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Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations: Broadcast Film and TV Critics Change Rules to Reflect Digital Reality

The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards announce their nominations, and now there's one documentary category to rule them all.

“Kedi”

The Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association announced nominees for the second annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, along with a major change in the categories that reflects the evolving world of documentaries. The second annual awards ceremony takes place November 2 in Brooklyn.

“As our industry continues to grow and change, the nominating committees of the BFCA Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association came to the decision together that we needed our categories to better reflect the current way documentaries are released as well as how the audience consumes content,” said David Freedman, who chairs the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominating Committees. “Therefore, the Best Documentary category, which last year was separated into Theatrical Releases and TV/Streaming releases, has been merged into a single category, and the same is also true for the Best Director and Best First Documentary categories.”

The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards are presented in concert with the Critics’ Choice Awards (held in Santa Monica December 10), which honor cinematic and television achievement. The BFCA is the largest film critics’ organization in the North America, representing more than 300 television, radio, and online critics, while the BTJA represents 100 journalists who regularly cover television, radio, and online. Historically, the Critics’ Choice Awards are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.

Turkish cat movie “Kedi” leads the nominations this year with four nominations and one honor, including Best Documentary, Best First Documentary, Most Innovative Documentary, Ceyda Torun for Best Director, and the Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary honor for The Cats of Istanbul.

“California Typewriter”

Gravitas Ventures

Recognized with three nominations each are “California Typewriter,” “Chasing Coral,” “City of Ghosts,” “Cries From Syria,” and “Dawson City: Frozen Time,” while “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” and “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power” landed two each.

At the gala event, Academy Award and seven-time Emmy nominated filmmaker Joe Berlinger (“Brother’s Keeper,” the “Paradise Lost” trilogy) will receive the Critics’ Choice Impact Award. Berlinger’s most recent documentary is the Armenian genocide expose “Intent to Destroy.” Berlinger’s new eight-part docuseries for Spike TV premiered this summer: “Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio.” Premiering on SundanceTV in November is Berlinger’s four-part true crime documentary series “Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders,” a reexamination of the crime chronicled in Truman Capote’s landmark book and the Oscar-nominated film. Berlinger will also shoot later this year the feature “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile,” starring Zac Efron.

intent to destroy

Director Joe Berlinger

Tribeca

The nominees for the second annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards are below:

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail – Director: Steve James (PBS / Blue Ice Films, Mitten Media, Motto Pictures, Kartemquin Films Production)

Beware the Slenderman – Director: Irene Taylor Brodsky (HBO, Warner Bros. Television Distribution / HBO Documentary Films, Vermilion Films)

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds – Directors: Alexis Bloom, Fisher Stevens (HBO / Bloomfish Pictures, HBO Documentary Films, Insurgent Docs, RatPac Documentary Films)

California Typewriter – Director: Doug Nichol (Gravitas Ventures / American Buffalo Pictures)

Chasing Coral – Director: Jeff Orlowski (Netflix / Exposure Labs)

City of Ghosts – Director: Matthew Heineman (Amazon Studios, A&E IndieFilms, IFC Films / Our Time Projects)

Cries From Syria – Director: Evgeny Afineevsky (HBO / Afineevsky – Tolmor Production, Cinepost Barrandov, Levy Entertainment Group, Studio Malibu)

Dawson City: Frozen Time – Director: Bill Morrison (Kino Lorber / Hypnotic Pictures, Picture Palace Pictures)

Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis – Director: Colin Hanks (HBO / Live Nation Productions, Company Name)

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library – Director: Frederick Wiseman (Zipporah Films)

Faces Places – Directors: Agnès Varda & JR (Cohen Media Group / Ciné Tamaris, Social Animals, Rouge International, Arte France Cinéma, Arches Films)

Jane – Director: Brett Morgen (National Geographic Documentary Films / National Geographic Studios, Public Road Productions)

Kedi – Director: Ceyda Torun (Oscilloscope Laboratories, YouTube Red / Termite Films)

One of Us – Directors: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady (Netflix / Loki Films)

Spettacolo – Directors: Jeff Malmberg, Chris Shellen (Grasshopper Film / Open Face)

Strong Island – Director: Yance Ford (Netflix / Yanceville Films, Louverture Films)

BEST DIRECTOR

Evgeny Afineevsky – Cries from Syria (HBO / Afineevsky – Tolmor Production, Cinepost Barrandov, Levy Entertainment Group, Studio Malibu)

Amir Bar-Lev – Long Strange Trip (Amazon / Amazon Studios, Double E Pictures, Sikelia Productions, AOMA Sunshine Films)

Matthew Heineman – City of Ghosts (Amazon Studios, A&E IndieFilms, IFC Films / Our Time Projects)

Bill Morrison – Dawson City: Frozen Time (Kino Lorber / Hypnotic Pictures, Picture Palace Pictures)

Doug Nichol – California Typewriter (Gravitas Ventures / American Buffalo Pictures)

Jeff Orlowski – Chasing Coral (Netflix / Exposure Labs)

Irene Taylor Brodsky – Beware the Slenderman (HBO, Warner Bros. Television Distribution / HBO Documentary Films, Vermilion Films)

Ceyda Torun – Kedi (Oscilloscope Laboratories, YouTube Red / Termite Films)

Agnès Varda & JR – Faces Places (Cohen Media Group / Ciné Tamaris, Social Animals, Rouge International, Arte France Cinéma, Arches Films)

Frederick Wiseman – Ex Libris: The New York Public Library (Zipporah Films)

BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY

California Typewriter – Director: Doug Nichol (Gravitas Ventures / American Buffalo Pictures)

Kedi – Director: Ceyda Torun (Oscilloscope Laboratories, YouTube Red / Termite Films)

Nowhere to Hide – Director: Zaradasht Ahmed (East Village Entertainment / Ten Thousand Images)

Step – Director: Amanda Lipitz (Fox Searchlight / Impact Partners, Stick Figure Productions)

Strong Island – Director: Yance Ford (Netflix / Yanceville Films, Louverture Films)

Whose Streets? – Director: Sabaah Folayan, Co-Director: Damon Davis (Magnolia Pictures)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY

11/8/16 – Directors: Duane Andersen, Don Argott & Sheena M. Joyce, Yung Chang, Garth Donovan, Petra Epperlein & Michael Tucker, Vikram Gandhi, Raul Gasteazoro, Jamie Goncalves, Andrew Beck Grace, Alma Har’el, Daniel Junge, Alison Klayman, Ciara Lacy, Martha Shane, Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Bassam Tariq (The Orchard / Cinetic Media)

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail – Director: Steve James (PBS / Blue Ice Films, Mitten Media, Motto Pictures, Kartemquin Films Production)

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – Directors: Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk (Paramount / Actual Films, Participant Media)

City of Ghosts – Director: Matthew Heineman (Amazon Studios, A&E IndieFilms, IFC Films / Our Time Projects)

Dolores – Director: Peter Bratt (PBS Distribution / 5 Stick Films)

The Reagan Show – Directors: Sierra Pettengill, Pacho Velez (Gravitas Ventures, CNN Films)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

AlphaGo – Director: Greg Kohs (Submarine Entertainment / Moxie Pictures, Reel As Dirt)

Disgraced – Director: Pat Kondelis (Showtime Networks / Bat Bridge Entertainment)

Icarus – Director: Bryan Fogel (Netflix / Alex Productions, Diamond Docs, Impact Partners)

Speed Sisters – Director: Amber Fares (First Run Features)

Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton – Director: Rory Kennedy (Sundance Selects / Moxie Firecracker Films)

Trophy – Directors: Christina Clusiau, Shaul Schwarz (CNN Films, The Orchard / Candescent Films, Pulse Films, Reel Peak Films)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of our Lives – Director: Chris Perkel (Apple Music / IM Global, Scott Free Productions)

Contemporary Color – Directors: Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross (Oscilloscope / The Department of Motion Pictures, Public Domain, Todo Mundo)

Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis – Director: Colin Hanks (HBO / Live Nation Productions, Company Name)

I Called Him Morgan – Director: Kasper Collin (FilmRise, Submarine Entertainment / Kasper Collin Produktion, Sveriges Television, Film i Väst)

Long Strange Trip – Director: Amir Bar-Lev (Amazon / Amazon Studios, Double E Pictures, Sikelia Productions, AOMA Sunshine Films)

Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World – Director: Catherine Bainbridge, Co-Director: Alfonso Maiorana (Kino Lorber / ARTE G.E.I.E, Rezolution Pictures)

MOST COMPELLING LIVING SUBJECT OF A DOCUMENTARY

The Cats of Istanbul – Kedi (Oscilloscope Laboratories, YouTube Red / Termite Films)

Etty – One of Us (Netflix / Loki Films)

Al Gore – An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (Paramount / Actual Films, Participant Media)

Laird Hamilton – Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton (Sundance Selects / Moxie Firecracker Films)

Dolores Huerta – Dolores (PBS / 5 Stick Films)

Gigi Lazzarato – This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous (YouTube Red / SelectNext, Cabin Creek Films)

The Sung Family – Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (PBS / Blue Ice Films, Mitten Media, Motto Pictures, Kartemquin Films Production)

MOST INNOVATIVE DOCUMENTARY

78/52 – Director: Alexandre O. Philippe (IFC Midnight / ARTE, Exhibit A Pictures, Milkhaus, Screen Division, Sensorshot Productions)

Casting JonBenet – Director: Kitty Green (Netflix / Forensic Films, Symbolic Exchange, Meridian Entertainment)

Dawson City: Frozen Time – Director: Bill Morrison (Kino Lorber / Hypnotic Pictures, Picture Palace Pictures)

Karl Marx City – Directors: Petra Epperlein, Michael Tucker (Bond/360 / Pepper & Bones)

Kedi – Director: Ceyda Torun (Oscilloscope Laboratories, YouTube Red / Termite Films)

Last Men in Aleppo – Director: Firas Fayyad, Co-Director: Steen Johannessen (Grasshopper Film / Aleppo Media Center, Larm Film)

BEST SONG IN A DOCUMENTARY

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – “Truth to Power” – OneRepublic (Paramount / Actual Films, Participant Media)

Chasing Coral – “Tell Me How Long” – Kristen Bell (Netflix / Exposure Labs)

Cries From Syria – “Prayers for This World” – Cher (HBO / Afineevsky – Tolmor Production, Cinepost Barrandov, Levy Entertainment Group, Studio Malibu)

Dina – “Best I Can” – Michael Cera featuring Sharon Van Etten (The Orchard / Cinereach, El Peligro, Killer Films)

Served Like a Girl – “Dancing Through the Wreckage” – Pat Benatar (Entertainment Studios, Freestyle Digital Media)

Step – “Jump” – Cynthia Erivo (Fox Searchlight / Impact Partners, Stick Figure Productions)

BEST LIMITED DOCUMENTARY SERIES (TV/STREAMING)

The Defiant Ones (HBO)

Five Came Back (Netflix / Amblin Television, IACF Productions, Netflix, Passion Pictures, Rock Paper Scissors Entertainment)

The Keepers (Netflix / Film 45, Tripod Media)

The Nineties (CNN / CNN, Playtone, Herzog & Company)

Planet Earth II (BBC America, AMC, SundanceTV / BBC Natural History Unit, BBC America, ZDF, Tencent, France Télévisions)

The Vietnam War (PBS / Florentine Films, WETA-TV Washington)

BEST ONGOING DOCUMENTARY SERIES (TV/STREAMING)

30 for 30 (ESPN / ESPN Films)

American Masters (PBS / WNET New York City)

Frontline (PBS / WGBH-TV Boston)

Independent Lens (PBS / Independent Television Service, Inc.)

POV (PBS / American Documentary, Inc.)

VICE (HBO / VICE Media)

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