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For Your Consideration: 10 Incredible Documentaries That Weren’t Nominated For An Oscar

For Your Consideration: 10 Incredible Documentaries That Weren't Nominated For An Oscar

Last week the Academy offered up their annual dose of documentary-related controversy with the shortlist for their best documentary feature category.

While many quality docs were indeed included – from “Project Nim” and “Hell and Back Again” to “Pina” and “We Were Here” – an astonishing (or maybe not so, considering their history) list of acclaimed docs didn’t make the cut.

Where were Clio Barnard’s “The Arbor,” Steve James’ “The Interrupters,” Werner Herzog’s “Into The Abyss,” Patricio Guzmán’s “Nostalgia For The Light,” Leonard Retel Helmrich’s “Position Among The Stars,” Asif Kapadia’sSenna,” and Errol Morris’ “Tabloid”? Just to name a few examples, they were all nowhere to be found.

Perhaps the filmmakers within that group can take some comfort in the fact that they’re in very good company.  Some of – if not most of – the greatest documentaries of all time were not

So let’s take a trip down unfortunate memory lane, shall we? If only to provide solace to the Asif Kapadia’s and Steve James’s out there (and also check out our updated Oscar predictions here, including in the documentary category).

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Didn't ever really get "Senna" being a serious Oscar favourite. Felt more a good campaign from Universal/Working Title. After all it's a 100% archive doc on a sports personality who has already been very well documented where as most of the amazing documentary films around this year are original stories with filmmakers crafting in the field for sometimes years. For some reason the film also gushes over Senna rather than be objective. This gives a one dimentional view. We all know Senna also had a darker side and well documented shady business dealings. Prost is portrayed to be a cardboard pantomime villain. The producers saying that being snubbed by the Academy "was like a knife in the heart" sounds on the presumtious side that it was Oscar worthy and already in the bag.



Although I agree Touching the Void was a good documentary that deserved a Academy nomination I hardly think we can assign it "BEST documentary EVER made". Let's calm down.

And, Michael Winterbottom's SEMI-documentary "In This World" should have won the BAFTA Korda category that year


HBO's "Marathon Boy" is the most incredible documentary I've seen this year. Unfolded like a tight thriller centring around a remarkable small slum boy. Was totally amazed that it missed the cut but guess it's in good company.

Peter Knegt

Dale: I totally agree re: TOUCHING THE VOID. It slipped my mind somehow. Consider it honorarily included?

dale doback

TOUCHING THE VOID was one of the best documentaries ever made yet even you totally ignore it – because of "re-enactments" – ridiculous


i love documentaries.peter,you do a great the way PINA i'ts awesome!!!!

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