2016 Oscar Predictions – Best Documentary Feature

2016 OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

(UPDATED: JANUARY 13, 2016) – FINAL PREDICTIONS

With fifteen films in the running, we need to brace for some shocking inclusions and exclusions.  “The Look of Silence” and “Amy” both feel safe at the moment and I find it hard to see an Academy member watching “Winter on Fire” and not checking if off on the ballot.  “Going Clear” came in with Emmy attention already, and I’m not sure how much that will carry with the voters.  That leaves on spot and I’m going with the smartly constructed “Best of Enemies,” just squeaking by “Listen to Me Marlon.”

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AND THE PREDICTED NOMINEES ARE

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1. "The Look of Silence"

Joshua Oppenheimer
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The follow-up to "The Act of Killing" was loved by many, though not as large as his previous. Still, with a strong backing, the film has an edge.
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2. "Amy"

Asif Kapadia
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A24 Films believes in it and the doc branch has loved films about musicians over the past few years. Its also something that will get some viewers excited and watching.
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3. "Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom"

Evgeny Afineevsky
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Netflix is backing. They'll put some focus on the campaign.
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4. "Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief"

Alex Gibney
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HBO Films will give this the proper push. Is it too controversial for some members of AMPAS?
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5. "Best of Enemies"

Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon
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In a year that will likely reward journalism, this doc could hit the right chord.

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OTHER TOP-TIER CONTENDERS

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6. "Listen to Me Marlon"

Stevan Riley
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Played at AFI Docs. Movies about Hollywood can be a done deal with voters.
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7. "Heart of the Dog"

Laurie Anderson
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Laurie Anderson's documentary will get the treatment from HBO.
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8. "The Hunting Ground"

Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering
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Buzz is building around this and with an Original song from Lady Gaga in contention, that means people will seek it out.
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9. "He Named Me Malala"

Davis Guggenheim
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Premiered at Telluride with great word and the story alone will have people feeling good about checking it off.
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10. "Where to Invade Next"

Michael Moore
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Our closest thing to a celebrity of the doc branch. Films was well received.

ALSO IN CONTENTION

11 “Cartel Land” – (The Orchard)

12 “3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets” – (he Filmmaker Fund, Motto Pictures, Lakehouse Films, Actual Films, JustFilms, MacArthur Foundation and Bertha BRITDOC)

13 “We Come as Friends” – (Adelante Films)

14 “Meru” – (Little Monster Films)

15 “What Happened, Miss Simone?” – (Netflix)

 

*OUT OF THE RUNNING*

21 “All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records” – (Gravitas Ventures)

22 “In Jackson Heights” – (Zipporah Films)

23 “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” – (HBO Documentary Films)

24 “An Open Secret” – (Rocky Mountain Pictures/Vesuvio Entertainment)

25 “Iris” – (Magnolia Pictures)

26 “Seymour: An Introduction” – (Sundance Selects)

27 “Prophet’s Play” – (Showtime)

28 “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” – (Magnolia)

29 “Brand: A Second Coming” – (Ignite Channel)

30 “Stray Dog” (Debra Granik)

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