One of These Documentaries Will Be An Oscar Winner Come February

As is their wont, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced the fifteen documentary titles that round out their shortlist for the Academy Award for Documentary Feature. The newly-announced titles will now “advance in the voting process” in order to whittle the list down to the requisite five final nominees. In short terms, one of the fifteen films listed below is an Oscar winner in the making. Exciting! Still more exciting? Looks like our own Chris Campbell’s hypothesis that Searching for Sugar Man is a guaranteed lock for a nomination is inching ever-closer to fruition. Victory!

The fifteen titles that make up the shortlist are as follows (listed alphabetically, per the Academy): Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Bully, Chasing Ice, Detropia, Ethel, 5 Broken Cameras, The Gatekeepers, The House I Live In, How to Survive a Plague, The Imposter, The Invisible War, Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Searching for Sugar Man, This Is Not a Film, and The Waiting Room.

The Documentary Feature nominees were picked by the Academy’s Documentary Branch, whose members will now pick the five nominees from this list. The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10th at 5:30 A.M. PT (you know, for laughs). Nomination voting begins on December 17th and all ballots are due on January 3rd. Final voting kicks off on February 8th and ends on February 19th. The 85th Annual Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday, February 24th.

Fun fact! Did you know that documentaries are eligible for Best Picture, yet none have ever been nominated for the award? [Press Release]

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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