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Here's the 15 Terrific Docs that Made The Academy's 2014 Shortlist

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December 3, 2014

The Academy's 2014 Documentary Shortlist

These are the documentaries everyone needs to see; you must see them, they are worth your time. These are not the only documentaries that matter, but of course, nor are they the only good documentaries this year, but if you're looking for a list of some documentaries to start watching - well, start here, with any of these. This week, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced (list via Deadline/Variety) the "shortlist" of documentaries that made the cut from 134 eligible submissions down to just 15. From Roger Ebert to Alejandro Jodorowsky, from Edward Snowden to Sebastião Salgado, the selection this year is fantastic, and I'm glad that all of my favorites made the cut. Many of these are already out on VOD + DVD.

The next step of the process involves additional screening before the nominations are announced January 15th, with Oscar ceremonies next year taking place on February 22nd at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The 15 documentaries are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with each directors name included:

Art and Craft - Dirs. Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman & Mark Becker
The Case Against 8 - Dir. Ben Cotner & Ryan White
Citizen Koch - Dir. Carl Deal & Tia Lessin
Citizenfour - Dir. Laura Poitras
Finding Vivian Maier - Dirs. John Maloof & Charlie Siskel
The Internet's Own Boy - Dir. Brian Knappenberger
Jodorowsky's Dune - Dir. Frank Pavich
Keep On Keepin’ On - Dir. Alan Hicks
The Kill Team - Dir. Dan Krauss
Last Days in Vietnam - Dir. Rory Kennedy
Life Itself - Dir. Steve James
The Overnighters - Dir. Jesse Moss
The Salt of the Earth - Dirs. Wim Wenders & Juliano Ribeiro Salgado
Tales of the Grim Sleeper - Dir. Nick Broomfield
Virunga - Dir. Orlando von Einsiedel

Click any poster in the grid below for more info on how to view each Academy shortlisted documentary:

The Academy's 2014 Shortlist - The Internet's Own BoyThe Academy's 2014 Shortlist - CitizenfourThe Academy's 2014 Shortlist - The Case Against 8
The Academy's 2014 Shortlist - Jodorowsky's DuneThe Academy's 2014 Shortlist - Keep On Keepin' OnThe Academy's 2014 Shortlist - Last Days in Vietnam
The Academy's 2014 Shortlist - The OvernightersThe Academy's 2014 Shortlist - Life ItselfThe Academy's 2014 Shortlist - Tales of the Grim Sleeper
The Academy's 2014 Shortlist - Art and CraftThe Academy's 2014 Shortlist - Finding Vivian MaierThe Academy's 2014 Shortlist - The Salt of the Earth

It's an exceptional year for documentaries. There are so many good ones, and there's even others like Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence hitting next year. But I think it's also because it's an exceptional time for subjects for documentaries, whether it's the regular people of North Dakota in The Overnighters, or the mythical, magical man himself Alejandro Jodorwosky, or the other wonderful photographer man, Sebastião Salgado in The Salt of the Earth. I also really, really love the docs Life Itself, The Internet's Own Boy and Citizenfour, about such astounding and impressive people, who had such an impact on this world. There's so many great docs to see but it's exciting to know that all the best ones are moving along to get the acclaim they deserve, but even if they don't, at least they get the attention they all deserve. So check one out today.

A few other major docs missing are Red Army, Nick Cave's 20,000 Days on Earth, Merchants of Doubt, Happy Valley, Supermensch, Alive Inside. But there's at least 15 listed here, and the remaining 119 other films that didn't get chosen but were submitted, that are worth watching on behalf of the documentary side of cinema. It's not always easy to get everyone to watch a documentary, but if you're looking for compelling discussion, honest storytelling, inspiring people, and watching remarkable real-life moments captured on camera, then watch these documentaries from the shortlist and spread the word; go spread the love for docs.

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  • DAVIDPD
    Oh Jeez. There are so many great documentaries this year!
  • TheOct8pus
    I have some work to do.....I have not seen ONE of these!
    • Scopedog
      JODOROWSKY'S DUNE is fantastic. I haven't seen LIFE ITSELF, but I hope to soon. Not interested in CITIZENFOUR.
  • tommyt
    Uh...15 films on the list...12 posters displayed...what about the other 3?

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