The International Documentary Association announced their nominees for the 2010 Awards last week to recognize the best in feature length and short subject documentary films. Among the list of contending documentaries include several potential contenders for the 2010 Best Documentary Feature Oscar. This precursor gives us the first indications as to what the notoriously difficult to predict category might look like when Oscar nominations are announced in January.
The problem is that the IDA awards are traditionally not a good forecaster for the Oscars. In 2009, only Food, Inc. received an IDA nomination for Best Feature Documentary and went on to receive an Oscar nomination. In 2008, only Man on Wire received an IDA nomination and an Oscar nomination, but it did manage to win both awards. In 2007, however, there were three films that received nominations from the IDA and went on to receive Oscar nominations – Sicko, Taxi to the Dark Side, and Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience.
2010 looks like it might more closely resemble 2008-09 than 2007 with the nominations consisting of several films that were not major factors on this year’s radar. Banksy’s highly praised pseudo-documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop has the best chance of doubling up nominations between the two Awards bodies with its IDA nomination likely to be the first in a string of end of season Awards. Other nominees include Laura Poitras’ post-9/11 terrorist film The Oath, Joonas BerghÃ¤ll and Mika Hotakainen’s Finnish entry for the Foreign Film Oscar Steam of Life, Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s nature/shepherding documentary Sweetgrass, and Lucy Walker’s contemplation on art Waste Land.
Notably absent from the list are the political/war documentaries that always seem to find away onto Oscar’s landscape. Inside Job, Client 9: The Rise of Eliot Spitzer, Restrepo, and The Tillman Story are notable examples of films that the IDA did not recognize, but are not likely to disappear. One absence that was not particularly surprising was Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman. The IDA voters do not typically go for mainstream fare as evident in their ignoring Guggenheim’s commercially successful 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth.
TheÂ nominations for the 2010 International Documentary Association Award for Best Feature are below:
2010 IDA Nominations for Best Documentary Feature
EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP
Producer: Jaimie Dâ€™Cruz
Executive Producers: Holly Cushing, James Gay-Rees
Paranoid Pictures, Cinetic Media, A-Film Distribution, Alamode Film, Avalon DistribuciÃ³n Audiovisual, Mongrel Media, Producers Distribution Agency, Revolver Entertainment, Madman Entertainment
Director: Laura Poitras
Producers: Laura Poitras
Co-Producer: Nasser Arrabyee, Aliza Kaplan, Jonathan Oppenheim
Associate Producer: Robert Hatch-Miller, Katy Scoggin, Pandora Zolotor
ITVS, POV/American Documentary, Praxis Films, Zeitgeist Films
STEAM OF LIFE
Directors: Joonas BerghÃ¤ll, Mika Hotakainen
Producer: Joonas BerghÃ¤ll
Associate Producers: Adel KjellstrÃ¶m, Petri Rossi
Oktober, Nordisk Film Theatrical Distribution
Directors: Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Producers: Ilisa Barbash
Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab, Cinema Guild
Director/Writer: Lucy Walker
Producers: Angus Aynsley, Hank Levine
Executive Producers: Jackie De Botton, Miel De Botton, Fernando Meirelles, Emillia Mello
Almega Projects, O2 Filmes, E1 Films Canada, Arthouse Films
Best Documentary Predictions
The announcement of the IDA awards had little bearing on my predictions for Best Documentary Feature. I am predicting that economic downfall documentary Inside Job is the frontrunner for the nomination at this point in the race. It currently has a score of 87 on Metacritic and it has had excellent success at Film Festivals throughout the year.
Check out the complete predictions for Best Documentary Feature and share your thoughts!