The Info List - Academy Award For Best Documentary Feature

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The Academy Award for Documentary Feature is an award for documentary films. In 1941, the first awards for feature-length documentaries were bestowed as Special
Awards to Kukan and Target for Tonight.[1] They have since been bestowed competitively each year, with the exception of 1946.


1 Winners and nominees

1.1 1940s 1.2 1950s 1.3 1960s 1.4 1970s 1.5 1980s 1.6 1990s 1.7 2000s 1.8 2010s

2 Notes 3 Superlatives 4 Controversies 5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Winners and nominees[edit] Following the Academy's practice, films are listed below by the award year (that is, the year they were released under the Academy's rules for eligibility). In practice, due to the limited nature of documentary distribution, a film may be released in different years in different venues, sometimes years after production is complete. 1940s[edit]

Year Film Nominees

1942 (15th) [note 1]

The Battle of Midway United States
United States

Kokoda Front Line! Australian News & Information Bureau

Moscow Strikes Back Artkino

Prelude to War United States
United States
Army Special

Africa, Prelude to Victory The March of Time

Combat Report United States
United States
Army Signal Corps

Conquer by the Clock Frederic Ullman Jr.

The Grain That Built a Hemisphere Walt Disney

Henry Browne, Farmer United States
United States
Department of Agriculture

High Over the Borders National Film
Board of Canada

High Stakes in the East The Netherlands Information Bureau

Inside Fighting China National Film
Board of Canada

It's Everybody's War United States
United States
Office of War Information

Listen to Britain British Ministry of Information

Little Belgium British Ministry of Information

Little Isles of Freedom Victor Stoloff and Edgar Loew

Mr. Blabbermouth United States
United States
Office of War Information

Mr. Gardenia Jones United States
United States
Office of War Information

The New Spirit Walt Disney

The Price of Victory William H. Pine

A Ship Is Born United States
United States
Merchant Marine

Twenty-One Miles British Ministry of Information

We Refuse to Die William C. Thomas

The White Eagle Concanen Films

Winning Your Wings United States
United States
Army Air Force

1943 (16th) [note 2] [2]

Desert Victory British Ministry of Information

Baptism of Fire United States
United States

The Battle of Russia United States
United States
Department of War Special
Service Division

Report from the Aleutians United States
United States
Army Pictorial Service

War Department Report United States
United States
Office of Strategic Services
Office of Strategic Services
Field Photographic Bureau

1944 (17th)

The Fighting Lady United States
United States

Resisting Enemy Interrogation United States
United States
Army Air Force

1945 (18th)

The True Glory The Governments of Great Britain and the United States
United States
of America

The Last Bomb United States
United States
Army Air Force

1946 (19th)

No award given

1947 (20th)

Design for Death Sid Rogell, Theron Warth and Richard Fleischer

Journey into Medicine United States
United States
Department of State Office of Information and Educational Exchange

The World Is Rich Paul Rotha

1948 (21st)

The Secret Land Orville O. Dull

The Quiet One Janice Loeb

1949 (22nd)

Daybreak in Udi Crown Film

Kenji Comes Home Paul F. Heard


Year Film Nominees

1950 (23rd)

The Titan: Story of Michelangelo Robert Snyder

With These Hands Jack Arnold and Lee Goodman

1951 (24th)

Kon-Tiki Olle Nordemar

I Was a Communist for the F.B.I. Bryan Foy

1952 (25th)

The Sea Around Us Irwin Allen

The Hoaxters Dore Schary

Navajo Hall Bartlett

1953 (26th)

The Living Desert Walt Disney

The Conquest of Everest John Taylor, Leon Clore and Grahame Tharp

A Queen Is Crowned Castleton Knight

1954 (27th)

The Vanishing Prairie Walt Disney

The Stratford Adventure Guy Glover

1955 (28th)

Helen Keller in Her Story Nancy Hamilton

Heartbreak Ridge Rene Risacher

1956 (29th)

The Silent World Jacques-Yves Cousteau

The Naked Eye Louis Clyde Stoumen

Where Mountains Float The Government Film
Committee of Denmark

1957 (30th)

Albert Schweitzer Jerome Hill

On the Bowery Lionel Rogosin

Torero! Manuel Barbachano Ponce

1958 (31st)

White Wilderness Ben Sharpsteen

Antarctic Crossing James Carr

The Hidden World Robert Snyder

Psychiatric Nursing Nathan Zucker

1959 (32nd)

Serengeti Shall Not Die Bernhard Grzimek

The Race for Space David L. Wolper


Year Film Nominees

1960 (33rd)

The Horse with the Flying Tail Larry Lansburgh

Rebel in Paradise Robert D. Fraser

1961 (34th)

Le Ciel et la Boue (Sky Above and Mud Beneath) Arthur Cohn
Arthur Cohn
and Rene Lafuite

La Grande Olimpiade (Olympic Games 1960) dell Istituto Nazionale Luce, Comitato Organizzatore Del Giochi Della XVII Olimpiade

1962 (35th)

Black Fox Louis Clyde Stoumen

Alvorada (Brazil's Changing Face) Hugo Niebeling

1963 (36th) [note 3][2]

Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel with the World Robert Hughes

Le Maillon et la Chaine (The Link and the Chain) Paul de Roubaix

The Yanks Are Coming Marshall Flaum

1964 (37th)

Jacques-Yves Cousteau's World without Sun Jacques-Yves Cousteau

The Finest Hours Jack Le Vien

Four Days in November Mel Stuart

The Human Dutch Bert Haanstra

Over There, 1914-18 Jean Aurel

1965 (38th)

The Eleanor Roosevelt Story Sidney Glazier

The Battle of the Bulge... The Brave Rifles Laurence E. Mascott

The Forth Road Bridge Peter Mills

Let My People Go Marshall Flaum

To Die in Madrid Frédéric Rossif

1966 (39th)

The War Game Peter Watkins

The Face of a Genius Alfred R. Kelman

Helicopter Canada Peter Jones and Tom Daly

The Really Big Family Alex Grasshoff

Le Volcan Interdit (The Forbidden Volcano) Haroun Tazieff

1967 (40th)

The Anderson Platoon Pierre Schoendoerffer

Festival Murray Lerner

Harvest Carroll Ballard

A King's Story Jack Le Vien

A Time for Burning William C. Jersey

1968 (41st) [note 4][2]

Journey into Self Bill McGaw

A Few Notes on Our Food Problem James Blue

The Legendary Champions William Cayton

Other Voices David H. Sawyer

1969 (42nd)

Arthur Rubinstein – The Love of Life Bernard Chevry

Before the Mountain Was Moved Robert K. Sharpe

In the Year of the Pig Emile de Antonio

The Olympics in Mexico Comite Organizador de los Juegos de la XIX Olimpiada

The Wolf Men Irwin Rosten


Year Film Nominees

1970 (43rd)

Woodstock Bob Maurice

Chariots of the Gods Dr. Harald Reinl

Jack Johnson Jim Jacobs

King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis Ely Landau

Say Goodbye David H. Vowell

1971 (44th)

The Hellstrom Chronicle Walon Green

Alaska Wilderness Lake Alan Landsburg

On Any Sunday Bruce Brown

The RA Expeditions Lennart Ehrenborg and Thor Heyerdahl

The Sorrow and the Pity Marcel Ophüls

1972 (45th)

Marjoe Howard Smith and Sarah Kernochan

Ape and Super-Ape Bert Haanstra

Malcolm X Marvin Worth and Arnold Perl

Manson Robert Hendrickson and Laurence Merrick

The Silent Revolution Eckehard Munck

1973 (46th)

The Great American Cowboy Kieth Merrill

Always a New Beginning John D. Goodell

Battle of Berlin Bengt von zur Muehlen

Journey to the Outer Limits Alexander Grasshoff

Walls of Fire Gertrude Ross Marks and Edmund F. Penney

1974 (47th)

Hearts and Minds Peter Davis and Bert Schneider

Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman Judy Collins
Judy Collins
and Jill Godmilow

The Challenge... A Tribute to Modern Art Herbert Kline

The 81st Blow Jacquot Ehrlich, David Bergman and Haim Gouri

The Wild and the Brave Natalie R. Jones and Eugene S. Jones

1975 (48th)

The Man
Who Skied Down Everest F. R. Crawley, James Hager and Dale Hartlebe[3]

The California Reich Walter F. Parkes and Keith F. Critchlow

Fighting for Our Lives Glen Pearcy

The Incredible Machine Irwin Rosten

The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir Shirley MacLaine

1976 (49th)

Harlan County, U.S.A. Barbara Kopple

Hollywood on Trial James Gutman and David Helpern Jr.

Off the Edge Michael Firth

People of the Wind Anthony Howarth and David Koff

Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry Donald Brittain and Robert Duncan

1977 (50th)

Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids? John Korty, Dan McCann and Warren L. Lockhart

The Children of Theatre Street Robert Dornhelm and Earle Mack

High Grass Circus Bill Brind, Torben Schioler and Tony Ianzelo

Homage to Chagall: The Colours of Love Harry Rasky

Union Maids Jim Klein (de), Julia Reichert and Miles Mogulescu

1978 (51st)

Scared Straight! Arnold Shapiro

The Lovers' Wind Albert Lamorisse

Mysterious Castles of Clay Alan Root

Raoni Jean-Pierre Dutilleux, Barry Williams and Michel Gast

With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women's Emergency Brigade Anne Bohlen, Lyn Goldfarb and Lorraine Gray

1979 (52nd)

Best Boy Ira Wohl

Generation on the Wind David A. Vassar

Going the Distance Paul Cowan and Jacques Bobet

The Killing Ground Steve Singer and Tom Priestley

The War at Home Glenn Silber and Barry Alexander Brown


Year Film Nominees

1980 (53rd)

From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China Murray Lerner

Agee Ross Spears

The Day After Trinity Jon Else

Front Line David Bradbury

The Yellow Star: The Persecution of the Jews in Europe 1933-45 Bengt von zur Muehlen and Arthur Cohn

1981 (54th)

Genocide Arnold Schwartzman and Rabbi Marvin Hier

Against Wind and Tide: A Cuban Odyssey Suzanne Bauman, Paul Neshamkin and Jim Burroughs

Brooklyn Bridge Ken Burns

Eight Minutes to Midnight: A Portrait of Dr. Helen Caldicott Mary Benjamin, Susanne Simpson and Boyd Estus

El Salvador: Another Vietnam Glenn Silber and Tete Vasconcellos

1982 (55th)

Just Another Missing Kid John Zaritsky

After the Axe Sturla Gunnarsson
Sturla Gunnarsson
and Steve Lucas

Ben's Mill John Karol and Michel Chalufour

In Our Water Meg Switzgable

A Portrait of Giselle Joseph Wishy

1983 (56th)

He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin' Emile Ardolino

Children of Darkness Richard Kotuk
Richard Kotuk
and Ara Chekmayan

First Contact Bob Connolly
Bob Connolly
and Robin Anderson

The Profession of Arms Michael Bryans and Tina Viljoen

Seeing Red James Klein and Julia Reichert

1984 (57th)

The Times of Harvey Milk Rob Epstein
Rob Epstein
and Richard Schmiechen

High Schools Charles Guggenheim and Nancy Sloss

In the Name of the People Alex W. Drehsler and Frank Christopher

Marlene Karel Dirka and Zev Braun

Streetwise Cheryl McCall

1985 (58th)

Broken Rainbow Maria Florio and Victoria Mudd

Las Madres: The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo Susana Blaustein Muñoz and Lourdes Portillo

Soldiers in Hiding Japhet Asher

The Statue of Liberty Ken Burns
Ken Burns
and Buddy Squires

Unfinished Business Steven Okazaki

1986 (59th) [note 5]

Artie Shaw: Time Is All You've Got Brigitte Berman

Down and Out in America Joseph Feury and Milton Justice

Chile: Hasta Cuando? David Bradbury

Isaac in America: A Journey with Isaac Bashevis Singer Kirk Simon and Amram Nowak

Witness to Apartheid Sharon I. Sopher

1987 (60th)

The Ten-Year Lunch: The Wit and Legend of the Algonquin Round Table Aviva Slesin

Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years/Bridge to Freedom 1965 Callie Crossley
Callie Crossley
and James A. DeVinney

Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima John Junkerman and John W. Dower

Radio Bikini Robert Stone

A Stitch for Time Barbara Herbich and Cyril Christo

1988 (61st)

Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie Marcel Ophüls

The Cry of Reason - Beyers Naudé: An Afrikaner Speaks Out Robert Bilheimer
Robert Bilheimer
and Ronald Mix

Let's Get Lost Bruce Weber and Nan Bush

Promises to Keep Ginny Durrin

Who Killed Vincent Chin? Renee Tajima-Peña
Renee Tajima-Peña
and Christine Choy

1989 (62nd)

Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt Rob Epstein
Rob Epstein
and Bill Couturié

Adam Clayton Powell Richard Kilberg and Yvonne Smith

Crack USA: County Under Siege Vince DiPersio and William Guttentag

For All Mankind Al Reinert and Betsy Broyles Breier

Super Chief: The Life and Legacy of Earl Warren Judith Leonard and Bill Jersey


Year Film Nominees

1990 (63rd)

American Dream Barbara Kopple
Barbara Kopple
and Arthur Cohn

Berkeley in the Sixties Mark Kitchell

Building Bombs Mark Mori and Susan Robinson

Forever Activists: Stories from the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Judith Montell

Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter's Journey Robert Hillmann and Eugene Corr

1991 (64th)

In the Shadow of the Stars Allie Light and Irving Saraf

Death on the Job Vince DiPersio and William Guttentag

Doing Time: Life Inside the Big House Alan Raymond and Susan Raymond

The Restless Conscience: Resistance to Hitler Within Germany 1933-1945 Hava Kohav Beller

Wild by Law Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey

1992 (65th)

The Panama Deception Barbara Trent and David Kasper

Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker David Haugland

Fires of Kuwait Sally Dundas

Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II Bill Miles and Nina Rosenblum

Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann Margaret Smilow and Roma Baran

1993 (66th)

I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School Susan Raymond and Alan Raymond

The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter David Paperny and Arthur Ginsberg

Children of Fate Susan Todd and Andrew Young

For Better or For Worse David Collier and Betsy Thompson

The War Room D. A. Pennebaker
D. A. Pennebaker
and Chris Hegedus

1994 (67th)

Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision Freida Lee Mock

Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter Deborah Hoffmann

D-Day Remembered Charles Guggenheim

Freedom on My Mind Connie Field and Marilyn Mulford

A Great Day in Harlem Jean Bach

1995 (68th)

Anne Frank Remembered Jon Blair

The Battle Over Citizen Kane Thomas Lennon and Michael Epstein

Fiddlefest: Roberta Tzavaras and Her East Harlem Violin Program Allan Miller and Walter Scheuer

Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream Mike Tollin and Fredric Golding

Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern Jeanne Jordan and Steven Ascher

1996 (69th)

When We Were Kings Leon Gast
Leon Gast
and David Sonenberg

The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story Susan W. Dryfoos

Mandela Jo Menell and Angus Gibson

Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse Anne Belle and Deborah Dickson

Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press Rick Goldsmith

1997 (70th)

The Long Way Home Marvin Hier
Marvin Hier
and Richard Trank

Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life Michael Paxton

Colors Straight Up Michèle Ohayon and Julia Schachter

4 Little Girls Spike Lee
Spike Lee
and Sam Pollard

Waco: The Rules of Engagement Dan Gifford and William Gazecki

1998 (71st)

The Last Days James Moll and Kenneth Lipper

Dancemaker Matthew Diamond and Jerry Kupfer

The Farm: Angola, U.S.A. Jonathan Stack
Jonathan Stack
and Liz Garbus

Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth Robert B. Weide

Regret to Inform Barbara Sonneborn and Janet Cole

1999 (72nd)

One Day in September Arthur Cohn
Arthur Cohn
and Kevin Macdonald

Buena Vista Social Club Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders
and Ulrich Felsberg

Genghis Blues Roko Belic and Adrian Belic

On the Ropes Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen

Speaking in Strings Paola di Florio and Lilibet Foster


Year Film Nominees

2000 (73rd)

Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport Mark Jonathan Harris and Deborah Oppenheimer

Legacy Tod Lending

Long Night's Journey into Day Deborah Hoffmann and Frances Reid

Scottsboro: An American Tragedy Daniel Anker and Barak Goodman

Sound and Fury Josh Aronson and Roger Weisberg

2001 (74th)

Murder on a Sunday Morning Jean-Xavier de Lestrade and Denis Poncet

Children Underground Edet Belzberg

LaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton Deborah Dickson and Susan Frömke

Promises B.Z. Goldberg and Justine Shapiro

War Photographer Christian Frei

2002 (75th)

Bowling for Columbine Michael Moore
Michael Moore
and Michael Donovan

Daughter from Danang Gail Dolgin
Gail Dolgin
and Vicente Franco

Prisoner of Paradise Malcolm Clarke and Stuart Sender

Spellbound Jeffrey Blitz
Jeffrey Blitz
and Sean Welch

Winged Migration Jacques Perrin

2003 (76th)

The Fog of War Errol Morris
Errol Morris
and Michael Williams

Balseros Carlos Bosch and Josep Maria Domenech

Capturing the Friedmans Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling

My Architect Nathaniel Kahn
Nathaniel Kahn
and Susan R. Behr

The Weather Underground Sam Green and Bill Siegel

2004 (77th)

Born into Brothels Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski

The Story of the Weeping Camel Byambasuren Davaa and Luigi Falorni

Super Size Me Morgan Spurlock

Tupac: Resurrection Karolyn Ali and Lauren Lazin

Twist of Faith Kirby Dick
Kirby Dick
and Eddie Schmidt

2005 (78th)

March of the Penguins Luc Jacquet and Yves Darondeau

Darwin's Nightmare Hubert Sauper

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room Alex Gibney
Alex Gibney
and Jason Kliot

Murderball Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro

Street Fight Marshall Curry

2006 (79th)

An Inconvenient Truth Davis Guggenheim

Deliver Us from Evil Amy Berg and Frank Donner

Iraq in Fragments James Longley and John Sinno

Jesus Camp Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady

My Country, My Country Jocelyn Glatzer and Laura Poitras

2007 (80th)

Taxi to the Dark Side Alex Gibney
Alex Gibney
and Eva Orner

No End in Sight Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience Richard Robbins

Sicko Michael Moore
Michael Moore
and Meghan O'Hara

War/Dance Sean Fine
Sean Fine
and Andrea Nix Fine

2008 (81st)

on Wire Simon Chinn
Simon Chinn
and James Marsh

The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) Ellen Kuras
Ellen Kuras
and Thavisouk Phrasavath

Encounters at the End of the World Werner Herzog
Werner Herzog
and Henry Kaiser

The Garden Scott Hamilton Kennedy

Trouble the Water Carl Deal
Carl Deal
and Tia Lessin

2009 (82nd)

The Cove Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens

Burma VJ Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller

Food, Inc. Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein

The Most Dangerous Man
in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers Judith Ehrlich
Judith Ehrlich
and Rick Goldsmith

Which Way Home Rebecca Cammisa


Year Film Nominees

2010 (83rd)

Inside Job Charles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

Exit Through the Gift Shop Banksy
and Jaimie D'Cruz

Gasland Josh Fox
Josh Fox
and Trish Adlesic

Restrepo Tim Hetherington
Tim Hetherington
and Sebastian Junger

Waste Land Lucy Walker and Angus Aynsley

2011 (84th)

Undefeated T. J. Martin, Daniel Lindsay and Rich Middlemas

Hell and Back Again Danfung Dennis
Danfung Dennis
and Mike Lerner

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front Marshall Curry
Marshall Curry
and Sam Cullman

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky

Pina Wim Wenders
Wim Wenders
and Gian-Piero Ringel

2012 (85th)

Searching for Sugar Man Malik Bendjelloul
Malik Bendjelloul
and Simon Chinn

5 Broken Cameras Emad Burnat
Emad Burnat
and Guy Davidi

The Gatekeepers Dror Moreh, Philippa Kowarsky, and Estelle Fialon

How to Survive a Plague David France and Howard Gertler

The Invisible War Kirby Dick
Kirby Dick
and Amy Ziering

2013 (86th)

20 Feet from Stardom Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers

The Act of Killing Joshua Oppenheimer
Joshua Oppenheimer
and Signe Byrge Sørensen

Cutie and the Boxer Zachary Heinzerling and Lydia Dean Pilcher

Dirty Wars Richard Rowley and Jeremy Scahill

The Square Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer

2014 (87th)

Citizenfour Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky

Finding Vivian Maier John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

Last Days in Vietnam Rory Kennedy
Rory Kennedy
and Kevin McAlester

The Salt of the Earth Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier

Virunga Orlando von Einsiedel
Orlando von Einsiedel
and Joanna Natasegara

2015 (88th)

Amy Asif Kapadia
Asif Kapadia
and James Gay-Rees

Cartel Land Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin

The Look of Silence Joshua Oppenheimer
Joshua Oppenheimer
and Signe Byrge Sørensen

What Happened, Miss Simone? Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes

Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor

2016 (89th) [4]

O.J.: Made in America Ezra Edelman
Ezra Edelman
and Caroline Waterlow

Fire at Sea Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo

I Am Not Your Negro Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck

Life, Animated Roger Ross Williams
Roger Ross Williams
and Julie Goldman

13th Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish

2017 (90th) [5]

Icarus Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail Steve James, Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman

Faces Places Agnès Varda, JR and Rosalie Varda

Last Men in Aleppo Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed and Søren Steen Jespersen

Strong Island Yance Ford
Yance Ford
and Joslyn Barnes


^ In 1942, documentary features and short subjects competed together for Best Documentary. Four special awards were bestowed among the 25 nominees. ^ A preliminary list of eight films were announced as nominees, but the Documentary Award Committee subsequently narrowed the field to five titles included on the final ballot. The films that did not advance were: For God and Country ( United States
United States
Army Pictorial Service), Silent Village (British Ministry of Information), and We've Come a Long, Long Way (Negro Marches On, Inc.). ^ Terminus was originally announced as a nominee, but the nomination was rescinded after it was discovered the film had been released prior to the eligibility period. ^ Young Americans, produced by Robert Cohn and Alex Grasshoff, won this award on April 14, 1969. On May 7, 1969, the win and nomination were rescinded after it was discovered the film had been released prior to the eligibility period. First runner-up Journey into Self was named the winner the following day. ^ A tie in voting resulted in two winners.

Superlatives[edit] For this Academy Award category, the following superlatives emerge:[6]

Most awards: Walt Disney
Walt Disney
– 3 awards (resulting from 7 nominations) Most nominations: Charles Guggenheim – 10 nominations (resulting in 3 awards)

Controversies[edit] Many critically acclaimed documentaries were never nominated. Examples include Salesman, Dont Look Back, Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens, Sans Soleil, Shoah, The Thin Blue Line, Roger & Me, Touching The Void, Hoop Dreams, Wordplay, Crumb, Paris is Burning, Position Among the Stars, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Grizzly Man, The Interrupters, The Last Waltz, Stories We Tell, Crime After Crime, Waltz with Bashir, Project Nim, Blackfish, Rivers and Tides, Waiting for "Superman", The King
of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Senna, We Were Here, Nostalgia for the Light, Red Army, Life Itself, The Overnighters, The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, Listen to Me Marlon, any entry from the Up Series, Hitchcock/Truffaut, Best of Enemies, Heart of a Dog, Cameraperson, Tower, Weiner, Jane, City of Ghosts and Fahrenheit 9/11
Fahrenheit 9/11
(see below). Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11, at the time the highest-grossing documentary film in movie history, was ruled ineligible because Moore had opted to have it played on television prior to the 2004 election. Previously, the 1982 winner Just Another Missing Kid had already been broadcast in Canada and won that country's ACTRA award for excellence in television at the time of its nomination. The controversy over Hoop Dreams' exclusion was enough to have the Academy Awards
Academy Awards
begin the process to change its documentary voting system.[7] Roger Ebert, who had declared it to be the best 1994 movie of any kind, looked into its failure to receive a nomination: "We learned, through very reliable sources, that the members of the committee had a system. They carried little flashlights. When one gave up on a film, he waved a light on the screen. When a majority of flashlights had voted, the film was switched off. "Hoop Dreams" was stopped after 15 minutes."[8] The Academy's executive director, Bruce Davis, took the unprecedented step of asking accounting firm Price Waterhouse
Price Waterhouse
to turn over the complete results of that year's voting, in which members of the committee had rated each of the 63 eligible documentaries on a scale of six to ten. "What I found," said Davis, "is that a small group of members gave zeros (actually low scores) to every single film except the five they wanted to see nominated. And they gave tens to those five, which completely skewed the voting. There was one film that received more scores of ten than any other, but it wasn't nominated. It also got zeros (low scores) from those few voters, and that was enough to push it to sixth place."[9] In 2000, Arthur Cohn, the producer of the winning One Day in September boasted, "I won this without showing it in a single theater!" Cohn had hit upon the tactic of showing his Oscar entries at invitation-only screenings, and to as few other people as possible. Oscar bylaws at the time required voters to have seen all five nominated documentaries; by limiting his audience, Cohn shrank the voting pool and improved his odds. Following protests by many documentarians, the nominating system was subsequently changed.[10] Hoop Dreams
Hoop Dreams
director Steve James said "With so few people looking at any given film, it only takes one to dislike a film and its chances for making the short list are diminished greatly. So they’ve got to do something, I think, to make the process more sane for deciding the shortlist."[11] Among other rule changes taking effect in 2013,[12] the Academy began requiring a documentary to have been reviewed by either the New York Times
New York Times
or Los Angeles Times, and be commercially released for at least one week in both of those cities. Advocating for the rule change, Michael Moore
Michael Moore
said, "When people get the award for best documentary and they go on stage and thank the Academy, it's not really the Academy, is it? It's 5% of the Academy."[11] The awards process has also been criticized for emphasizing a documentary's subject matter over its style or quality. In 2009, Entertainment Weekly's Owen Gleiberman wrote about the documentary branch members' penchant for choosing "movies that the selection committee deemed good because they’re good for you... a kind of self-defeating aesthetic of granola documentary correctness."[13] In 2014, following the announcement of the shortlist of eligible feature documentary nominees, Sony Pictures Classics
Sony Pictures Classics
co-president Tom Bernard publicly criticized Academy documentary voters after they excluded SPC's Red Army from the shortlist. "It's a sign of some really old people in the documentary area of the Academy. There's a lot of people who are really up in their years. It's shocking to me that that film (Red Army) didn't get in,” Bernard said.[14] Additionally, in his reporting of the Oscar documentary shortlist exclusions that year, The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg reacted to Red Army’s omission: “...no matter which 15 titles the doc branch selected, plenty of other great ones would be left on the outside. That is the case, most egregiously, with Gabe Polsky's Red Army (Sony Classics), a masterful look at the role of sports in society and Russian-American relations."[15] In 2017, following the win of the eight-hour O.J.: Made in America in this category, the Academy announced that multi-part and limited series would be ineligible for the award in the future, even if they are not broadcast after their Oscar-qualifying release (as was O.J.: Made in America).[16] Although documentaries are eligible for the Academy Award for Best Picture, none has yet earned a nomination. Documentaries are ineligible for the other awards such as Best Original Screenplay and Best Director due to their realistic elements. See also[edit]

BAFTA Award for Best Documentary Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) Independent Spirit Award for Best Documentary Feature Critics' Choice Movie Award for Best Documentary Feature


^ Fisher, Bob (2012). "The Drive to Archive: Academy Pushes to Preserve Docs". International Documentary Association. Retrieved January 4, 2018.  ^ a b c "The Official Academy Awards
Academy Awards
Database". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved January 4, 2018.  ^ "The 48th Academy Awards". Retrieved September 29, 2015.  ^ " Academy Awards
Academy Awards
2017: Complete list of Oscar winners and nominees". Los Angeles Times. February 26, 2017. Retrieved January 8, 2018.  ^ Hipes, Patrick (January 23, 2018). "Oscar Nominations: 'The Shape Of Water' Leads Way With 13". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 23, 2018.  ^ Academy Award Statistics Archived 2009-03-01 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Steve James, Frederick Marx and Peter Gilbert: Hoop Dreams: from short subject to major league"; current.org; July 30, 1995. Archived June 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Ebert, Roger. "The great American documentary – Roger Ebert's Journal – Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com.  ^ Pond, Steve, The Big Show: High Times and Dirty Dealings Backstage at the Academy Awards, pg. 74, Faber and Faber, 2005 ^ Ebert, Roger. "One Day In September Movie Review (2001) – Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com.  ^ a b Team, Indiewire. "Michael Moore: Best Documentary Oscar Will Be Chosen By the Full Academy – IndieWire". www.indiewire.com.  ^ "The OTHER Oscars: Best Documentary Feature –". CraveOnline. 31 January 2014.  ^ "Oscar documentary scandal: The real reason that too many good movies got left out". ew.com. 20 November 2009.  ^ "Sony Classics' Tom Bernard Slams Oscar Voters For Snubbing Russian Hockey Doc 'Red Army'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-11-27.  ^ "Oscar Doc Shortlist: A Brutal Year to Have to Select Just 15 Finalists". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-11-27.  ^ McNary, Dave (2017-04-07). "Oscars: New Rules Bar Multi-Part Documentaries Like 'O.J.: Made in America'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-05-30. 

External links[edit]

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
official site

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Academy Awards

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
(AMPAS) Records Most wins per ceremony Oscar season Governors Awards Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting Pre-show

Awards of Merit

Best Picture Director Actor Actress Supporting Actor Supporting Actress Adapted Screenplay Original Screenplay Animated Feature Documentary Feature Foreign Language Film Animated Short Film Documentary Short Subject Live Action Short Film Cinematography Costume Design Film
Editing Makeup and Hairstyling Original Score Original Song Production Design Sound Editing Sound Mixing Visual Effects


Governors Awards

Academy Honorary Award Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award Special
Achievement Academy Award

Academy Scientific and Technical Awards

Academy Award of Merit (non-competitive) Scientific and Engineering Award Technical Achievement Award John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation Gordon E. Sawyer Award

Student Awards

Student Academy Award

Former awards

Merit Awards

Assistant Director Dance Direction Story


Academy Juvenile Award


(List Book)

1927/28 1928/29 1929/30 1930/31 1931/32 1932/33 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017


‡ Dates and years listed for each ceremony were the eligibility period of film release in Los Angeles County. For the first five ceremonies, the eligibility period was done on a seasonal basis, from August to July. For the 6th ceremony, held in 1934, the eligibility period lasted from August 1, 1932 to December 31, 1933. Since the 7th ceremony held in 1935, the period of eligibility became the full previous calendar year from January 1 to December 31.

Book Category Portal

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Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature


The Battle of Midway / Kokoda Front Line! / Moscow Strikes Back
Moscow Strikes Back
/ Prelude to War
Prelude to War
(1942) Desert Victory
Desert Victory
(1943) The Fighting Lady
The Fighting Lady
(1944) The True Glory (1945) None given (1946) Design for Death (1947) The Secret Land
The Secret Land
(1948) Daybreak in Udi (1949) The Titan: Story of Michelangelo (1950) Kon-Tiki (1951) The Sea Around Us (1952) The Living Desert (1953) The Vanishing Prairie (1954) Helen Keller in Her Story
Helen Keller in Her Story
(1955) The Silent World
The Silent World
(1956) Albert Schweitzer (1957) White Wilderness (1958) Serengeti Shall Not Die
Serengeti Shall Not Die
(1959) The Horse with the Flying Tail
The Horse with the Flying Tail
(1960) Sky Above and Mud Beneath (1961) Black Fox: The Rise and Fall of Adolf Hitler (1962) Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel with the World (1963) World Without Sun (1964) The Eleanor Roosevelt Story (1965) The War Game
The War Game
(1966) The Anderson Platoon
The Anderson Platoon
(1967) Journey into Self (1968) Arthur Rubinstein – The Love of Life (1969) Woodstock (1970) The Hellstrom Chronicle
The Hellstrom Chronicle
(1971) Marjoe
(1972) The Great American Cowboy
The Great American Cowboy
(1973) Hearts and Minds (1974) The Man Who Skied Down Everest
The Man Who Skied Down Everest


Harlan County, USA
Harlan County, USA
(1976) Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids?
Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids?
(1977) Scared Straight!
Scared Straight!
(1978) Best Boy (1979) From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China (1980) Genocide (1981) Just Another Missing Kid (1982) He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin' (1983) The Times of Harvey Milk
The Times of Harvey Milk
(1984) Broken Rainbow (1985) Artie Shaw: Time Is All You've Got / Down and Out in America (1986) The Ten-Year Lunch (1987) Hôtel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie (1988) Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989) American Dream (1990) In the Shadow of the Stars
In the Shadow of the Stars
(1991) The Panama Deception (1992) I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School (1993) Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (1994) Anne Frank Remembered
Anne Frank Remembered
(1995) When We Were Kings
When We Were Kings
(1996) The Long Way Home (1997) The Last Days
The Last Days
(1998) One Day in September
One Day in September
(1999) Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport (2000)


Murder on a Sunday Morning
Murder on a Sunday Morning
(2001) Bowling for Columbine
Bowling for Columbine
(2002) The Fog of War
The Fog of War
(2003) Born into Brothels (2004) March of the Penguins (2005) An Inconvenient Truth
An Inconvenient Truth
(2006) Taxi to the Dark Side
Taxi to the Dark Side
(2007) Man
on Wire (2008) The Cove (2009) Inside Job (2010) Undefeated (2011) Searching for Sugar Man
(2012) 20 Feet from Stardom
20 Feet from Stardom
(2013) Citizenfour‎ (2014) Amy (2015) O.J.: Made in America (2