‘Free Solo’ Leads Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

It’s officially precursor time! With the National Board or Review about 6 weeks away, and the Gotham Awards already announcing their tributes, the season is about to get rolling. However, before we have any of those awards announced, the first batch of Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nominations have landed. The Critics Choice Documentary Awards takes place on November 10th. Ahead of the ceremony, the nominations will help shine a light on the documentaries that have gained traction. In the marathon for Best Documentary Feature, “Free Solo” takes early pole position after grabbing 6 nominations. “Wild Wild Country” and “Minding the Gap” each took 5, while “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” received 4. Another film to watch out for will be “Dark Money,” which surprisingly grabbed 4 nominations as well.  “Free Solo,” “Three Identical Strangers,” “RBG” and more are also honored for having the most interesting living subjects of their documentaries.

The full list of nominations is included below.

Nominees for the 3rd Annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards 

 BEST DOCUMENTARY

“Crime + Punishment” – Director: Stephen Maing (Hulu)

“Dark Money” – Director: Kimberly Reed (PBS)

“Free Solo” – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Films)

“Hal” – Director: Amy Scott (Oscilloscope)

“Hitler’s Hollywood” – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)

“Minding the Gap” – Director: Bing Liu (Hulu)

“RBG” – Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)

“Three Identical Strangers” – Director: Tim Wardle (Neon, CNN Films)

“Wild Wild Country” – Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way (Netflix)

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” – Director: Morgan Neville (Focus Features)

BEST LIMITED DOCUMENTARY SERIES

“America to Me” (Starz)

“Dirty Money” (Netflix)

“Elvis Presley: The Searcher” (HBO Documentary Films, Sony Pictures Television)

“Flint Town” (Netflix)

“One Strange Rock” (National Geographic)

“The Fourth Estate” (Showtime Networks)

“The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling” (HBO)

“Wild Wild Country” (Netflix)

BEST ONGOING DOCUMENTARY SERIES

“30 for 30” (ESPN)

“American Masters” (PBS)

“Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” (CNN)

“Frontline” (PBS)

“Independent Lens” (PBS)

“Making a Murderer” (Netflix)

“POV” (PBS)

“The History of Comedy” (CNN)

BEST DIRECTOR

Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi – “Free Solo” (National Geographic Documentary Film)

Bing Liu – “Minding the Gap” (Hulu)

Morgan Neville – “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (Focus Features)

Kimberly Reed – “Dark Money” (PBS)

Rüdiger Suchsland – “Hitler’s Hollywood” (Kino Lorber)

Tim Wardle – “Three Identical Strangers” (Neon, CNN Films)

BEST FIRST TIME DIRECTOR

Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster – “Science Fair” (National Geographic Documentary Films)

Heather Lenz – Kusama – “Infinity” (Magnolia Pictures)

Bing Liu – “Minding the Gap” (Hulu)

Stephen Nomura Schible – “Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” (MUBI)

Rudy Valdez – “The Sentence” (HBO Documentary Films)

Chapman Way and Maclain Way – “Wild Wild Country” (Netflix)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY

“RBG” – Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)

“Dark Money” – Director: Kimberly Reed (PBS)

“Fahrenheit 11/9” – Director: Michael Moore (Briarcliff Entertainment)

“Flint Town” – Directors: Zackary Canepari, Drea Cooper, Jessica Dimmock (Netflix)

“Hitler’s Hollywood” – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)

“John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls” – Directors: George Kunhardt, Peter W. Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt (HBO)

“The Fourth Estate” – Directors: Liz Garbus, Jenny Carchman (Showtime Networks)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

“Andre the Giant” – Director: Jason Hehir (HBO)

“Being Serena” (HBO)

“Free Solo” – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Film)

“John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection” – Director: Julien Faraut (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

“Minding the Gap” – Director: Bing Liu (Hulu)

“The Workers Cup” – Director: Adam Sobel (Passion River)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

“Bad Reputation” – Director: Kevin Kerslake (Magnolia Pictures)

“David Bowie: The Last Five Years” – Director: Francis Whately (HBO Documentary Films)

“Elvis Presley: The Searcher” – Director: Thom Zimny (HBO Documentary Films, Sony Pictures Television)

“Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I Leave Here Tomorrow” – Director: Stephen Kijak (Showtime Networks)

“Quincy” – Directors: Alan Hicks, Rashida Jones (Netflix)

“Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” – Director: Stephen Nomura Schible (MUBI)

“Whitney” – Director: Kevin Macdonald (Roadside Attractions, Miramax)

MOST COMPELLING LIVING SUBJECT OF A DOCUMENTARY

(ALL LISTED IN THE CATEGORY WILL BE HONORED AT THE EVENT)

Scotty Bowers – “Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood” (Greenwich Entertainment, Kino Lorber, Starz!)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg – “RBG” (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)

Alex Honnold – “Free Solo” (National Geographic Documentary Film)

Joan Jett – “Bad Reputation” (Magnolia Pictures)

Quincy Jones – “Quincy” (Netflix)

David Kellman and Bobby Shafran – “Three Identical Strangers” (Neon, CNN Films)

John McEnroe – “John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection” (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Leon Vitali – “Filmworker” (Kino Lorber)

MOST INNOVATIVE DOCUMENTARY

“306 Hollywood” – Directors: Elan Bogarin, Jonathan Bogarin (PBS, El Tigre)

“Free Solo” – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Film)

“Hitler’s Hollywood” – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)

“Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda” – Director: Stephen Nomura Schible (MUBI)

“Wild Wild Country” – Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way (Netflix)

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” – Director: Morgan Neville (Focus Features)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

“306 Hollywood” – Cinematographers: Elan Bogarin, Jonathan Bogarin, Alejandro Mejía (PBS, El Tigre)

“The Dawn Wall” – Cinematographer: Brett Lowell (The Orchard)

“Free Solo” – Cinematographers: Jimmy Chin, Clair Popkin, Mikey Schaefer (National Geographic Documentary Film)

“Minding the Gap” – Cinematographer: Bing Liu (Hulu)

“Pandas” – Cinematographer: David Douglas (Warner Brothers)

“Wild Wild Country” – Cinematographer: Adam Stone (Netflix)

BEST EDITING

“Dark Money” – Editor: Jay Arthur Sterrenberg (PBS)

“Filmworker” – Editor: Tony Zierra (Kino Lorber)

“Free Solo” – Editor: Bob Eisenhardt (National Geographic Documentary Film)

“John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection” – Editor: Julien Faraut (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

“Three Identical Strangers” – Editor: Michael Harte (Neon, CNN Films)

“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” – Editors: Jeff Malmberg, Aaron Wickenden (Focus Features)

What do you think of the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nominations? Which films do you hope prevail? Will “Free Solo” take the lead in the race after racking up the most nominations? Let us know in the comments below! 

The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards will occur on Nov. 10, 2018.