Among the major snubs in the category is Steve James’s documentary Life Itself, which was considered a frontrunner by many critics and taste-makers. The five nominated docs were culled from a shortlist of 15 and fended off competition from films such as The Case Against 8, The Overnighters, Keep on Keepin’ On and Tales of the Grim Sleeper to secure their spots.
In the Best Documentary – Short Subject category, the five nominees are Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Joanna, Our Curse, White Earth and The Reaper.
This category brought a shock as well, with Lucy Walker’s Cinema Eye Honors-winning short The Lion’s Mouth Opens among the three shorts passed over by the Academy.
Finally, there was also a surprise as a documentary was recognized in the Best Original Song category, with “I’m Not Going to Miss You,” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, earning a nomination.
The full list of nominated non-fiction films, with the names of the directors and producers nominated for Academy Awards, follows below:
Best Documentary Feature
Citizenfour, Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky
Finding Vivian Maier, John Maloof and Charlie Siskel
Last Days in Vietnam, Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester
The Salt of the Earth, Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier
Virunga, Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara
Best Documentary – Short Subject
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
Joanna, Aneta Kopacz
Our Curse, Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki
The Reaper (La Parka), Gabriel Serra Arguello
White Earth, J. Christian Jensen
Best Original Song
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
Music and lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond