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Broadcast Film Critics Association Names 2019 Documentary Award Winners

The BFCA adds weight behind the year's top nonfiction contenders as they head into the Oscar race.

"Apollo 11"

“Apollo 11”

The Broadcast Film Critics Association has named the winners of the group’s 2019 documentary film prizes. “Apollo 11,” director Todd Douglas Miller’s majestic ode to NASA’s flagship mission to the moon, continues to crush it, picking up multiple awards throughout Sunday evening’s announcement. It took home the night’s top prize, with a total of five awards, leading a pack of winners that included “They Shall Not Grow Old,” “Maiden,” “American Factory,” and more. The awards were handed out at a gala event in Brooklyn. See the full list of winners below.

There’s no denying the wind “Apollo 11” has in its sails this awards season, and tellingly, the picture took home the honor for Best Archival Documentary. After working on a short film about the later Apollo 17 journey, and directing 2014’s archeological deep-dive “Dinosaur 13,” Todd Douglas Miller was approached to create a 50th-anniversary tribute to Apollo 11. He turned to independent archivist Stephen Slater, who is based in Sheffield, England, to make sense of hours upon hours of footage, and 11,000 hours of audio, that needed to be synced up.

“I like to think he’s in a basement bunker in Sheffield, with no social life, but he had the crazy idea to take all that MOS footage” [without sound], Miller told IndieWire, “and what was publicly available at the time, which was all the audio, and try to sync. It’s real work.”

The list of winners follows:

Best Documentary Feature – “Apollo 11” (Neon)

Best Director – TIE – Peter Jackson – “They Shall Not Grow Old” (Warner Bros.)

Best Director – TIE – Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar – “American Factory” (Netflix)

Best Cinematography – John Chester – “The Biggest Little Farm” (Neon)

Best Editing – Todd Douglas Miller – “Apollo 11” (Neon)

Best Score – Matt Morton – “Apollo 11” (Neon)

Best Narration – Bruce Springsteen – “Western Stars” (Warner Bros.)

Best First Documentary Feature – Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov – “Honeyland” (Neon)

Best Archival Documentary – “Apollo 11” (Neon)

Best Biographical Documentary – “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am” (Magnolia)

Best Music Documentary – “Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice” (Greenwich)

Best Political Documentary – “American Factory” (Netflix)

Best Science/Nature Documentary – “Apollo 11” (Neon)

Best Sports Documentary – “Maiden” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Most Innovative Documentary – “They Shall Not Grow Old” (Warner Bros.)

Best Short Documentary – “Period. End of Sentence.” (Netflix)

Discretionary Awards:

The D A Pennebaker Award – Frederick Wiseman

The Landmark Award – Michael Apted

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