The fifth annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards announced the 2020 winners Monday morning, honoring “Dick Johnson Is Dead” for best documentary feature as well as the film’s Kirsten Johnson for best director.
The film focuses on Richard Johnson, the director’s father, who suffers from dementia and imagines different ways in which he could die with a darkly comedic tone. The film premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and won the special jury award for innovation in non-fiction storytelling.
“My Octopus Teacher” took home two awards for best cinematography and best science/nature documentary.
Like most award shows this year, the Critics Choice Doc Awards had to go virtual due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We couldn’t be more excited about being able to celebrate such a diverse group of films and filmmakers and subjects this year of all years, on the fifth occasion of the CCDAs, and with 2020 being what it is,” said Christopher Campbell, president of the Critics Choice Association Documentary Branch. “The world needs this variety of storytelling now more than ever, and all of these documentaries moved us in unique ways. We are proud that we could still support these films and share the best of the best with nonfiction fans. Our only regret is that we couldn’t do so while also honoring the talented artists and their incredible work in person.”
The 2021 Critics Choice Awards will be held live on March 7, 2021, on The CW with host Taye Diggs.
See the full list of winners below:
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
BEST DIRECTOR: Kirsten Johnson, Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Melissa Haizlip, Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Horrocks, My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
BEST EDITING: Lindy Jankura, Alexis Johnson and Alex Keipper, Totally Under Control (Neon)
BEST SCORE: Marco Beltrami, Brandon Roberts and Buck Sanders, The Way I See It (Focus Features)
BEST NARRATION: David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (Netflix); David Attenborough, narrator and writer
BEST ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY: MLK/FBI (Field of Vision/IFC Films)
BEST HISTORICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY: John Lewis: Good Trouble (Magnolia Pictures/Participant)
BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY: (TIE) Beastie Boys Story (Apple); The Go-Go’s (Showtime)
BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY: Boys State (Apple)
BEST SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY: My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY: (TIE) Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes (HBO); Athlete A (Netflix)
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY: St. Louis Superman (MTV Documentary Films)
MOST COMPELLING LIVING SUBJECTS OF A DOCUMENTARY (HONOR):
Dr. Rick Bright – Totally Under Control (Neon)
Steven Garza – Boys State (Apple)
The Go-Go’s – The Go-Go’s (Showtime)
Judith Heumann – Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Dick Johnson – Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix) Maggie Nichols, Rachael Denhollander, Jamie Dantzscher – Athlete A (Netflix)
Fox Rich – Time (Amazon)
Pete Souza – The Way I See It (Focus Features)
Taylor Swift – Miss Americana (Netflix)
Greta Thunberg – I Am Greta (Hulu)