Last week, the International Documentary Association announced its five nominees for Best Documentary and Best Short, along with nominees and recipients of a number of its other awards that will be handed out Friday night December 3 in Los Angeles.
And in somewhat of a departure for the organization – but in keeping with the new tone and direction set by President Eddie Schmidt and Executive Director Michael Lumpkin – the five films selected for Best Documentary largely eschewed political topics, causes and agendas, focusing instead on character studies and artistic themes.
The nominated films are Banksy’s EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, Laura Poitras’ THE OATH, Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen’s STEAM OF LIFE, Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s SWEETGRASS and Lucy Walker’s WASTE LAND.
THE OATH and SWEETGRASS were both previously nominated for the Gotham Award for Best Documentary. STEAM OF LIFE and WASTE LAND both qualified for Oscar consideration through the IDA’s DocuWeeks program.
The IDA also gave a nod to another film about art and burgeoning artists, awarding the Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Filmmaker to MARWENCOL director Jeff Malmberg.
Notably not on the IDA’s list – presumed Oscar frontrunners INSIDE JOB, RESTREPO, A FILM UNFINISHED, THE TILLMAN STORY and WAITING FOR “SUPERMAN”.
In the short film category, HBO nearly swept the nominees, garnering 4 of the 5 nominees for their films, including 2 of last year’s Oscar nominees – THE LAST TRUCK: CLOSING OF A GM PLANT by Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert and THE LAST CAMPAIGN OF GOVERNOR BOOTH GARDNER by Daniel Junge.
Next up on the awards docket is the announcement of this year’s Cinema Eye nominees, coming tomorrow at Doc/Fest in Sheffield, UK.
A full list of IDA nominees is after the jump.