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Documentary Voters Must Sift Through 134 Features, Changing Viewing Rules

Documentary Voters Must Sift Through 134 Features, Changing Viewing Rules

Over the past two years the members were on their own, picking and choosing among the titles they were sent over the course of the year. That was Michael Moore’s controversial rule change. The results were two excellent shortlists of 15 features, the best in years. 

This year the branch returned to a version of the old rules, demanding that out of each packet the members screen a designated 20% and watch the rest as they have time. The branch leaders were afraid that some poor little movie would be left behind. (That old voting process yielded major films from the likes of Steve James, Errol Morris and Werner Herzog being ignored.)

Many voters are furious because they would rather use their own smarts and experience to judge the films that must be watched. “Detropia” and “Waiting Room” are among the films that made the shortlists in the last two years. The branch voters know how to discern the films that must be seen from festival awards, reviews and word-of-mouth. The concern now is that they’ll miss some of the best films by wading through lesser entries.

Several of the films have not yet had their required Los Angeles and New York qualifying releases, the Academy reminds. Films submitted in the Documentary Feature category also may qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including Best Picture.

We will see the end results no later than the first week of December.

The submitted features, listed in alphabetical order, are:
“Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq”
“Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case”
“Algorithms”
“Alive Inside”
“All You Need Is Love”
“Altina”
“America: Imagine the World without Her”
“American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs”
“Anita”
“Antarctica: A Year on Ice”
“Art and Craft”
“Awake: The Life of Yogananda”
“The Barefoot Artist”
“The Battered Bastards of Baseball”
“Before You Know It”
“Bitter Honey”
“Born to Fly: Elizabeth Streb vs. Gravity”
“Botso The Teacher from Tbilisi”
“Captivated The Trials of Pamela Smart”
“The Case against 8”
“Cesar’s Last Fast”
“Citizen Koch”
“CitizenFour”
“Code Black”
“Concerning Violence”
“The Culture High”
“Cyber-Seniors”
“DamNation”
“Dancing in Jaffa”
“Death Metal Angola”
“The Decent One”
“Dinosaur 13”
“Do You Know What My Name Is?”
“Documented”
“The Dog”
“E-Team”
“Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me”
“Elena”
“Evolution of a Criminal”
“Fed Up”
“Finding Fela”
“Finding Vivian Maier”
“Food Chains”
“The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden”
“Getting to the Nutcracker”
“Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me”
“Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia”
“The Great Flood”
“The Great Invisible”
“The Green Prince”
“The Hacker Wars”
“The Hadza: Last of the First”
“Hanna Ranch”
“Happy Valley”
“The Hornet’s Nest”
“I Am Ali”
“If You Build It”
“The Immortalists”
“The Internet’s Own Boy”
“Ivory Tower”
“James Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge”
“Jodorowsky’s Dune”
“Journey of a Female Comic”
“Keep On Keepin’ On”
“Kids for Cash”
“The Kill Team”
“Korengal”
“La Bare”
“Last Days in Vietnam”
“Last Hijack”
“The Last Patrol”
“Levitated Mass”
“Life Itself”
“Little White Lie”
“Llyn Foulkes One Man Band”
“Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles”
“Manakamana”
“Merchants of Doubt”
“Mission Blue”
“Mistaken for Strangers”
“Mitt”
“Monk with a Camera”
“Nas: Time Is Illmatic”
“National Gallery”
“Next Goal Wins”
“Next Year Jerusalem”
“Night Will Fall”
“No Cameras Allowed”
“Now: In the Wings on a World Stage”
“Occupy the Farm”
“The Only Real Game”
“The Overnighters”
“Particle Fever”
“Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes”
“Pelican Dreams”
“The Pleasures of Being Out of Step”
“Plot for Peace”
“Point and Shoot”
“Poverty Inc.”
“Print the Legend”
“Private Violence”
“Pump”
“Rabindranath Tagore – The Poet of Eternity”
“Red Army”
“Remote Area Medical”
“Rich Hill”
“The Rule”
“The Salt of the Earth”
“Shadows from My Past”
“She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry”
“A Small Section of the World”
“Smiling through the Apocalypse – Esquire in the 60s”
“Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon”
“The Supreme Price”
“Tales of the Grim Sleeper”
“Tanzania: A Journey Within”
“This Is Not a Ball”
“Thomas Keating: A Rising Tide of Silence”
“Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People”
“True Son”
“20,000 Days on Earth”
“Unclaimed”
“Under the Electric Sky”
“Underwater Dreams”
“Virunga”
“Waiting for August”
“Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago”
“Warsaw Uprising”
“Watchers of the Sky”
“Watermark”
“We Are the Giant”
“We Could Be King”
“Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger”
“A World Not Ours”
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. The Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 22, 2015. 

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