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Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominees Announced: ‘Free Solo,’ ‘Minding the Gap,’ and ‘Wild Wild Country’ Lead Nods

"Free Solo" leads with six nominations and one honor, including Best Documentary, Best Directors, and a Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary honor for Alex Honnold.

"Free Solo"

“Free Solo”

Nat Geo

The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) have announced the nominees for the third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards. The winners will be presented their awards at a gala event, hosted by science educator and television personality Bill Nye, on Saturday, November 10 at BRIC in Brooklyn, New York.

Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s “Free Solo” leads this year with six nominations and one honor, including Best Documentary, Best Directors, Best Sports Documentary, Most Innovative Documentary, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and a Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary honor for Alex Honnold. “Minding the Gap” and “Wild Wild Country” follow with five nominations each, with “Dark Money,” “Hitler’s Hollywood,” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” each earning four nods.

“We are thrilled to celebrate this year’s outstanding documentary work at the upcoming event,” said Broadcast Film Critics Association President Joey Berlin in an official statement. “The year 2018 has been called ‘The Year of the Documentary’ and we are so happy to give these films and shows the recognition and high praise that they deserve.”

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At this year’s gala ceremony, filmmaker Stanley Nelson will be presented with the Critics’ Choice Impact Award. As was previously announced, multi award-winning filmmaker Michael Moore will be honored with the Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award. For the first year, the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards has introduced the Catalyst Sponsorship, a program for industry leaders to support the event. The inaugural sponsors include Focus Features, National Geographic Documentary Films, Netflix, Curiosity Stream, and others.

The Critics’ Choice Awards are determined by qualified members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), and feature multiple categories across both television and film. Qualified members of BFCA and BTJA will choose the winners from amongst the nominees in voting from November 7 – November 9, 2018.

The nominees for the third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards are as follows.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Crime + Punishment – Director: Stephen Maing (Hulu)
Dark Money – Director: Kimberly Reed (PBS)
Free Solo – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Films)
Hal – Director: Amy Scott (Oscilloscope)
Hitler’s Hollywood – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)
Minding the Gap – Director: Bing Liu (Hulu)
RBG – Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)
Three Identical Strangers – Director: Tim Wardle (Neon, CNN Films)
Wild Wild Country – Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way (Netflix)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Director: Morgan Neville (Focus Features)

BEST LIMITED DOCUMENTARY SERIES

America to Me (Starz)
Dirty Money (Netflix)
Elvis Presley: The Searcher (HBO Documentary Films, Sony Pictures Television)
Flint Town (Netflix)
One Strange Rock (National Geographic)
The Fourth Estate (Showtime Networks)
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (HBO)
Wild Wild Country (Netflix)

Wild Wild Country

“Wild Wild Country”

Netflix

BEST ONGOING DOCUMENTARY SERIES

30 for 30 (ESPN)
American Masters (PBS)
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN)
Frontline (PBS)
Independent Lens (PBS)
Making a Murderer (Netflix)
POV (PBS)
The History of Comedy (CNN)

BEST DIRECTOR

Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi – Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film)
Bing Liu – Minding the Gap (Hulu)
Morgan Neville – Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features)
Kimberly Reed – Dark Money (PBS)
Rüdiger Suchsland – Hitler’s Hollywood (Kino Lorber)
Tim Wardle – Three Identical Strangers (Neon, CNN Films)

BEST FIRST TIME DIRECTOR

Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster – Science Fair (National Geographic Documentary Films)
Heather Lenz – Kusama – Infinity (Magnolia Pictures)
Bing Liu – Minding the Gap (Hulu)
Stephen Nomura Schible – Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (MUBI)
Rudy Valdez – The Sentence (HBO Documentary Films)
Chapman Way and Maclain Way – Wild Wild Country (Netflix)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY

RBG – Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)
Dark Money – Director: Kimberly Reed (PBS)
Fahrenheit 11/9 – Director: Michael Moore (Briarcliff Entertainment)
Flint Town – Directors: Zackary Canepari, Drea Cooper, Jessica Dimmock (Netflix)
Hitler’s Hollywood – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)
John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls – Directors: George Kunhardt, Peter W. Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt (HBO)
The Fourth Estate – Directors: Liz Garbus, Jenny Carchman (Showtime Networks)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

Andre the Giant – Director: Jason Hehir (HBO)
Being Serena (HBO)
Free Solo – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Film)
John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection – Director: Julien Faraut (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Minding the Gap – Director: Bing Liu (Hulu)
The Workers Cup – Director: Adam Sobel (Passion River)

Minding the Gap

“Minding the Gap”

Sundance

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

Bad Reputation – Director: Kevin Kerslake (Magnolia Pictures)
David Bowie: The Last Five Years – Director: Francis Whately (HBO Documentary Films)
Elvis Presley: The Searcher – Director: Thom Zimny (HBO Documentary Films, Sony Pictures Television)
Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I Leave Here Tomorrow – Director: Stephen Kijak (Showtime Networks)
Quincy – Directors: Alan Hicks, Rashida Jones (Netflix)
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda – Director: Stephen Nomura Schible (MUBI)
Whitney – Director: Kevin Macdonald (Roadside Attractions, Miramax)

MOST COMPELLING LIVING SUBJECT OF A DOCUMENTARY (ALL LISTED IN THE CATEGORY WILL BE HONORED AT THE EVENT)

Scotty Bowers – Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (Greenwich Entertainment, Kino Lorber, Starz!)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg – RBG (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)
Alex Honnold – Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film)
Joan Jett – Bad Reputation (Magnolia Pictures)
Quincy Jones – Quincy (Netflix)
David Kellman and Bobby Shafran – Three Identical Strangers (Neon, CNN Films)
John McEnroe – John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Leon Vitali – Filmworker (Kino Lorber)

MOST INNOVATIVE DOCUMENTARY

306 Hollywood – Directors: Elan Bogarin, Jonathan Bogarin (PBS, El Tigre)
Free Solo – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Film)
Hitler’s Hollywood – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda – Director: Stephen Nomura Schible (MUBI)
Wild Wild Country – Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way (Netflix)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Director: Morgan Neville (Focus Features)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

306 Hollywood – Cinematographers: Elan Bogarin, Jonathan Bogarin, Alejandro Mejía (PBS, El Tigre)
The Dawn Wall – Cinematographer: Brett Lowell (The Orchard)
Free Solo – Cinematographers: Jimmy Chin, Clair Popkin, Mikey Schaefer (National Geographic Documentary Film)
Minding the Gap – Cinematographer: Bing Liu (Hulu)
Pandas – Cinematographer: David Douglas (Warner Brothers)
Wild Wild Country – Cinematographer: Adam Stone (Netflix)

BEST EDITING

Dark Money – Editor: Jay Arthur Sterrenberg (PBS)
Filmworker – Editor: Tony Zierra (Kino Lorber)
Free Solo – Editor: Bob Eisenhardt (National Geographic Documentary Film)
John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection – Editor: Julien Faraut (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Three Identical Strangers – Editor: Michael Harte (Neon, CNN Films)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Editors: Jeff Malmberg, Aaron Wickenden (Focus Features)

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