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‘RBG’ and ‘The Sentence’ Share Emmy for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking

The profile of the iconic Supreme Court justice and a film highlighting the dangers of mandatory minimum sentencing shared this year's prize.

RBG Movie

“RBG”

Add an Emmy to the growing list of acclaim for the documentary on the life and career of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “RBG.” Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s film on the current Supreme Court justice was previously nominated for an Oscar back in January. In a rare category tie, Rudy Valdez’s HBO film “The Sentence,” which focuses on federal and state mandatory minimum sentencing laws, also shared the victory in this year’s category.

To take home the prize for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking, “The Sentence” and “RBG” bested “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” another film that was nominated at this year’s Oscars as well. This is Valdez’s first year as an Emmy nominee. Cohen and West, first-time nominees as well, were also nominated in the Best Nonfiction/Documentary Directing category.

“RBG” was one of a pair of films to air on CNN that were recognized in this category, with “Three Identical Strangers” also nabbing a nomination. Alexis Bloom’s “Divide And Conquer: The Story Of Roger Ailes,” which aired on A&E, rounded out the 2019 nominees.

These nominees were all competing for the prize won last year by Yance Ford’s “Strong Island,” the first film in this category to ever win the award after debuting on a streaming platform.

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The Creative Arts Emmys honor outstanding artistic and technical achievement in a variety of television program genres, guest performances in weekly series, as well as exceptional work in the animation, reality, and documentary categories.

More than 50 trophies are given out over the two-day period, and FXX will air a condensed version of the ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 8 p.m. ET. You can see a full list of the weekend’s winners here.

The 70th Primetime Emmys will air Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. Check out IndieWire’s Emmy predictions to see what series and which stars are expected to walk away with the gold, and keep checking IndieWire for the most accurate power rankings out there. Follow IndieWire on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest Emmys news, including live updates as the awards air Sunday night.

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