay, Spain and Germany, “Mr. Kaplan” directed by Alvaro Brechner and produced by my most helpful friend Mariana Secco, and my German friends Roman Paul and Gerhard Meixner (Isa: Memento) brought a new understanding for the good and the bad in our recent history. Almost a comedy and almost a tragedy, the film’s resolution served to transform our propensity to see and judge in black and white. »

- Sydney Levine

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Ten Oscar-Worthy 2014 Documentary Favorites

24 December 2014 6:00 AM, PST | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

Serving as the director of programming for this year’s Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival meant I watched way too many nonfiction films in 2014, some filled with stunning artistry, others with cringe-worthy talking heads. And since the Academy doc committee’s shortlist had me both cheering (Last Days in Vietnam! Tales of the Grim Sleeper!) and scratching my head (Citizen Koch? Really?) I thought I’d compile my own wish-it-were-this list for Oscar 2015. So here, in alphabetical order, are my 10 Doc Picks — only two of which overlap with the Oscar documentary shortlist — from the 134 submitted for Oscar […] »

- Lauren Wissot

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10 Things You Might Not Know About the Oscar Best Picture Race

23 December 2014 11:53 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Voters for the Academy Awards can begin casting their ballots online next Monday, Jan. 29 — and those who’ve opted out of the Internet option and requested paper ballots already have those in their hands.

So as the start of voting nears, TheWrap has pored over Academy lists to offer some facts, figures and fun about the 2014 Oscar race. For starters, here are a few things you might not know unless you’ve examined the Academy’s 33-page “Reminder List of Productions Eligible for the 87th Academy Awards.”

See photos: Golden Globes 2015: The Nominees (Photos)

It ranges from “About Last Night” to “Yves Saint Laurent, »

- Steve Pond

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A Look at Female-directed Documentaries at the Oscars

16 December 2014 8:45 AM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor 

This year’s Oscar race could make history with two possible best picture nominees directed by women — Ava DuVernay’s Selma and Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. If both women are nominated for best director, that would also be a historical moment. But though these accomplishments in the narrative field are possible, more women directors are breaking into the documentary categories. Four of the 15 shortlisted documentaries feature women at the helm: Jennifer Grausman (co-directed with Sam Cullman and Mark Becker) with Art and Craft, Tia Lessin (co-directed with Carl Deal) with Citizen Koch, Laura Poitras with Citizenfour and Rory Kennedy with Last Days in Vietnam. Additionally, three of the eight shortlisted documentary shorts feature female directors: Ellen Goosenberg Kent with Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Aneta Kopacz with Joanna and Lucy Walker with The Lion’s Mouth Opens. More often than not, women directors tend to »

- Anjelica Oswald

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Life Itself And CitizenFour Shortlisted For Oscar Consideration

5 December 2014 10:26 AM, PST | We Got This Covered | See recent We Got This Covered news »

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced its shortlist of films under consideration for inclusion in the best documentary feature category of the Academy Awards next year. A huge 134 titles were submitted, which the Academy’s documentary branch has meticulously whittled down to just 15. Branch members will now decide which of those shortlisted will receive an Oscar nomination. Among the titles in competition are the much-discussed CitizenFour, Life Itself and Last Days In Vietnam – all three of which are widely considered to be frontrunners.

CitizenFour documents the initial meetings between Nsa whistleblower Edward Snowden and a small number of journalists – including filmmaker Laura Poitras. Life Itself is a detailed portrait of renowned film critic Roger Ebert, and Last Days In Vietnam examines the withdrawal from Saigon by American forces at the close of the Vietnam War.

Other films selected for further consideration include subject matter such as »

- Sarah Myles

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The Oscar Documentary Shortlist and Where the Films Debuted

3 December 2014 8:17 AM, PST | Scott Feinberg | See recent Scott Feinberg news »

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor

Yesterday, the Academy’s documentary branch narrowed down the list of 134 documentaries to 15 for the shortlist. Of these 15, five will be announced Jan. 15 as the nominees for the 87th Academy Awards, which will be held on Feb. 22.

Over the past few months, I wrote about three documentaries and the precedent past nominees set for them: Rory Kennedy’s Last Days in Vietnam, John Maloof and Charlie Siskel’s Finding Vivian Maier and Orlando von Einsiedel’s Virunga. All three films made the shortlist. The lists of related documentaries that landed nominations for best documentary consist of eleven Vietnam documentaries, six photography-related documentaries and eight documentaries about the animal world.

Two weeks ago, I looked at ten of the top documentary contenders that debuted at Sundance, and five made the shortlist: The Case Against 8, about the battle to overturn California’s Proposition 8; Last Days in Vietnam, »

- Anjelica Oswald

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15 Documentary Films Advance in Oscar Race

3 December 2014 7:29 AM, PST | Manny the Movie Guy | See recent Manny the Movie Guy news »

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 87th Oscars®.

Out of 134 films, 15 movies have been chosen! Out of these 15 films, Documentary Branch members will select the final 5 nominees!

The 87th Academy Awards® nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 15, 2015, at 5:30 a.m. Pt in the Academy.s Samuel Goldwyn Theater with the Oscars being held on Sunday, February 22!

The 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies:

"Art and Craft," Purple Parrot Films

"The Case against 8," Day in Court

"Citizen Koch," Elsewhere Films

"CitizenFour," Praxis Films

"Finding Vivian Maier," Ravine Pictures

"The Internet.s Own Boy," Luminant Media

"Jodorowsky.s Dune," City Film

"Keep On Keepin. On," Absolute Clay Productions

"The Kill Team," f/8 filmworks

"Last Days in Vietnam," Moxie Firecracker Films

"Life Itself," Kartemquin »

- Manny

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Jodorowsky’s Dune, Life Itself, CitizenFour Among 15 Documentary Features To Advance In 87th Oscars Race

2 December 2014 8:47 PM, PST | WeAreMovieGeeks.com | See recent WeAreMovieGeeks.com news »

Jodorowsky’s Dune

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 87th Oscars. One hundred thirty-four films were originally submitted in the category.

The 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies:

“Art and Craft,” Purple Parrot Films

The Case against 8,” Day in Court

Citizen Koch,” Elsewhere Films

“CitizenFour,” Praxis Films

Finding Vivian Maier,” Ravine Pictures

“The Internet’s Own Boy,” Luminant Media

“Jodorowsky’s Dune,” City Film

“Keep On Keepin’ On,” Absolute Clay Productions

The Kill Team,” f/8 filmworks

Last Days in Vietnam,” Moxie Firecracker Films

“Life Itself,” Kartemquin Films and Film Rites

“The Overnighters,” Mile End Films West

The Salt of the Earth,” Decia Films

Tales of the Grim Sleeper,” Lafayette Film

“Virunga,” Grain Media

The Academy’s Documentary Branch determined the shortlist in a preliminary round of voting. »

- Michelle McCue

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15 Documentaries Advance in Oscar Race; List Includes Life Itself and Citizenfour

2 December 2014 1:12 PM, PST | Collider.com | See recent Collider.com news »

The Best Documentary Feature Oscar race is off and running, and the contenders aren't lacking in quality non-fiction filmmaking.  Out of 134 submissions, 15 films have advanced in the category and will be competing for a nomination in the 87th Academy Awards race.  Notable inclusions range from the moving Roger Ebert documentary Life Itself, to the controversial and critically acclaimed Edward Snowden doc Citizenfour.  I’m also happy to see the excellent Aaron Swartz documentary The Internet’s Own Boy make the cut, and the well-received Jodorowsky’s Dune was also shortlisted.  As far as snubs go, the biggest surprises are the Nick Cave documentary 20,000 Days on Earth and the festival favorite Soviet hockey film Red Army not advancing. Check out the full Best Documentary Oscar list after the jump.  The 87th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on January 15, 2015 in advance of the ceremony on February 22, 2015.  For more on this year's Oscar race, »

- Adam Chitwood

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Oscar documentary shortlist announced by Anne-Katrin Titze - 2014-12-02 20:17:03

2 December 2014 12:17 PM, PST | eyeforfilm.co.uk | See recent eyeforfilm.co.uk news »

Virunga director Orlando von Einsiedel celebrating Leonardo DiCaprio as executive producer at the 21 Club in New York Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences' Oscar documentary shortlist of 15 films was announced today. The final cut down to five nominations will be announced on January 15, 2015.

Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman and Mark Becker's Art And Craft; Ben Cotner and Ryan White's The Case Against 8; Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's Citizen Koch; Laura Poitras' Citizenfour; Charlie Siskel and John Maloof's Finding Vivian Maier; Brian Knappenberger's The Internet’s Own Boy; Frank Pavich's Jodorowsky’s Dune; Alan Hicks' Keep On Keepin’ On; Dan Krauss' The Kill Team; Rory Kennedy's Last Days In Vietnam; Steve James' Life Itself; Jesse Moss' The Overnighters; Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado's The Salt Of The Earth; Nick Broomfield's Tales Of The Grim Sleeper »

- Anne-Katrin Titze

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The 2014 Oscars Documentary Feature Shortlist is Announced

2 December 2014 11:54 AM, PST | Filmmaker Magazine - Blog | See recent Filmmaker Magazine news »

The Oscars have released their shortlist of the 15 documentary features eligible for the Academy Award that have advanced to the next stage of consideration; the final five will be announced along with all other nominations on January 15. The titles and directors below, with links to our previous coverage as applicable: Art and Craft (Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, Mark Becker) — click here to read a guest post from the directors about completing their film’s score. The Case Against 8 (Benjamin Cotner, Ryan White) — click here to read the directors’ pre-Sundance statement about their film. Citizen Koch (Carl […] »

- Vadim Rizov

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‘Citizenfour’, ‘Life Itself’ among Oscar Documentary Shortlist

2 December 2014 11:44 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

One of the most consistently controversial categories in the Oscar race is the Best Documentary category, a branch that has snubbed Steve James, Werner Herzog and Errol Morris in past years.

This year however, Steve James did make the list with his documentary Life Itself, based on the life of Roger Ebert, along with the presumed frontrunner Citizenfour, which some are demanding earn a nomination for Best Picture.

Here’s the full list of 15 feature documentaries, all of which will now be eligible to choose from for nomination come January.

Art and Craft

The Case against 8

Citizen Koch 

CitizenFour

Finding Vivian Maier

The Internet’s Own Boy

Jodorowsky’s Dune

Keep On Keepin’ On

The Kill Team

Last Days in Vietnam

Life Itself

The Overnighters

The Salt of the Earth

Tales of the Grim Sleeper

Virunga

While this is a fairly representative list, 2014 was an especially great year for documentaries, »

- Brian Welk

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15 documentary features advance in 2015 Oscars race

2 December 2014 10:52 AM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

With guilds and organizations plucking eclectic titles from this year’s notable documentaries for their awards ceremonies, the nonfiction race remains competitive and mysterious. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday afternoon that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 87th Oscars. There aren’t too many surprises in the bunch, but that won’t help those looking for early locks either. Of the list, Laura Poitras' "Citizenfour," Steve James' "Life Itself," Orlando von Einsiedel's "Virunga," and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders' "The Salt of the Earth" have popped up consistently across the Ida Awards, Cinema Eye Awards, PGA Awards, Gotham Awards, and Independent Spirit Awards. If anything could be considered a snub, it’s Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard’s Nick Cave documentary "20,000 Days on Earth" and Gabe Polsky’s "Red Army," a festival favorite. »

- Matt Patches

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Citizenfour on AMPAS doc shortlist

2 December 2014 10:50 AM, PST | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences unveiled on December 2 the 15-strong list of documentary features that advance in the voting process.

The selections from 134 submissions include Citizenfour (pictured), Life Itself and The Salt Of The Earth, however Red Army and Telluride entry Merchants Of Doubt have been omitted.

The 15 films in alphabetical order are: Art And Craft; The Case Against 8; Citizen Koch; CitizenFour; Finding Vivian Maier; The Internet’s Own Boy; Jodorowsky’s Dune; Keep On Keepin’ On; The Kill Team; Last Days In Vietnam; Life Itself; The Overnighters; The Salt Of The Earth; Tales Of The Grim Sleeper; andVirunga.

The Academy’s documentary branch chose the shortlist in a preliminary round of voting and branch members will next select five nominees.

The Academy will announce nominations on January 15 and the 87th Academy Awards show is set for February 22. »

- jeremykay67@gmail.com (Jeremy Kay)

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Oscar Doc Shortlist Announced, Last Days in Vietnam, Life Itself, CitizenFour and Citizen Koch

2 December 2014 10:36 AM, PST | AwardsDaily.com | See recent AwardsDaily news »

“Art and Craft,” Purple Parrot Films “The Case against 8,” Day in Court “Citizen Koch,” Elsewhere Films “CitizenFour,” Praxis Films “Finding Vivian Maier,” Ravine Pictures “The Internet’s Own Boy, »

- Sasha Stone

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Documentaries at the Oscars: Short List

2 December 2014 10:33 AM, PST | Hollywoodnews.com | See recent Hollywoodnews.com news »

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 15 films in the Documentary Feature category will advance in the voting process for the 87th Oscars®. One hundred thirty-four films were originally submitted in the category. The 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their production companies: “Art and Craft,” Purple Parrot Films “The Case against 8,” Day in Court “Citizen Koch,” Elsewhere Films “CitizenFour,” Praxis Films “Finding Vivian Maier,” Ravine Pictures “The Internet’s Own Boy,” Luminant Media “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” City Film “Keep On Keepin’ On,” Absolute Clay Productions “The Kill Team,” f/8 filmworks “Last Days in Vietnam,” Moxie Firecracker Films “Life Itself,” Kartemquin Films and Film Rites “The Overnighters,” Mile End Films West “The Salt of the Earth,” Decia Films “Tales of the Grim Sleeper,” Lafayette Film “Virunga,” Grain Media The Academy’s Documentary Branch determined the shortlist in a preliminary round of voting. »

- HollywoodNews.com

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Ebert, Snowden and Wim Wenders on High-Profile Documentary Shortlist

2 December 2014 10:26 AM, PST | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

The Academy has announced the 15-wide documentary shortlist and apart from one title, it's is a very high-profile group of names. At least they are if you follow the world of documentary. I had discussed with a friend recently that last year's field may go down as the greatest in the category's history, but depending on how the branch votes this year they may just surpass it. I have already seen nine of the 15 and can vouch for almost all of them. Let's take a look.

Art and Craft The Case Against 8 (review) Citizen Koch Citizenfour (podcast | Glenn's review) Finding Vivian Maier The Internet's Own Boy Jodorowsky's Dune Keep On Keepin' On The Kill Team Last Days in Vietnam (review)

Life Itself The Overnighters The Salt of the Earth Tales of the Grim Sleeper (Nyff review | AFI review) Virunga

There are some big names in here. Apart from the »

- Glenn Dunks

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15 Documentaries Land on Oscar’s Short List

2 December 2014 10:25 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences on Tuesday unveiled 15 films that will be competing for Oscar’s five documentary-feature nominations.

The list was winnowed down from the 134 eligible submissions. The Academy’s documentary branch determined the shortlist in a preliminary round of voting.  Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles.

The semi-finalists are:

“Art and Craft,” Purple Parrot Films

The Case Against 8,” Day in Court

Citizen Koch,” Elsewhere Films

CitizenFour,” Praxis Films

Finding Vivian Maier,” Ravine Pictures

“The Internet’s Own Boy,” Luminant Media

“Jodorowsky’s Dune,” City Film

“Keep on Keepin’ On,” Absolute Clay Productions

The Kill Team,” f/8 filmworks

Last Days in Vietnam,” Moxie Firecracker Films

Life Itself,” Kartemquin Films and Film Rites

“The Overnighters,” Mile End Films West

The Salt of the Earth,” Decia Films

Tales of the Grim Sleeper,” Lafayette Film

“Virunga,” Grain Media

The Academy, as always, offered some surprise omissions. »

- Tim Gray

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15 Documentaries Shortlisted for 2015 Oscar Best Documentary Race

2 December 2014 10:10 AM, PST | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

The Academy has announced the 15 documentaries that will advance in the voting process for the 2015 Oscars, competing in the Best Documentary category and among them is the presumed frontrunner Citizenfour, which was named Best Documentary by both the New York Film Critics and Gotham Awards just yesterday. In fact, it's one of the few docs on the list I've actually seen so far along with the Roger Ebert doc Life Itself and Tales of the Grim Sleeper, though several of the others I actually have here on screener and will do my absolute best to get to most of them before the nominations are announced so I can predict this category. Though, at the moment, I fully expect at least Citizenfour and Life Itself to get a nomination and I've heard really good things about Keep On Keepin' On. The Academy's Documentary Branch determined the shortlist in a preliminary round of voting. »

- Brad Brevet

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