With the Oscar’s right around the corner – just less than two weeks away, we thought it would be a great idea to post the 2016 Oscar Nominees for Best Documentary Feature. The Academy Awards is an exciting time to recognize talent in cinematic successes within the film industry. The Oscars, starting in 1929, didn’t even have a documentary category until 1942. When the category arose 1942 the Oscar’s had one documentary category with 25 nominees and 4 winners. Since then, in 2016 we have two categories (Feature and Short Subject), with 5 nominees for each category. A little over 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science chose the nominees for each award. This year, 124 films had been summited for consideration in the Documentary Feature category. The members narrowed the selection down to 15 films in December – then the final 5 films were revealed in January. Let’s take a look at these 5 nominees…
British singer Amy Winehouse, a six-time Grammy® winner who died at the age of 27 in 2011 from the cumulative effects of substance abuse, had a turbulent life after her powerful singing voice was discovered and she was propelled to fame. Her strong personality, complicated marriage to Blake Fielder-Civil and love-hate relationship with the press are reflected in her music.
-This is Asif Kapadia (director) and James Gay-Rees (producer) first Academy Award nomination.
–Amy was released in July 2015.
-Gross: $8.4MM (USA)
-Has won 39 awards and has had 32 other nominees.
– IMDb: AMY
On opposite sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, two vigilante groups led by men staunch in their belief that they are saving their countries, fight against Mexican drug cartels. In Arizona, military veteran Tim “Nailer” Foley leads a paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, while in the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles organizes the citizens rising up against the Knights Templar cartel.
-This is Matthew Heineman (director) and Tom Yellin (producer) first Academy Award nomination.
–Cartel Land was released in January 2015.
-Grossed: $901K (worldwide)
-Has won 12 awards and has had 29 other nominees.
– IMDb: CARTEL LAND
THE LOOK OF SILENCE
Optometrist Adi was born after the 1966 murder of his brother during the genocide in Indonesia. Burdened by his parents’ sorrow, Adi has led a quiet life ruled by fear of the government until he learns the identities of his brother’s killers. Adi confronts the men and asks them to accept responsibility for their actions, thereby ending five decades of silence.
-This is Joshua Oppenheimer (director) and Signe Byrge Sørensen (producer) second Academy Award nomination. They were both previously nominated for The Act of Killing (2013).
–The Look of Silence was released in August 2014.
-Grossed: $109K (USA)
-Has won 50 awards and has had 28 other nominees.
– IMDb: THE LOOK OF SILENCE
WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?
In addition to being a recording artist and powerful presence at her concerts, singer-songwriter Nina Simone was a civil rights activist. With Simone’s determination to live a life of honesty in which her music and politics were paramount, her relationships with her family, friends and collaborators were complicated and frequently difficult.
-This is Liz Garbus (director) second Academy Award nomination – previously nominated for The Farm: Angola, U.S.A. (1998). And this is Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes (producer) first Academy Award nomination.
–What Happened, Miss Simone? was released in August 2014.
-Has won 2 awards and has had 11 other nominees.
– IMDb: WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?
WINTER ON FIRE: UKRAINE’S FIGHT FOR FREESOM
During three months in 2013 and 2014, student demonstrations in Kiev’s Maidan Square developed into a revolution by diverse groups of people calling for the resignation of President Viktor Yanukovych. Hoping for stronger ties to the European Union, protesters fought against government military forces to oppose Yanukovych’s efforts to ally with Russia.
-This is Evgeny Afineevky (director) and Den Tolmor (producer) first Academy Award nomination.
–Winter on Fire was released in September 2015.
-Has won 1 award and has had 1 other nominee.
– IMDb: WINTER ON FIRE
Don’t forget to watch the 88th Academy Awards hosted by Chris Rock, this month – February 28th!
For more information on the Academy Awards click here.