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.
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.