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by Brian Brooks
November 18, 2009 11:56 AM
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Academy Names 15 to Documentary Shortlist; Moore Snubbed

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have named 15 films that made the short-list in the Documentary Feature category for the 82nd Academy Awards, whittling the number down from a record 89 that had originally qualified (92 qualified last year, which was a record). Notable omissions included "Anvil! The Story of Anvil," "The September Issue," "Tyson," "It Might Get Loud," "We Live in Public," and most surprisingly, Michael Moore's "Capitalism: A Love Story."

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

"The Beaches of Agnes"
Agnes Varda, director (Cine-Tamaris)

"Burma VJ"
Anders Ostergaard, director (Magic Hour Films)

"The Cove"
Louie Psihoyos, director (Oceanic Preservation Society)

"Every Little Step"
James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo, directors (Endgame Entertainment)

"Facing Ali"
Pete McCormack, director (Network Films Inc.)

"Food, Inc."
Robert Kenner, director (Robert Kenner Films)

"Garbage Dreams"
Mai Iskander, director (Iskander Films, Inc.)

"Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders"
Mark N. Hopkins, director (Red Floor Pictures LLC)

"The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers"
Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith, directors (Kovno Communications)

"Mugabe and the White African"
Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey, directors (Arturi Films Limited)

Greg Barker, director (Passion Pictures and Silverbridge Productions)

"Soundtrack for a Revolution"
Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, directors (Freedom Song Productions)

"Under Our Skin"
Andy Abrahams Wilson, director (Open Eye Pictures)

"Valentino The Last Emperor"
Matt Tyrnauer, director (Acolyte Films)

"Which Way Home"
Rebecca Cammisa, director (Mr. Mudd)

The Documentary Branch Screening Committee viewed all the eligible documentaries for the preliminary round of voting. Documentary Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles on the shortlist.

The 82nd Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, February 2, 2010, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.


  • filmhawk | November 20, 2009 4:31 AMReply

    Ineffably sublime and cinematically poetic films like Terence Davies' OF TIME AND THE CITY -- not to mention Michael Almereyda's latest, PARADISE -- just don't get short-listed, let alone nominated. Hell, even Werner Herzog's GRIZZLY MAN didn't make it on the '06 short list.

    It's a very imperfect system, but every once in a while something worthy even manages to win -- like THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK or BORN INTO BROTHELS.

    In all categories it has been ever thus. But it can keep us amused, bemused, slighty irritated and even deeply pissed (at least until 10/12/12).

  • morant | November 20, 2009 2:11 AMReply

    Of Time and the City - a brilliant film - how did it get left off?


    "which way home" looks a lot like a film from a few years ago - mojados.

  • | November 19, 2009 7:37 AMReply

    The biggest omission to me is easily Anne Aghion's MY NEIGHBOR, MY KILLER.

  • wjcohen | November 19, 2009 6:10 AMReply

    some bizarre omissions from the Documentary Branch Screening Committee...again....maybe the doc branch should move to 10 films also.