Hard-Hitting IDA Awards Nominees Include Documentaries ‘Act of Killing,’ ‘Blackfish,’ ‘Stories We Tell’

Hard-Hitting IDA Awards Nominees Include Documentaries 'Act of Killing,' 'Blackfish,' 'Stories We Tell'

International Documentary Association also nominates “The Square,” “Let the Fire Burn”

Joshua Oppenheimer's unsettling film about mass killings in Indonesia, “The Act of Killing” (above), Gabriela Cowperthwaite's devastating Sea World-set “Blackfish” and Sarah Polley‘s personal exploration “Stories We Tell” have been nominated for the top feature-film award at the International Documentary Association's IDA Awards, the organization announced on Tuesday.

Also competing for Best Documentary Feature at the Dec. 6 ceremony: Jehane Noujaim's chronicle of Egyptian uprisings, “The Square,” and Jason Osder's story of a 1985 police standoff in Philadelphia, “Let the Fire Burn.”

Also read: ‘Act of Killing’ Director on Filming His Shocking Documentary: It Gave Me Nightmares

In a year with dozens of strong docs that could have been nominated, the IDA jury opted for a slate of hard-hitting films conspicuously missing the year's top-grossing non-concert doc, the music movie “20 Feet From Stardom.”

“Let the Fire Burn” was also nominated for the IDA's ABC News Videosource Award and for the Humanitas Award. “The Square” was also nominated in the latter category.

In the television categories, nominees included the continuing series “30 for 30,” “Independent Lens” and “POV,” as well as the limited series “180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School” and “Viewfinder: Latin America.”

Nominees in the Best Short category include only a single film that has made this year's Oscar shortlist, “Slomo.” Other nominees are “The Education of Muhammad Hussein,” “The Flogsta Roar,” “Nine to Ninety” and “Vultures of Tibet.”

The feature nominees were chosen from a field of 273 eligible films, the largest body of qualifying docs of any of the major non-fiction film awards. Qualifying shorts raised the total of films considered by the IDA to more than 400.

(The Oscar field consisted of a record 151 feature documentaries this year, while 174 films qualified for the Cinema Eye Honors.)

Also read: Here They Are, All 151 Oscar-Qualifying Documentaries (Exclusive)

Nominations are made by a jury, which selects five films from a 20-film shortlist compiled by screening committees.

With different qualifying requirements and a different eligibility period, the IDA Awards nominations often have little overlap with the Oscars. Last year, though, two of the five IDA nominees — “Searching for Sugar Man” and “The Invisible War” — went on to receive Oscar nods, and “Sugar Man” won both awards.

In previous years, IDA winners have included “Waste Land,” “Nostalgia for the Light,” “Anvil! The Story of Anvil” and the Oscar-winning “Man on Wire.”

Nominations for the other main award for non-fiction filmmaking, the Cinema Eye Honors, will be announced in early November.

In addition to announcing the winners in the competitive categories,  the Dec. 6 IDA Awards will also give a Career Achievement Award to Alex Gibney, the IDA Amicus Award to Geralyn Dreyfous and the Courage Under Fire Award to Laura Poitras.

In IDA Creative Recognition Awards, Julian Schwanitz will receive the Best Cinematography award for “Pablo's Winter,” Nels Bangerter the Best Editing award for “Let the Fire Burn,” Jeremy Turner the Best Music award for “Narco Cultura” and Matthew Cooke the Best Writing award for “How To Make Money Selling Drugs.”

Zachary Heinzerling will receive the Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award for “Cutie and the Boxer.”

BEST FEATURE AWARD

THE ACT OF KILLING
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Producers: Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Executive Producers:  Errol Morris, Werner Herzog, Torstein Grude, André Singer, Joram ten Brink,
Bjarte Mørner Tveit
Drafthouse Films

BLACKFISH
Directors: Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Producer: Manuel V. Oteyza
Writers: Gabriela Cowperthwaite, Eli Despres
Executive Producers:  Judy Bart, Erica Kahn
Our Turn Productions, Magnolia Pictures & CNN

LET THE FIRE BURN
Director/Producer: Jason Osder
Executive Producer:  Andrew Herwitz
The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs

STORIES WE TELL
Director/Writer: Sarah Polley
Producer: Anita Lee
Roadside Attractions

THE SQUARE
Director: Jehane Noujaim
Producer: Karim Amer
Noujaim Films

BEST SHORT AWARD

THE EDUCATION OF MUHAMMAD HUSSEIN
Directors: Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady
Producers: Heidi Ewing; Rachel Grady; Sadia Shepard; Sara Bernstein (for HBO)
Executive Producers:  Sheila Nevins (for HBO)
Loki Films, HBO Documentary Films

THE FLOGSTA ROAR
Director/Producer: Johan Palmgren
Writer: Johan Palmgren and Ã…sa Blanck
Strix Television AB, Swedish National Television

NINE TO NINETY
Director: Alicia Dwyer
Producer: Juli Vizza
Executive Producers:  Sally Jo Fifer
Independent Television Service (ITVS)

SLOMO
Director: Josh Izenberg
Producer: Amanda Micheli
Executive Producer: Neil Izenberg
Big Young Films, Runaway Films

VULTURES OF TIBET
Director: Russell O. Bush
Producer: Elisabeth Oakham
Executive Producer:  Gary Newsom
Bushfilm

BEST LIMITED SERIES AWARD

180 DAYS: A YEAR INSIDE AN AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOL
Directors/Producers: Jacquie Jones, Garland McLaurin
Executive Producer:  Jacquie Jones
NPBC/PBS

INSIDE COMBAT RESCUE
Producers: Jared McGilliard, John Collin, Jr.
Executive Producers:  Jerry Decker, Ted Duvall, Richard J. Wells.
National Geographic Channel

INSIDE MAN
Producers: Kristen Vaurio, Lisa Kalikow, Shannon Gibson, Suzanne Hillinger, Lara Benario
Writers: Jeremy Chilnick, Morgan Spurlock
Executive Producers:  Jeremy Chilnick, Matthew Galkin, Morgan Spurlock
Warrior Poets/CNN

VIEWFINDER: LATIN AMERICA
Directors: Manuel Contreras, Russ Finkelstein, Alfonso Gastiaburo, Juan Pablo Rojas, Paola Gosalvez, Luciana Freitas Silva, Susanna Lira, Fernanda Polacow and Juliana Borges
Producers: Rodrigo Vazquez, Patricia Boero
Writer: Ingrid Falck
Executive Producers:  Flora Gregory
Series Producer: Jean Garner
Al Jazeera English

WITNESS
Directors:David Frankham, Abdallah Omeish
Producers: Ike Martin, Allison Kunzman, Youree Henley, Julie Herrin, Josiah Hooper
Co-Producer: Ra'uf Glasgow
Executive Producers:  Michael Mann, David Frankham
Blue Light Productions and Little Puppet Productions with HBO Entertainment and HBO Documentary Films

BEST CONTINUING SERIES AWARD

30 FOR 30
Producers: Libby Geist, Andy Billman, Kyle Godwin, Brian D'Ostilio, Jenna Anthony, Erin Leyden, Deirdre Fenton
Executive Producers:  Connor Schell, John Dahl, Bill Simmons
ESPN

CURIOSITY
Producers: Geoff Deehan, Christine Weber
Executive Producers:  Erik Nelson, Simon Dickson, Sanjay Singhal, Dave Harding, Mike Masland
Discovery Channel

INDEPENDENT LENS
Producer: Lois Vossen
Executive Producers:  Sally Jo Fifer
Independent Television Service (ITVS) in association with PBS

POV
Executive Producer: Simon Kilmurry
Co-Executive Producer: Cynthia López
VP of Programming & Production: Chris White
Series Producer: Andrew Catauro
American Documentary | POV in association with PBS

REAL SPORTS WITH BRYANT GUMBEL
Producer: Joe Perskie
Executive Producers:  Rick Bernstein
HBO Sports

DAVID L. WOLPER STUDENT DOCUMENTARY AWARD

BETWEEN LAND AND SEA
Directors/Producers/Writers: Sarah Berkovich, J. Christian Jensen
Stanford University

OME: TALES FROM A VANISHING HOMELAND
Director/Producer: Raul O. Paz Pastrana
Producer: Emily Parkey
School of Visual Arts

MY SISTER SARAH
Directors/Producer: Elizabeth Chatelain
University of Texas at Austin

SODIQ
Directors/Producers/Writer: Adeyemi Michael
National Film & Television School, UK

WHY WE RACE
Directors: Kiley Vorndran, Ryan Westra, Andrew Evers, Ben Fischinger
Producer: Kiley Vorndran
Chapman University / Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

HUMANITAS AWARD

ANTONS RIGHT HERE
Director: Evgeniya Blaze
Producers: Konstantin Shavlovsky , Aleksandra Golutova
Writers: Lyubov Arkus
Executive Producers:  Sergey Selyanov
CTB Film Company, INTERCINEMA Agency

BLOOD BROTHER
Director: Steve Hoover
Producer: Danny Yourd
Writers: Steve Hoover, Phinehas Hodges, Tyson VanSkiver
Executive Producers:  Steve Hoover, Michael Killen, Kathy Dziubek, Jim Kreitzburg, Leigh Blake, John Carlin
Animal

LET THE FIRE BURN
Director/Producer: Jason Osder
Executive Producer:  Andrew Herwitz
The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs

THE SQUARE
Director: Jehane Noujaim
Producer: Karim Amer
Noujaim Films

PARE LORENTZ AWARD

A PLACE AT THE TABLE
Directors/Producers: Lori Silverbush and Kristi Jacobson
Producers: Julie Goldman, Ryan Harrington
Magnolia Pictures

ABCNEWS VIDEOSOURCE AWARD

ALL THE PRESIDENTS MEN REVISITED
Director/Producer: Peter Schnall
Executive Producers: Robert Redford, Andy Lack, Laura Michalchyshyn
Writers: Chana Gazit, Patrick Prentice
Partisan Pictures in Association with Sundance Productions

FREE ANGELA AND ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
Director/Producer/Writer: Shola Lynch
Producers: Sidra Smith, Carole Lambert, Carine Ruszniewski
Overbrook Entertainment

LET THE FIRE BURN
Director/Producer: Jason Osder
Executive Producer:  Andrew Herwitz
The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs

THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI
Director: Bill Siegel
Producers: Bill Siegel, Rachel Pikelny
Executive Producers:  Justine Nagan, Gordon Quinn, Leon Gast, Kat White
Kartemquin Educational Films

WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS
Director/Producer/Writer: Alex Gibney
Producer: Marc Shmuger
Focus World