Tag Archives: life itself

Academy announces documentary shortlist

Deadline has revealed that, Ahead of the final Oscar announcements on January 15th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released its short-list of the documentaries eligible for the Best Documentary nomination.

The original list of submissions was extensive at a hefty 134 titles, but that list was cut down to just 15. The material covered is diverse to say the least, ranging from unemployment (The Overnighters) to Edward Snowden (Citizenfour) to gay marriage (The Case Against 8) to Roger Ebert (Life Itself), with a whole mess of great docs in-between.

Here’s the list as it currently stands:

Art and Craft – Purple Parrot Films
The Case against 8 – Day in Court
Citizen Koch – Elsewhere Films
Citizenfour – Praxis Films
Finding Vivian Maier – Ravine Pictures
The Internet’s Own Boy – Luminant Media
Jodorowsky’s Dune – City Film
Keep On Keepin’ On – Absolute Clay Productions
The Kill Team – f/8 filmworks
Last Days in Vietnam – Moxie Firecracker Films
Life Itself – Kartemquin Films and Film Rites
The Overnighters – Mile End Films West
The Salt of the Earth – Decia Films
Tales of the Grim Sleeper – Lafayette Film
Virunga – Grain Media

Jodorowsky’s Dune is a nice one to see make the short-list, although that may just be my nerd senses a-tinglin’. Hopefully the final nomination list will still have a good dose of diversity to it. There were a lot of great documentaries this year and all the titles listed here are terrific accomplishments. Most are also available on DVD and on Video On Demand.

Did your favourite title make the cut? Who’s your pick for the Oscar?

Gotham Awards – All the Winners

The Gotham Independant Film Awards made a lot of people very happy on Monday. Boyhood, Birdman, Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler, Under the Skin and Dear White People all had multiple nominations, and the good thing about this particularly ceremony is its unpredictability, if not for its nominees then for its winners. Last year Inside Llewyn Davis beat 12 Years a Slave for Best Feature, and relative unknown Fruitvale Station took home Breakthrough Director and Breakthrough Actor for Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan respectively.

I’m not gonna mix all the winners up in a few paragraphs and make you pick them out, because that’s not cool. So here are the winners of the 2014 Gotham Awards. Have a look!

Best Feature

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) — WINNER
The Grand Budapest Hotel 
Love Is Strange
Under the Skin

Best Actress

Julianne Moore in Still Alice — WINNER
Patricia Arquette — Boyhood
Gugu Mbatha-Raw — Beyond the Lights
Scarlett Johansson — Under the Skin
Mia Wasikowska — Tracks

Best Actor

Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) — WINNER

Bill Hader — The Skeleton Twins
Ethan Hawke — Boyhood
Oscar Isaac — A Most Violent Year
Miles Teller — Whiplash

(Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum received a special Gotham Jury Award from the Best Actor nominating panel for their collective performances in Foxcatcher.)

Steve Carell accepting his prize...the award I mean, not Meryl Streep.
Steve Carell accepting his prize…the award I mean, not Meryl Streep.

Best Documentary

CITIZENFOUR — WINNER                                                                                Actress                                                                                                                                  Life Itself                                                                                                              Manakamana                                                                                                                          Point and Shoot

Spotlight on Women Filmmakers “Live the Dream” Grant

Chloé Zhao, director — Songs My Brothers Taught Me — WINNER
Garrett Bradley, director, Below Dreams 
Claire Carré, director, Embers

Independent Film Audience Award

Boyhood — WINNER

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Ana Lily Amirpour in A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night — WINNER
James Ward Byrkit — Coherence
Dan Gilroy — Nightcrawler
Eliza Hittman — It Felt Like Love
Justin Simien — Dear White People

Breakthrough Actor
Tessa Thompson in Dear White People — WINNER

Riz Ahmed — Nightcrawler
Macon Blair — Blue Ruin
Ellar Coltrane — Boyhood
Joey King — Wish I Was Here
Jenny Slate — Obvious Child

Phew, well there we have it. Birdman was the only film to win multiple awards and it was a relief to see Foxcatcher take away a special award in the end. It was a good mix of winners and the nominations overall reflect perfectly where the real talent was hiding this year.

What did you think of the winners? Any travesties of justice?