170 Films Enter Oscars Documentary Category, Setting New Record

The previous high was 151 eligible films in 2013

A record 170 documentary feature films have been submitted for the 2017 Academy Awards, shattering the previous record of 151 set in 2013.

The list of submitted films was released by the Academy on Friday, confirming TheWrap’s reporting on October 4 that the number of films was going to set a new record in the Best Documentary Feature category.

All members of the Documentary Branch can screen the eligible films on a secure members’ website. Each member has been assigned specific films as required viewing, but members are also free to see as many other films as they desire. The initial round of voting ends on Nov. 30 and will produce a 15-film shortlist, with a second round narrowing that list down to the five nominees.

Not every one of the 170 films has completed its qualifying runs in Los Angeles and New York, making it possible that some may end up not qualifying. But except in the rarest of cases, docs that are announced by the Academy and made available to voters for streaming qualify for the Oscars.

Last year, 145 films qualified. Earlier this month, the Academy announced the list of 92 films that were eligible in the Best Foreign Language Film category, which was also a record.

In recent years, the branch has regularly tweaked and modified its rules, often with the intention of cutting down on the number of films, particularly made-for-television docs, that qualified by renting theaters (or “four-walling”) for the minimum required run. But as the market for nonfiction filmmaking has grown, particularly on platforms like Netflix, the number of Oscar submissions has remained high.

Nonfiction films that have done well in the precursor awards – Gotham Awards nominations, DOCNYC’s short list, the Cinema Eye Honors’ Unforgettables list, and Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nominations -include “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “Chasing Coral,” “City of Ghosts,” “Dina,” “Dolores,” “Ex Libris – The New York Public Library,” “Faces Places,” “Icarus,” “Jane,” “Kedi,” “One of Us,” “Strong Island” and “The Work.”

Here is the list of qualifying films:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”
“Aida’s Secrets”
“Al Di Qua”
“All the Rage”
“All These Sleepless Nights”
“AlphaGo”
“The American Media and the Second Assassination of President John F. Kennedy”
“And the Winner Isn’t”
“Angels Within”
“Architects of Denial”
“Arthur Miller: Writer”
“Atomic Homefront”
“The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography”
“Bang! The Bert Berns Story”
“Bending the Arc”
“Big Sonia”
“Bill Nye: Science Guy”
“Birthright: A War Story”
“Bobbi Jene”
“Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story”
“Born in China”
“Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story”
“Boston”
“Brimstone & Glory”
“Bronx Gothic”
“Burden”
“California Typewriter”
“Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story”
“Casting JonBenet”
“Chasing Coral”
“Chasing Trane”
“Chavela”
“Citizen Jane: Battle for the City”
“City of Ghosts”
“Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives”
“Cries from Syria”
“Cruel & Unusual”
“Cuba and the Cameraman”
“Dawson City: Frozen Time”
“Dealt”
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”
“Destination Unknown”
“Dina”
“Dolores”
“Dream Big: Engineering Our World”
“A Dying King: The Shah of Iran”
“Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends)”
“Earth: One Amazing Day”
“11/8/16”
“Elian”
“Embargo”
“Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars”
“Escapes”
“Everybody Knows… Elizabeth Murray”
“Ex Libris – The New York Public Library”
“Extraordinary Ordinary People”
“Faces Places”
“The Farthest”
“The Final Year”
“Finding Oscar”
“500 Years”
“Food Evolution”
“For Ahkeem”
“The Force”
“The Freedom to Marry”
“From the Ashes”
“Gaga: Five Foot Two”
“A German Life”
“Get Me Roger Stone”
“Gilbert”
“God Knows Where I Am”
“Good Fortune”
“A Gray State”
“Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All”
“Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story”
“Hearing Is Believing”
“Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS”
“Human Flow”
“I Am Another You”
“I Am Evidence”
“I Am Jane Doe”
“I Called Him Morgan”
“Icarus”
“If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast”
“The Incomparable Rose Hartman”
“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”
“Intent to Destroy”
“Jane”
“Jeremiah Tower The Last Magnificent”
“Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton”
“Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold”
“Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower”
“Karl Marx City”
“Kedi”
“Keep Quiet”
“Kiki”
“LA 92”
“The Last Dalai Lama?”
“The Last Laugh”
“Last Men in Aleppo”
“Legion of Brothers”
“Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982 – 1992”
“Let’s Play Two”
“Letters from Baghdad”
“Long Strange Trip”
“Look & See”
“Machines”
“Man in Red Bandana”
“Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance”
“Motherland”
“Mully”
“My Scientology Movie”
“Naples ’44”
“Neary’s – The Dream at the End of the Rainbow”
“Night School”
“No Greater Love”
“No Stone Unturned”
“Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press”
“Nowhere to Hide”
“Obit”
“Oklahoma City”
“One of Us”
“The Paris Opera”
“The Pathological Optimist”
“Prosperity”
“The Pulitzer at 100”
“Quest”
“Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman”
“The Rape of Recy Taylor”
“The Reagan Show”
“Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan”
“Risk”
“A River Below”
“Rocky Ros Muc”
“Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World”
“Santoalla”
“School Life”
“Score: A Film Music Documentary”
“Served Like a Girl”
“The Settlers”
“78/52”
“Shadowman”
“Shot! The Psycho Spiritual Mantra of Rock”
“Sidemen: Long Road to Glory”
“The Skyjacker’s Tale”
“Sled Dogs”
“Soufra”
“Spettacolo”
“Step”
“Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex-Trafficking”
“Strong Island”
“Surviving Peace”
“Swim Team”
“Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton”
“Take My Nose… Please!”
“They Call Us Monsters”
“32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide”
“This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous”
“Tickling Giants”
“Trophy”
“Twenty Two”
“Unrest”
“Vince Giordano – There’s a Future in the Past”
“Voyeur”
“Wait for Your Laugh”
“Wasted! The Story of Food Waste”
“Water & Power: A California Heist”
“Whitney. “Can I Be Me””
“Whose Streets?”
“The Work”