'Agronomist,' 'Friedmans,' 'Fog' among competing pix

A correction was made to this article on Nov. 19, 2003.

Documakers are getting a dose of reality this week, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences notifies finalists in the feature docu category.

There are 12 finalists, and the majority are high-profile docs with U.S. distribs. According to various sources, the list includes, alphabetically, the Jonathan Demme-directed “The Agronomist” (distribbed by ThinkFilm); “Balseros” (Seventh Art); “Bus 174” (ThinkFilm); “Capturing the Friedmans” (Magnolia); “The Fog of War” (Sony Classics); “Lost Boys of Sudan” (Wellspring Media); “My Architect” (New Yorker); and “My Flesh and Blood” (Strand).

The Ivy Merapol-helmed “Heir to an Execution” so far has no theatrical distrib. However, that pic reps HBO, which is doing well. In many cases, the pay cabler has a stake in the production or theatrical release of several finalists, including “Bus 174,” “Capturing the Friedmans,” “My Architect” and “Execution.”

Five nominees will be announced, along with the other categories, Jan. 27. Winners will be unveiled Feb. 29.

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