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Nov 06 2015

IDA Nominations Honor Amy,Kurt,Nina and Marlon

Glennhere.The nominations and specialty category winners were announced today for the 31st International Documentary Association Awards.It's a line-up heavy on artist portraits,Ukraine,and films heavy on the use of archive footage.Last year's IDA list featured three eventual Oscar nominees (Finding VivianMaier,Salt of the Earthand the winner of bothCitizenfour),but other years since 2010 the number has only been two.Except 2011 when the IDA people went way off course (in the best possible way) and awardedPatricioGuzman'sNostalgia for the Lightwith no eventual Oscar nominees in their list (Guzman'sThe Pearl Buttondidn't find favor from them this year,though).

I see no reason why this year won't follow that ratio status quo.But firstly let's take a look at the nominees.


  • Amy
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
  • Listen to MeMarlon
  • The Look of Silence
  • The Russian Woodpecker
  • What Happened,MissSimone?

I am extremely pleased to see the excellentRussian Woodpeckercited here.If Oscar could pay attention to that superb examination of paranoia amid the Ukrainian revolution then I would be more than ecstatic.And if you have the chance to see it then do yourself a favour.But what about the rest...

Elsewhere,I still struggle with seeingAmyas an Oscar nominee for various reasons (a win is inevitable if it does,I'm sure),but I wonder if the critics awards will be one-sided again this season forAsifKapadia'spatchwork video scrapbook and allow it to overcome those.Right now I would be predictingMissSimoneandThe Look of Silence.As we've discussed before,Oscar'sdoc branch rarely ever goes for non-fiction films about films soListen to MeMarlonisn't one I'd be looking at (but,hey,you never know!) Might be worth keeping an eye out forThe Black Panthers:Vanguageof the Revolution,although I have heard it is rather rudimentary in its storytelling,which could be a hindrance.


  • Body Team 12
  • ClaudeLanzmann: Spectres of theShoah
  • The Face of Ukraine: CastingOksanaBaiul
  • Last Day of Freedom
  • Object

Three of these -Body Term 12,Spectres of theShoah,andLast Day of Freedom- were recentlyshortlistedby the Academyfor their own doc short category.Safe bet would be on one of those,but the IDA and Oscar rarely have much cross over with this category.Personally,I did a bit of a squeal for KittyGreen'sThe Face of Ukrainebeing nominated.It's so fantastic and Green deserves all the plaudits she gets for both this and her scathing,incredible 2014 feature companionUkraine is Not a Brothel.


  • Best of Enemies
  • Don't Think I've Forgotten:Cambodia'sLost Rock and Roll
  • Night Will Fall
  • What Happened,MissSimone?

I love that a documentary organisation has this category given how essential archival news footage is to so many documentaries.I'd be banking onBest of Enemiessince it makes an entire movie out of televised news (another reason I expect it to resonate with the Academy).


  • ArtemRyzhykov,The Russian Woodpecker


  • JoeBeshenkovskyand Brett Morgen,Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck


  • StevanRiley and PeterEttedgui,Listen to MeMarlon


  • JonathanKirkscey,Best of Enemies

So happy forThe Russian WoodpeckerandMontage of Heckto pick up these well-deserved prizes.The editing of thatCobainflick is exceptional,and the photography ofWoodpeckergoes above and beyond the call of duty of a documentary.The rest of the TV categories (The Jinxbeing the most well-known nominee) can be seenover here.

Have you thoughts changed on the doc categories?What are your hunches?

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Reader Comments (1)

NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT is one of the great docs of the past few years.

November 8,2015 | Unregistered CommenterJoeS

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