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Academy announces documentary feature shortlist

December 03, 2012|By Glenn Whipp
  • Soul musician Rodriguez is the subject of "Searching for Sugar Man," one of 15 documentaries shortlisted by the academy on Monday.
Soul musician Rodriguez is the subject of "Searching for Sugar Man,"… (Kirk McCoy )

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday its shortlist of 15 documentary feature finalists and, as always, the roll was as notable for its omissions as for its actual titles.

Notably absent were such critically and commercially acclaimed docs as the Peter Jackson-produced West Memphis Three investigation, "West of Memphis," Sundance favorite "Queen of Versailles" and Monday's New York Film Critics Circle winner "The Central Park Five." Another overlooked popular title,  "Paul Williams Still Alive," an in-depth look at the 1970s songwriter and the fickleness of fame, has also often been mentioned as a strong candidate in the original song category.

So, out of the 126 qualifiers, which 15 films will advance in the voting process? Here's the list, chosen by the documentary branch, in alphabetical order, along with the films' production companies. Branch members will now vote for five nominees from among the movies on the shortlist. Early favorites: "The Gatekeepers," which examines the history of Israel'ssecret domestic counterterrorism agency, and the Weinstein Co.'s look at teen cruelty, "Bully."

"Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry,"Never Sorry LLC

"Bully," The Bully Project LLC

"Chasing Ice," Exposure

"Detropia," Loki Films

"Ethel," Moxie Firecracker Films

"5 Broken Cameras," Guy DVD Films

"The Gatekeepers," Les Films du Poisson, Dror Moreh Productions, Cinephil

"The House I Live In,"Charlotte Street Films, LLC

"How to Survive a Plague,"How to Survive a Plague LLC

"The Imposter," Imposter Pictures Ltd.

"The Invisible War," Chain Camera Pictures

"Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God," Jigsaw Productions in association with Wider Film Projects and Below the Radar Films

"Searching for Sugar Man," Red Box Films

"This Is Not a Film," Wide Management

"The Waiting Room,"Open'hood, Inc.


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Glenn Whipp

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