Saturday, February 25, 2012

85th Oscar Documentary Feature Updates (2012-2013 Awards Season) (2/25/12)

Those who aren’t familiar with this site may find it odd that I would choose to focus on NEXT year’s documentary features on Oscar-Eve. However, I have already finished my Final Predictions for the 84th Oscars, and by this time last year three of the eventual documentary nominees had already played at film festivals, with a fourth already having announced its festival debut, which means that by my standards I’m actually a little late to the party!

In addition to a fantastic crop of Sundance winners, my predictions also reflect the fact that Caesar Must Die took the Golden Bear at Berlin, winning against competition that included well-known dramatic directors. It’s not a guarantee (nothing is at this point), and I haven’t declared it my predicted winner, but it does give it enough momentum to make my top five.

1. Mahamed Nasheed for The Island President (Predicted Winner) (New)
2. Eugene Jarecki for The House I Live In (New)
3. Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady for Detropia (New)
4. Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani for Caesar Must Die (Cesare Deve Morire) (New)
5. Alvaro Longoria for Sons Of The Clouds (Oulad Lemzun) (previous rank 3)

6. Kirby Dick for The Invisible War (New)
7. Ra’anan Alexandrowicz and Liran Atzmor for The Law In These Parts (Chilton Ha Chok) (New)
8. Malik Bendjelloul for Searching For Sugar Man (New)
9. Alison Klayman for Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (New)
10. Emad Burnt and Guy Davidi for 5 Broken Cameras (New)
11. Macky Alston for Love Free Of Die: How The Bishop Of New Hampshire Is Changing The World (New)
12. Laurent Cantet, Benicio Del Toro, Julia Medem, Gaspar Noe, Ellas Suleiman, Juan Carlos Tablo and Pablo Trapero for 7 Days In Havana (7 Dias En La Habana) (previous rank 1)
13. Barbara Holguin for We Of The Saya (Nosotros Los De La Saya) (previous rank 5)
14. Lise Birk Pedersen for Putin’s Kiss (New)
15. Lee Hirsch for The Bully Project (New)
16. Ki-Duk Kim for Arirang (New)
17. Marc Silver for Who Is Dayani Cristal? (previous rank 6)
18. Amy Berg for West Of Memphis (New)
19. David France for How To Survive A Plague (New)
20. Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush for Finding North (previous rank 10)
21. Alexis Hanawalt for Country Mice And City Mice (previous rank 9)
22. Lauren Greenfield for The Queen Of Versailles (New)
23. Bart Layton for The Imposter (New)
24. Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield for Chimpanzee (previous rank 39)
25. David Gelb for Jiro Dreams Of Sushi (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 47)

26. Jeff Orlowski for Chasing Ice (New)
27. Wernr Herzog for Death Row (previous rank 4)
28. Chad Freidrichs for The Pruitt-Igoe Myth (New)
29. Daniel Dorobantu for Tau (previous rank 8)
30. Eugene Martin fr The Anderson Monarchs (previous rank 13)
31. Jens Pfeifer for No Ashes, No Phoenix (Phoenix In Der Asche) (New)
32. Mimi Edmunds for Angkor’s Children (previous rank 11)
33. Rosemary Rawcliffe for Women Of Tibet: The Buddha’s Wife (previous rank 14)
34. Avi Bohbot for The War After (previous rank 15)
35. Campbell Cooley for Batons and Baguettes (previous rank 16)
36. Junko Kajino and Ed Koziarski for Uncanny Terrain (previous rank 17)
37. Risteard O’Dombnail for The Pipe (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 20)
38 Kevin Macdonald for Marley (Ne)
39. Matthew Miele for Scatter My Ashes At Bergdorf’s (previous rank 18)
40. Grover Babckock and Blue Hadaegh for Scenes Of A Crime (New)
41. Mads Brugger for The Ambassador (New)
42. Lea Pool for Pink Ribbons, Inc. (New)
43. Mike Barber for The Past Denied: The Invisible History Of Slavery In Canada (previous rank 35)
44. Caskey Ebeling for Getting Up (New)
45. Walter Matteson for Pretty Old (New)
46. Victor Kossakovsky for Vivan Las Antipodas! (Long Live The Antipodes) (New)
47. Andrew Beck Grace for Eating Alabama (New)
48. Carlos Hernandez for Anything Else Than Air (De Puro Aire) (previous rank 12)
49. Ice-T and Andy Baybutt for Something For Nothing: The Art Of Rap (New)
50. Byron Hunt for Soul Food Junkies (previously listed in 84th Oscar race, rank 19)

As always, check the Tracker Pages in the upper right hand corner of this blog for the most updated predictions in all categories!   
See Documentary feature predictions for other years HERE.
If you’re really into documentaries, check out the Documentary Shorts also.
See predictions for other categories at the 85th Oscars HERE.
Switch to another year: 84th,  85th,  86th,  87th,  88th,  89th  


  1. Wow I'm surprised you have West of Memphis so low. Is it because it comes a year after Paradise Lost 3? because that's my only worry with it when it comes to Oscar.

    1. Yeah, part of it is that I just felt like they wouldn't want to reward the same subject twice, but I also wonder about the Peter Jackson connection. It will surely help in getting the film noticed, but could also end up making it feel too "big" for this branch. Just a hunch though.

  2. I love that on Monday, I won't have to go into Oscar withdrawal. There are others that obsess on Oscar year-round, hooray! I very much appreciate the attention on the less headline grabbing categories. Excellent stuff.

    1. Thank you Katie! There's still a few categories that I haven't updated in a while, but I guess this gives me something to do over the next few weeks After the ceremony.

      Great to meet someone else who is as obsessed as I am!

  3. Hi, I believe when Island president played at TIFF last year the company that acquired it put out a release saying they'd be qualifying it for the 2012 Oscars. As such, I think they actually had a run LAST February - and the film did not get shortlisted. So there is no chance it can win this year...

    1. I hadn't heard that they'd actually gotten their Oscar run last year, and the film didn't show up in the lists that I'd seen of films that qualified.

      But at any rate, I think you're right that it's probably fallen quite a bit from the spotlight since I posted these predictions.