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Academy Reveals Best Documentary Oscar Short List (No ‘Central Park Five’ Unfortunately)

Academy Reveals Best Documentary Oscar Short List (No 'Central Park Five' Unfortunately)

From 126, down to 15 documentary features that have been shortlisted for Academy Awards consideration in the Best Documentary category.

And shockingly, at least to me anyway, The Central Park Five didn’t even make the list of 15, which will eventually become 5 nominations, when they are announced in January.

I’m truly baffled by this; Not that none of the 15 films listed below aren’t worthy (I haven’t seen them all); but I can say that of those I have seen (more about half) on this list, I think The Central Park Five most certainly belongs, and I’d say is even stronger than some of them.

But that’s obviously just one man’s opinion; and mine certainly doesn’t count in this instance.

The subjects at the center of the film could most certainly use the raised awareness that an Oscar nomination might have afforded the film, and, in return, their story, as well as the 10-year old civil suits they each filed against the city of New York.

I’m sure this will be one list that inspires lots of conversation and debate, given the titles that were excluded.

Regardless, congrats to all the films and filmmakers that the make the cut, including those we’ve covered on S&A like Detropia and The House I Live In.

Here’s the list of 15:

“Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,”Never Sorry LLC

“Bully,” The Bully Project LLC

“Chasing Ice,” Exposure

“Detropia,” Loki Films

“Ethel,” Moxie Firecracker Films

“5 Broken Cameras,” Guy DVD Films

“The Gatekeepers,” Les Films du Poisson, Dror Moreh Productions, Cinephil

“The House I Live In,” Charlotte Street Films, LLC

“How to Survive a Plague,” How to Survive a Plague LLC

“The Imposter,” Imposter Pictures Ltd.

“The Invisible War,” Chain Camera Pictures

“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God,” Jigsaw Productions in association with Wider Film Projects and Below the Radar Films

“Searching for Sugar Man,” Red Box Films

“This Is Not a Film,” Wide Management

“The Waiting Room,” Open’hood, Inc.

This Article is related to: News



Interesting because it won earlier in the day best doc for the NY Film Critics Circle awards. Oh, well. At least "The House I live In" and "The Waiting Room" got nominated, both of which had a strong black presence. I'm assuming "Chasing Ice" (which I've seen) and "How to Survive a Plague" are the faves.


I managed to catch two films from the short list: Detropia and The Invisible War. I read extensively about many of the others — planning to catch Central Park 5 when it begins streaming online this month.

Based on how the Academy has voted in the past, I'm strongly convinced The Invisible War or Bully will win. NAMPAS recently voted for a documentary related to wrongly accused youth in a murder. While Detropia is beautifully made, I feel that The Invisible War (detailing the military's rampant sexual assault culture) is unlike anything made before — and Bully is a movie with considerable word of mouth and press coverage that's helping to shape a national conversation about bullying in the 21st century.

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