Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Doc Filmmakers: You Don't Need to Premiere at Sundance to Win an Oscar, But Most Nominees Debuted There

Photo of Bryce J. Renninger By Bryce J. Renninger | Indiewire December 13, 2013 at 12:39PM

The changes in the Academy's documentary rules may have made it easier for the year's top documentaries to get some recognition come Oscar time. (Before, the small group of nominators were accused of having taste that seemed not to correspond with generally agreed upon quality and popularity.) So where do these high quality films premiere? This year, a staggering ten of the fifteen shortlisted films debuted at Sundance.
1
"The Cove," "Inside Job," "Undefeated" and "Searching for Sugar Man"
"The Cove," "Inside Job," "Undefeated" and "Searching for Sugar Man"

The changes in the Academy's documentary rules may have made it easier for the year's top documentaries to get some recognition come Oscar time.  (Before, the small group of nominators were accused of having taste that seemed not to correspond with generally agreed upon quality and popularity.)  So where do these high quality films premiere?  This year, a staggering ten of the fifteen shortlisted films debuted at Sundance.

Data nerds, we crunched the numbers, and over the past five years, 26 of the 60 shortlisted docs got their start at Park City, with the Toronto International Film Festival coming in at a distant second place with 8 world premieres getting shortlisted.

When it comes to taking home the trophy, two Sundance titles ("The Cove" and "Searching for Sugar Man") took home the top title in the past four contests, while a SXSW title ("Undefeated") and a Cannes debut ("Inside Job") also won.

Shortlisted Films:

Sundance: 26
TIFF: 8

Tribeca: 4

Venice: 3

SXSW: 2

Hot Docs: 2
IDFA: 2
Full Frame: 2
Cannes: 2
Jerusalem: 2
not a festival: 2
CPH:DOX: 1

Seattle: 1

Berlinale: 1
Cleveland: 1
New Zealand: 1

Nominated Films:
Sundance: 11
Tribeca: 2
Venice: 1
CPH:DOX: 1
Cannes: 1
Berlinale: 1
TIFF: 1
Jerusalem: 1
SXSW: 1

Oscar-Winning Films:

Sundance: 2
Cannes: 1
SXSW: 1

And here are the complete list of 2010-4 Oscar nominees, with nominees italicized and winners bolded:

2010

"The Beaches of Agnes" = Venice
"Burma VJ" = CPH:DOX

"The Cove" = Sundance

"Every Little Step" = TIFF
"Facing Ali" = Seattle International Film Festival
"Food, Inc." = TIFF
"Garbage Dreams" = SXSW
"Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders" = Venice
"The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers" = TIFF

"Mugabe and the White African, Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey, directors = Hot Docs
Sergio, Greg Barker, director = Sundance
Soundtrack for a Revolution, Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman, directors = Tribeca
Under Our Skin, Andy Abrahams Wilson, director = Tribeca
Valentino The Last Emperor, Matt Tyrnauer, director = Venice
Which Way Home, Rebecca Cammisa, director = Tribeca

Venice: 3
TIFF: 3
Tribeca: 3
Sundance: 2
CPH:DOX: 1
Seattle: 1
SXSW: 1
Hot Docs: 1

Nominees:

Tribeca: 2
Sundance: 1

Venice: 1
CPH:DOX: 1

2011

“Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer" = TIFF
“Enemies of the People” = IDFA
“Exit through the Gift Shop” = Sundance

“Gasland” = Sundance

“Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould” = TIFF
“Inside Job” = Cannes

“The Lottery” = Cleveland International Film Festival
“Precious Life” = Jerusalem Film Festival
“Quest for Honor” = Sundance Film Festival
“Restrepo” = Sundance Film Festival

“This Way of Life” = New Zealand International Film Festival
“The Tillman Story” = Sundance
“Waiting for ‘Superman” = Sundance
“Waste Land” = Sundance

“William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe” = Sundance

Sundance: 8
TIFF: 2
IDFA: 1
Cannes: 1
Cleveland: 1
Jerusalem: 1
New Zealand: 1

Nominees:

Sundance: 4
Cannes: 1

This article is related to: Sundance Film Festival, Documentary, Festivals, SXSW






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More