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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences cut down the list of documentary features that will contend for the Oscar in that category down to 15. The list includes several high-profile 2013 releases like Blackfish and The Armstrong Lie.
Our Turn Productions’ Blackfish is the documentary that exposes Sea World’s controversial practices of keeping Killer Whales in captivity and focuses on the death of a trainer. It aired on CNN and sparked a national conversation about the water entertainment giant. Even Barenaked Ladies cancelled a Sea World show after seeing the documentary.
The Armstrong Lie was directed by Alex Gibney, who previously won Best Documentary Feature for 2007’s Taxi To The Dark Side. The film is about cyclist Lance Armstrong and the lie he continued to live by denying that he used performance enhancing drugs.
Other key documentaries on the list include Roast Beef Productions’ Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, about the feminist punk group jailed in Russia over their political views, and The Act of Killing, which won the documentary award at the Gotham Independent Film Awards last night.
AMPAS members picked the 15 films after seeing 147 documentaries, AMPAS said. The nominees will be announced with the rest of the nominations on Jan. 16 at 5:30 a.m. PT.
The 86th Oscars are set for March 2.
Here’s the full list:
The Act of Killing, Final Cut for Real
The Armstrong Lie, The Kennedy/Marshall Company
Blackfish, Our Turn Productions
The Crash Reel, KP Rides Again
Cutie and the Boxer, Ex Lion Tamer and Cine Mosaic
Dirty Wars, Civic Bakery
First Cousin Once Removed, Experiments in Time, Light & Motion
God Loves Uganda, Full Credit Productions
Life According to Sam, Fine Films
Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer, Roast Beef Productions
The Square, Noujaim Films and Maktube Productions
Stories We Tell, National Film Board of Canada
Tim’s Vermeer, High Delft Pictures
20 Feet from Stardom, Gil Friesen Productions and Tremolo Productions
Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington, Tripoli Street