James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham’s feature-length documentary Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution, and Melissa Haizlip and Sam Pollard’s Mr. SOUL! are among the projects nominated for this year’s Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards.
Winners for the fifth annual event, which celebrates non-fiction films and television docs as chosen by the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA) and Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), will be revealed in a Special Announcement on Nov. 16.
Netflix leads this year’s field with 31 nominations in total, followed by Neon with 14 and Magnolia Pictures with nine. ViacomCBS-backed Showtime, meanwhile, picked up six nominations while HBO, Amazon, National Geographic, PBS ‘Independent Lens’ and Shoes in the Bed Productions took home five nods each.
Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman’s recently shuttered mobile streamer Quibi, which will cease operations on Dec. 1, received one nomination for its short documentary Crescendo!
“In 2020, documentaries have taken us to places and shown us perspectives we’ve never experienced before,” said Christopher Campbell, president of the Critics’ Choice Association Documentary Branch, in a statement. “They’ve chronicled events and life stories that are enlightening and enthralling – and sometimes frightening. The Documentary Branch faced its greatest task yet considering the quantity and quality of non-fiction cinema released this year. Ultimately, these nominees represent the best of the best of a remarkably fruitful moment for documentary filmmaking.”
In terms of specific projects, Crip Camp and Mr. SOUL! lead this year’s nominations with five each, alongside Viktor Kosakovskiy’s Gunda, which looks at the daily life of a pig and its unusual farm animal companions: two cows and a one-legged chicken.
Lebrecht and Newnham’s acclaimed Sundance debut Crip Camp has been nominated for Best Documentary Feature, Best Director, Best Editing, Best Archival Documentary, and Best Historical/Biography Documentary.
Haizlip and Pollard’s Mr. SOUL!, meanwhile, has picked up nominations for Best Documentary Feature, Best First Documentary Feature, Best Narration, Best Archival Documentary, and Best Historical/Biographical Documentary.
Finally, Kosakovskiy’s Gunda has received nods for Best Documentary Feature, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Science/Nature Documentary.
Recognized with four nominations each are Netflix’s Athlete A, Dick Johnson is Dead, and My Octopus Teacher, as well as Neon’s recently-released Totally Under Control from acclaimed documentarian Alex Gibney.
A selection of nominees for the fifth annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards are listed below. For the full list of nominees, visit the Critics’ Choice website.
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Athlete A (Netflix)
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Feels Good Man (Wavelength Productions/PBS ‘Independent Lens’)
The Fight (Magnolia Pictures)
The Go-Go’s (Showtime)
Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
The Painter and the Thief (Neon)
A Secret Love (Netflix)
The Social Dilemma (Netflix)
Time (Amazon Studios)
Garrett Bradley, Time (Amazon Studios)
Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, Athlete A (Netflix)
Kirsten Johnson, Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Victor Kossakovsky, Gunda (Neon)
James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Dawn Porter, John Lewis: Good Trouble (Magnolia Pictures)
Benjamin Ree, The Painter and the Thief (Neon)
BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Robert S. Bader, Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes (HBO)
Chris Bolan, A Secret Love (Netflix)
Melissa Haizlip, Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
Arthur Jones, Feels Good Man (Wavelength Productions/PBS Independent Lens)
Elizabeth Leiter and Kim Woodard, Jane Goodall: The Hope (National Geographic)
Elizabeth Lo, Stray (Magnolia Pictures)
Sasha Joseph Neulinger, Rewind (Grizzly Creek Films/PBS ‘Independent Lens’)