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Producers Guild Doc Nominees Include Oscar Frontrunners 'Gatekeepers' & 'Searching for Sugar Man'

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood November 30, 2012 at 3:54PM

The Producers Guild of America has nominated five documentaries in their Documentary Motion Picture category. 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 IDA awards will be announced on December 7 (stay tuned for our report).
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Searching for Sugar Man

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.

This article is related to: Awards, Production , Documentary, Documentaries, Searching for Sugar Man, Awards, Producers Guild Awards


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.