15 features shortlisted for Oscars’ Best Documentary

Some big buzz films moved closer to becoming a 2015 Oscars Best Documentary Feature nominee by making the 15-film shortlist.

Life Itself” about film critic Roger Ebert is on this list, as is exec producer’s Leonardo Dicaprio’s “Virunga” and Laura Poitras’ Edward Snowden doc “CitizenFour“.


Other documentaries like Tribeca-winner “Point and Shoot” and SXSW-winner “The Great Invisible” are films that notably did not make the cut says RealScreen’s Adam Benzine. Both Benzine and Tim Gray of Variety also noted that other bigger-name docs “Red Army”and “Merchants of Doubt” (both screened at TIFF) were passed over by the Academy.

The 15 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title and production company:

“Art and Craft,” Purple Parrot Films
“The Case against 8,” Day in Court
“Citizen Koch,” Elsewhere Films
“CitizenFour,” Praxis Films
“Finding Vivian Maier,” Ravine Pictures
“The Internet’s Own Boy,” Luminant Media
“Jodorowsky’s Dune,” City Film
“Keep On Keepin’ On,” Absolute Clay Productions
“The Kill Team,” f/8 filmworks
“Last Days in Vietnam,” Moxie Firecracker Films
“Life Itself,” Kartemquin Films and Film Rites
“The Overnighters,” Mile End Films West
“The Salt of the Earth,” Decia Films
“Tales of the Grim Sleeper,” Lafayette Film
“Virunga,” Grain Media

For a list of all 134 entries, including Edward Burtynsky and Jennifer Baichwal’s “Watermark”, please see our previous post “Presenting the 2015 Oscars ‘Best Documentary’ longlist“.

The five nominees will be announced on January 15, 2015 at 5:30 am PST.

UPDATE (January 15, 2015)

The nominees for Best Documentary Feature are:


Finding Vivian Maier

Last Days in Vietnam

The Salt of the Earth


The 87th Academy Awards will be broadcast on February 22, 2015 at 7 EST