The International Documentary Assn. has nominated Ava DuVernay’s “13th,” “Cameraperson,” “Fire at Sea,” “I Am Not Your Negro,” “O.J.: Made in America” and “Weiner” for its top feature documentary award.
The awards will be held Dec. 9 at the Paramount Studios backlot in Los Angeles.
The IDA will also honor Lyn and Norman Lear with the Amicus Award for supporting documentary film and freedom of speech; Stanley Nelson with the Career Achievement Award for his extensive body of work documentary the African American experience; Ally Derks will receive the Pioneer Award in recognition of her work founding and building the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam; and Nanfu Wang will receive the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award.
“13th” documents the history of the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, and the injustices African Americans endured; “Cameraperson” catalogs Kirsten Johnson’s work behind the camera; “Fire at Sea” is Gianfranco Rosi’s Italian film documenting the intersection of migrants’ dangerous Mediterranean crossing and life of ordinary islanders.
“I Am Not Your Negro” is Raoul Peck’s exploration of an untold story based on notes from James Baldwin about the lives and assassinations of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.; “O.J.: Made in America” is Ezra Edelman’s analysis of race and celebrity in America through the story of O.J. Simpson; and “Weiner” is Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg’s documentary of the rise and fall of former Rep. Anthony Weiner.
FBI Director James Comey notified Congress on Oct. 28 that the agency had discovered emails that were possibly relevant to the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private server that were discovered on Weiner’s laptop.
“Weiner” is by far the largest grosser of the six nominated films, taking in $1.7 million for IFC since its release in May. “Cameraperson” made $93,325 from seven theaters in the past two months.
Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Look of Silence” won last year’s award for best feature and Asif Kapadia’s “Amy” won the Best Documentary Academy Award.
Kirsten Johnson was also nominated in the IDA’s Short category for “The Above,” about a military surveillance balloon that floats high above Kabul. Other nominees are “Clinica de Migrantes: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness,” Maxim Pozdorovkin’s story of a volunteer-run clinic that provided free medical care to immigrants in Philadelphia; Dan Krauss’s “Extremis,” a film about the emotions that accompany end-of-life decisions confronted by doctors, patients and families in a hospital ICU center.
Shorts films that were also nominated: “Pickle,” Amy Nicholson’s story of man’s capacity to care for all creatures throughout the untimely twists and turns of life; “Red Lake,” Billy Luther’s film about the 10-year anniversary of a reservation school shooting and the story of the survivors; and “The White Helmets,” Orlando von Einsiedel’s film about the volunteer workers who put their lives on the line to save civilians amidst Syria’s Civil War.
Winners in the Best Feature and Best Short categories are voted on by IDA’s international membership. Outside screening committees of industry professionals determine the winners in the other award categories.
“Documentary filmmakers confront some of the most urgent topics of our time,” said Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the IDA. “This year’s nominees use all the tools of creative documentary storytelling to illuminate worlds that we would never otherwise see and to reveal hidden histories that make our lives richer and challenge us to take steps in another’s shoes.”
The Pare Lorentz Award will be given to “Starless Dreams,” directed by Mehrdad Oskouei, which tells the story of girls from a rehabilitation center for juvenile delinquents in Tehran and their desire to return to freedom.
“Fire at Sea” (cinematography by Gianfranco Rosi) will be recognized with the award for Best Cinematography; “Cameraperson (edited by Nels Bangerter) will receive the Best Editing award; “The Bad Kids” (original score by Jacaszek) will be presented with the Best Music award; and “I Am Not Your Negro” (written by James Baldwin and Raoul Peck) will receive the Best Writing award.
Nominees for the ABC News VideoSource Award, include: “13th” (Ava DuVernay), “I Am Not Your Negro” I AM NOT (Raoul Peck), “The Lovers and the Despot” (Ross Adams and Robert Cannon), “Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise” (Bob Hercules and Rita Coburn Whack, directors) and “Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You” (Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady).
Five series are nominated for the Curated Series Award: “Storyville” (BBC), “DR2 Dokumania” (DR TV), “Independent Lens” (ITVS, PBS), “Pacific Heartbeat” (American Public Television) and “POV” (POV, PBS).
Limited Series nominees are: “Belief” (OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network), “Cooked” (Netflix), “The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth” (Showtime), “Making a Murderer” (Netflix) and “Streets of Compton” (Entertainment One Reality Productions, Creature Films for A&E).
The nominees for the Episodic Series Award are: “Chef’s Table” (Netflix), “The First 48” (A&E), “Last Chance U” (Netflix), “United Shades of America” (All3Media America, CNN Original Series, Objective Productions USA) and “Woman with Gloria Steinem” (Vice Media for Viceland).
The series nominated for the Short Form Series Award include: “30:30 Shorts” (ESPN), “Children Deported” (VGTV), “Field of Vision” (Field of Vision), “Nomination” (Vanity Fair/VanityFair.com) and “The New York Times Op-Docs” (The New York Times).
Student films are nominated for the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award: “4.1 Miles” (Daphne Matziaraki), “The Earth Did Not Speak” (Javier Briones), “How History May Come” (Olesya Mazur), My Life as a Film: How My Father Tried to Capture Happiness” (Eva Vitijia, director) and “Transit Zone” (Frederik Subei).