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Oscars Narrow Documentary Feature Race To 15 Films

Oscars Narrow Documentary Feature Race To 15 Films

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the 15 films left in the race for the Documentary Feature Oscar. A record 147 films had originally qualified in the category.

Overall there was no major shockers, with the expected likes of “The Act of Killing,” “Blackfish,” “The Square,” “Stories We Tell,” “Tim’s Vermeer” and “20 Feet From Stardom” all making the cut (and likely battling it out for the final five). There were a few notable exclusions: Martha Shane and Lana Wilson’s “After Tiller,” Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel’s “Leviathan,” Penny Lane’s “Our Nixon,” Linda Bloodworth-Thomason’s “Bridegroom,” Errol Morris’ “The Unknown Known” and Jason Osder’s “Let The Fire Burn” all seemed like strong contenders to make the list, but in the end an incredibly competitive year pushed them out of the competition.

READ MORE: Updated 2014 Oscar Predictions – Best Documentary Feature

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

   “The Act of Killing,” Final Cut for Real
   “The Armstrong Lie,” The Kennedy/Marshall Company
   “Blackfish,” Our Turn Productions
   “The Crash Reel,” KP Rides Again
   “Cutie and the Boxer,” Ex Lion Tamer and Cine Mosaic
   “Dirty Wars,” Civic Bakery
   “First Cousin Once Removed,” Experiments in Time, Light & Motion
   “God Loves Uganda,” Full Credit Productions
   “Life According to Sam,” Fine Films
   “Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer,” Roast Beef Productions
   “The Square,” Noujaim Films and Maktube Productions
   “Stories We Tell,” National Film Board of Canada
   “Tim’s Vermeer,” High Delft Pictures
   “20 Feet from Stardom,” Gil Friesen Productions and Tremolo Productions
   “Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington,” Tripoli Street

The Academy’s Documentary Branch determined the shortlist in a preliminary round of voting.  Documentary Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles. Those nominees will be announced on Thursday, January 16 along with the rest of the 2014 Oscar nominations.

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The Act of Killing and the Square as well as Dirty Wars and Leviathan- best docs of 2013.


After Tiller???

1. The Act of Killing
2. Stories We Tell
3. After Tiller
4. Leviathan
5. Room 237
6. The Square
7. Blackfish
8. God Loves Uganda
9. 20 Feet From Stardom
10. At Berkley


The Act of Killing was fascinating and the most interesting insight into human things I've seen for a good while, possibly ever. However for me it BLACKFISH all the way. Among all the praise I could give it, it seems to be bringing Seaworld to its knees more and more everyday. THAT shows the power of what a great film can do. Actually inspiring a positive change. It will work I can feel it.

julie greco

BLACKFISH! Captivity is a death sentence. Humans don't have the right to do this to other animal nations.


Blackfish..Very compelling and heart breaking. Man's Greed over life.All life is precious.

like Jack replied I didnt even know that some people able to make $9181 in a few weeks on the internet. read this post here

Cathy Gilmore

BLACKFISH!!! Amazing doco opening up the can of worms which is $ea World!!! Best doco I have seen for a couple of years!!!


Blackfish!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So good.

Lynne Koenigsberg


Laura Leigh



I'd go with The Act of Killing, followed by the Square. Leviathan and Frederick Wiseman's At Berkeley should've been nominated too but the Academy never nominates anything that innovative or any of Wiseman's films, so I guess this is par for the crappy course.

Julianne Taylor

The Crash Reel was such a fascinating and touching documentary. So glad it made the list.


Seen most of those films… "Blackfish" winner by far.

To Juan Fran, whom said the human cause is more important than the animal cause: you should realize humans are able to stand up for themselves while animals can not. I would never suggest we ignore human problems or that human suffering is not as "worthy" however that shouldn't give reason to ignore animal suffering at the hands of humans either.


Blackfish deserves to make top 5. I'm sure all those other documentaries are great but Blackfish was quite wonderful and moved me and broke my heart.!


Stories We Tell is one of the best films of the year, period.


YESS!! Blackfish for the win!! I'm glad Blackfish is on the list! they deserve to win, and show the world the real truths behind such a cruel and harsh industry behind SeaWorld and the way they abuse their animals, especially their orcas! #VoteBlackfish


YES!!!!!! Blackfish all the way!!! I am so thrilled that Blackfish is recongized as a brilliant documentry!!! #VoteBlackfish

Alyssa Röhricht

Dirty Wars is a phenomenal film. I'm very pleased to see it make this list. The Act of Killing was great as well – never seen anything quite like it.

Mohammed Noori

The Armstrong Lie and Dirty Wars. Jeremy Scahill really made a tremendous film about drone warfare and special forces killings in the Muslim world.

Juan Fran

Dirty Wars should win it. It's amazing that more people are outraged over sea animals being killed than actual human beings.


Act of the Killing got to win it! Most important documentary of the decade.


Blackfish all the way!!


The movie Blackfish opened my eyes & broke my heart.


I am wondering why Indiwire does not use other stills from the other Documentaries?
I find it tendentious.


I hope The act of killing and The crash reel get on the short list, Both are brilliant documentaries. The act of killing captures something I don't believe had ever been seen before, And may never be seen again. Truly incredible.


I vote Blackfish!


No Sound City?!


I'm so pleased that Blackfish has been chosen! It is a magnificent documentary showing the truth behind the lies of an industry that exploits these wonderful creatures. If you have not seen this, please watch, it is time awareness resulted in outcomes, only we can stop this. Thank you Academy Awards!


Talk about inciting change- BLACKFISH is a must watch film that will make you question the entire way we relate with animals for entertainment. Sea World, zoos, mascots- all distilled into one whale's story- Tilikum. I hope to goodness it wins, as it should!


best doc i saw last year was EVERYTHING OR NOTHING THE UNTOLD STORY OF 007

this year i might watch,,
"The Act of Killing,"
"The Armstrong Lie,"
"Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer,"


No "Leviathan"? F that.


Thank you so much for recognizing and acknowledging the brilliance of Blackfish! Very excited to see them honored by the Academy.

Rose Pennington

Blackfish is truly deserving consideration and I hope that it wins. The captive industry is now exposed for all to see in its ugliness. If you have not seen it, it is a "must see" documentary exposing Sea World for the way they really treat "their" animals. Thank you Academy Awards for acknowledging the truth behind the lies….


Please please please don't nominate Stories We Tell aka Sarah Polley's Home Movies Her Family Barely Cares About

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