“OJ: Made in America,” “13th” and “Gleason” Lead Critics’ Choice Documentary Nominations

Inaugural awards also honored “Cameraperson,” “Life, Animated,” “Tower” and “Weiner,” among other non-fiction films

Ava DuVernay‘s “13th,” the political documentary “Weiner,” the wrenching character study “Gleason” and the ESPN miniseries “O.J.: Made in America” are among the 10 documentaries nominated as the year’s best in the inaugural Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, which announced its nominations on Monday.

Other nominees included the live-action/animation hybrid “Tower,” the touching portrait “Life, Animated,” the historical exploration “The Witness,” David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s offbeat “Tickled” and Kirsten Johnson’s unconventional self-portrait “Cameraperson.”

Emphasizing the blurry line between film and television docs, “13th,” which DuVernay made for Netflix, was nominated for both best theatrical doc and best TV/streaming doc. “O.J.: Made in America,” which screened as a seven-and-a-half-hour feature in order to qualify for the Oscars, was nominated in two film categories, one TV categories and two categories that were open to both mediums.

“O.J.: Made in America,” “13th” and “Gleason” led all work with five Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nominations each, while “Cameraperson” and “Life, Animated” received four, and “Tower,” “Weiner,” “The Eagle Huntress” and “Audrie & Daisy” all received three.

In addition to “13th,” nominees for Best Documentary Feature (TV/Streaming) were “30 for 30: Fantastic Lies,” “Amanda Knox,” “Audrie & Daisy,” “Before the Flood,” “Holy Hell,” “Into the Inferno,” “Jim: The James Foley Story,” “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures” and “Rats.”

Best Director nominations went to Johnson, Roger Ross Williams for “Life, Animated,” Clay Tweel for “Tickled,” Keith Maitland for “Tower,” Clay Tweel for “Gleason,” Ezra Edelman for “O.J.: Made in America” and Ron Howard for “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years.”

Nominations were also made for first-time directors, innovative films, songs from documentaries and political, sports and music docs. The full list of nominees is below.

Along with the 13 categories in which a single winner will be named, the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards also singled out seven people in the Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary category, all of whom will be saluted at the ceremony. The honorees are Danny Fields (“Danny Says”), Iggy Pop (“Gimme Danger”), Kirsten Johnson (“Cameraperson”), Owen Suskind (“Life, Animated”), Sharon Jones (“Miss Sharon Jones!”), Steve Gleason (“Gleason”) and Theo Padnos (“Theo Who Lived”).

This is the first year that the Broadcast Film Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association, the sister organizations that give out the Critics’ Choice Awards, will have a separate ceremony devoted to non-fiction filmmaking. In the past, the organization has given out a single award for a feature documentary, but nothing for TV docs.

The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards gala will take place at BRIC in Brooklyn, New York, on November 3.

The nominees were chosen by committees consisting of members of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association, the sister organizations that together give out the Critics’ Choice Awards. (Full disclosure: I am a member of the BFCA and served on committees that determined nominations in several of the categories.)

According to a Critics’ Choice press release, winners will be chosen by “qualified members of BFCA and BTJA.”

The nominees:

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“Cameraperson”
“Fire at Sea”
“Gleason”
“Life, Animated”
“O.J.: Made in America”
“13th”
“Tickled”
“Tower”
“Weiner”
“The Witness”

BEST DIRECTION OF A DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Ezra Edelman, “O.J.: Made in America”
Ron Howard, “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years”
Kirsten Johnson, “Cameraperson”
Keith Maitland, “Tower”
Clay Tweel, “Gleason”
Roger Ross Williams, “Life, Animated”

BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Otto Bell, “The Eagle Huntress”
David Farrier and Dylan Reeve, “Tickled”
Adam Irving, “Off the Rails”
Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, “Weiner”
James D. Solomon, “The Witness”
Nanfu Wang, “Hooligan Sparrow”

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY
“Audrie & Daisy”
“Newtown”
“O.J.: Made in America”
“13th”
“Weiner”
“Zero Days”

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE (TV/STREAMING)
“Amanda Knox”
“Audrie & Daisy”
“Before the Flood”
“Holy Hell”
“Into the Inferno”
“Jim: The James Foley Story”
“Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures”
“Rats”
“13th”
“30 for 30: Fantastic Lies”

BEST DIRECTOR (TV/STREAMING)
Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, “Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures”
Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn, “Amanda Knox”
Ava DuVernay, “13th”
Werner Herzog, “Into the Inferno”
Morgan Spurlock, “Rats”
Fisher Stevens, “Before the Flood”

BEST FIRST FEATURE (TV/STREAMING)
Jacob Bernstein and Nick Hooker, “Everything Is Copy”
Will Allen, “Holy Hell”
Jessica Edwards, “Mavis!”
Sophie Robinson and Lotje Sodderland, “My Beautiful Broken Brain”
Deborah Esquenazi, “Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four”
Jon Greenhalgh, “Team Foxcatcher”

BEST LIMITED DOCUMENTARY SERIES
“The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth”
“The Eighties”
“The Hunt”
“Jackie Robinson”
“O.J.: Made in America”
“Soundbreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music”

BEST ONGOING DOCUMENTARY SERIES
“30 for 30”
“Frontline”
“Last Chance U”
Morgan Spurlock Inside Man”
“POV”
“This Is Life With Lisa Ling”

BEST SONG IN A DOCUMENTARY
“Angel by the Wings” from “The Eagle Huntress,” written and performed by Sia
“The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story,” written by Sting and J. Ralph, performed by Sting
“Flicker” from “Audrie & Daisy,” written and performed by Tori Amos
“Hoping and Healing” from “Gleason,” written and performed by Mike McCready
“I’m Still Here” from “Miss Sharon Jones!,” written by Sharon Jones, performed by Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
“Letters to The Free” from “13th,” written by Common, Karrien Riggins and Robert Glasper, performed by Common featuring Bilal

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY
“Dark Horse”
“The Eagle Huntress”
“Gleason”
“Jackie Robinson”
“Keepers of the Game
“OJ: Made in America”
“30 for 30: Fantastic Lies”

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY
“The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – the Touring Years”
“Gimme Danger”
“Miss Sharon Jones”
“The Music of Strangers”
“Presenting Princess Shaw”
“We Are X”

MOST INNOVATIVE DOCUMENTARY
“Cameraperson”
“Kate Plays Christine”
“Life, Animated”
“Nuts!”
“Tower”
“Under The Sun”

MOST COMPELLING SUBJECT OF A DOCUMENTARY
(all honorees – no single winner)
Danny Fields, “Danny Says”
Iggy Pop, “Gimme Danger”
Kirsten Johnson, “Cameraperson”
Owen Suskind, “Life, Animated”
Sharon Jones, “Miss Sharon Jones!”
Steve Gleason, “Gleason”
Theo Padnos, “Theo Who Lived”