Monday Memo: Oscar Doc Shortlist for 2014 Announced

20 FEET FROM STARDOM from director Morgan Neville was one of the films named to the Oscar doc shortlist this week.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) this week announced the 15 docs named to this year’s Oscar shortlist. Adam Benzine of Realscreen covered the news, as did Peter Knegt of Indiewire and Tim Gray of Variety. Basil Tsiokos took a look at the shortlisted films and linked to previous coverage of them at his What (Not) to Blog, while Larry Rohter of the New York Times noted a focus on politics and music. Inkoo Kang of the Women in Hollywood blog at Indiewire took note of five women directors whose films made the shortlist. In his Docutopia post at the SundanceNOW blog, Anthony Kaufman examined the effect that recent rule changes had on the doc Oscar process. And Lily Rothman of Time explained how viewers could watch every film on the doc shortlist.

The other big news came this week when the Sundance Film Festival announced the films in its 2014 lineup. Again, Adam Benzine had coverage at Realscreen, as did Daniel Fienberg of Hitfix. Indiewire had a rundown of the films in the World Cinema doc competition, and in the U.S. doc competition. Christopher Campbell had a nice rundown of the Sundance films, along with some trailers for films. And Kevin Ritchie of Realscreen had coverage of the docs screening at this year’s Slamdance.

The International Documentary Association (IDA) also had its awards ceremony this week, with Anne Thompson and Ryan Lattanzio of the Thompson on Hollywood blog at Indiewire providing coverage. Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter also wrote up the awards.

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Monday Memo: Oscar Shortlist for Short Docs Announced

The short film SLOMO from director Josh Izenberg was one of several shorlisted for the Oscar this week.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) this week named the short docs named to their shortlist. Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times covered the news, as did Jon Weisman of Variety. At, Christopher Campbell had the vitals on the films on the shortlist.

Realscreen’s Adam Benzine reported on the lineup at this year’s International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). Writing for DocGeeks, Alexandra Zeevalkink zeroed in on the IDFA offerings from the National Film Board of Canada. IDFA’s DocLab also announced details on the interactive titles selected for the festival,

In a thoughful piece at, Christopher Campbell contemplated docs that could be construed as platforms for an evil ideology. Campbell’s piece was, at least in part, a response to a critical review of THE ACT OF KILLING from writer Jennifer Merin.

This week Stranger Than Fiction is hosting a screening of Andrew Jarecki’s 2003 film CAPTURING THE FRIEDMANS on Tuesday, October 15 at 8pm at the IFC Center in Manhattan. The film follows the story of a Long Island family torn apart by accusations of child molestation. Director Andrew Jarecki will be in attendance for a Q&A following the film. For more information or to purchase tickets please go here.

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Monday Memo: Oscar Doc Shortlist Announced

5 BROKEN CAMERAS by Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi was one of 15 films shortlisted for the Oscar doc award this week.

Doc news this week was dominated by the release of the names of the fifteen documentary features named to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) Oscar award shortlist. Peter Knegt of Indiewire tallied the list, and soon enough people from around the doc world were weighing on on who made the list, and who might have been left off. An added layer of interest was added as this was the first doc shortlist announced since the documentary branch of the Academy changed its rules, ostensibly to help films made with a theatrical release in mind.

At the What (Not) to Doc blog, Basil Tsiokos pointed to capsule reviews that he had done of most of the shortlisted films. Writing for the New York Times, Melena Ryzek weighed in on the list, as did Dan Schnidel at Screenpicks. At the Documentary Channel blog, Christopher Campbell assessed whether the doc rule changes had worked, while Tom Roston also reviewed the list. The DocGeeks blog did us the favor of rounding up available trailers for the films on the shortlist, while the team at Realscreen gathered interviews it had conducted with seven of the shortlisted filmmakers over the past year.
In other Oscar news, Kay Shackleton reported that documentary filmmaker pioneer D.A. Pennebaker was given an honorary Oscar award on Dec. 2 at the 2012 Governors Awards. Huffington Post writer Allan M. Jalon got a chance to speak with the living legend on his career and recent award. Thomas White also covered the awards for the International Documentary Association (IDA) website.
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