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Producers Guild of America Documentary Nominations Don’t Foreshadow the Oscars

There are always some surprises among the PGA documentary nominees.

City of Ghosts

“City of Ghosts”

Photo courtesy of Studios / A&E IndieFilms / IFC Films

With a wide field of potential contenders, the Producers Guild of America made some surprise picks and snubs for its seven nominees for Best Feature Documentary on Monday. The films nominated for the Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures are listed below in alphabetical order:


“Chasing Coral” (Jeff Orlowski, Netflix)

“City of Ghosts” (Mattew Heineman, Amazon)

“Cries from Syria” (Evgeny Afineevsky, HBO)

“Earth: One Amazing Day” (Peter Webber, Lixin Fan, Richard Dale, BBC Earth)

“Jane” (Brett Morgen, NatGeo)

“Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower” (Joe Piscatella, Netflix)

“The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee” (John Maggio, HBO)

Among the lauded documentaries left off the 2017 PGA nominations were Cannes documentary winner “Faces Places,” directed by Agnes Varda and JR, Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s portrait of Brooklyn Hassidim, “One of Us,” and popular Turkish cat documentary “Kedi.”

While the PGA’s feature nominees often align with Oscar contenders, that’s not so true for the documentaries. In 2014, the PGA nominated one eventual Oscar nominee and failed to nominate eventual Oscar winner “Citizenfour.” In 2015 the PGA selected eventual Oscar nominees “Amy” (which won the Oscar) and “The Look of Silence” as well as shortlisted Oscar docs “The Hunting Ground” and “Meru.” In 2016, the committee of some 30 or more PGA documentary producers nominated two of the final Oscar five, Roger Ross Williams’ “Life, Animated” and Ezra Edelman’s eventual Oscar-winner “O.J.: Made in America.”

The winners will be revealed at the 29th annual Producers Guild Awards, which will take place on January 20, 2018 at the Beverly Hilton.

During the awards show, the Producers Guild will also present special honors to Chairman of Universal Pictures Donna Langley for its Milestone Award and to film producer Charles Roven for its David O. Selznick Award. The 2018 Producers Guild Awards Event Chairs are Donald De Line and Amy Pascal.

The remaining nominations for Theatrical Motion Pictures, Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures, Television Series/Specials, Long Form Programs, and Sports, Children’s and Short Form Programs will be announced January 5, 2018. The PGA and The Players club will host their second Annual East Coast Nominees Celebration on January 16, 2018 in New York.

The Academy will announce 15 selections for the Oscar documentary feature short list on December 4th.

Read More:  2018 Oscar Predictions: Best Documentary Feature

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