The Producers Guild of America has nominated five documentary motion pictures. The documentary field is large and competitive this year, so any spotlight will help Oscar voters make tough choices. Never have so many worthy docs been produced and released into the indie marketplace. The Academy doc branch has already submitted their Oscar short list of 15 which should be announced shortly. The International Documentary Association awards will be announced on December 7 (stay tuned for our report). This week's Oscar Talk podcast delves into the doc race.
The PGA nominees are:
"A People Uncounted" (Director Aaron Yeger; Producers Yeger, Tom Rasky, Marc Swenker, Stephen Chandler Whitehead), "The Gatekeepers" (Dror Moreh; Moreh, Estelle Fialon, Philippa Kowarsky), "The Island President" (Jon Shenk; Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen), "The Other Dream Team" (Marius Markevicius; Markevicius, Jon Weinbach) and "Searching for Sugar Man" (Malik Bendjelloul; Simon Chinn).
Among this selection, only Sony Pictures Classics' "The Gatekeepers" and "Searching for Sugar Man" have frontrunner status on TOH!'s Oscar Predictions Chart. (Our coverage of "Sugar Man" is here, "Gatekeepers" here and "The Island President" here.)
The doc winner at the Gotham Awards was David France's AIDs history "How to Survive a Plague," while those getting a leg up from Indie Spirit Award nominations are: "How to Survive a Plague" (Sundance Selects), Matthew Akers' performance art doc "Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present" (HBO/Music Box), Ken Burns' "The Central Park Five" (PBS/Sundance Selects), Kirby Dick's military rape expose "The Invisible War" (Cinedigm) and self-distributed "The Waiting Room," from feature rookie Peter Nicks, who also was nominated for the Spirits' truer-than-fiction award.
Winners will be named at the 24th Annual Producers Guild Awards on January 26 at the Beverly Hilton. Honorees at the event include Bob and Harvey Weinstein, J.J. Abrams, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner and Russell Simmons, Further nominations for the PGA awards will be announced on January 3.