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Academy Gives ’20 Feet From Stardom’ Nominations to Director, 2 Producers

Documentary branch committee makes exception to usual rule limiting doc nominees to two


The Academy has made an exception to its usual rules and determined that three filmmakers are entitled to nominations for the documentary “20 Feet From Stardom,” AMPAS said Wednesday.

The film was nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category last Thursday, with the notation that the names of its nominees had yet to be determined. After examining the work done by the film’s two credited producers, Caitrin Rogers and the late Gil Friesen, the executive committee of the Academy’s Documentary Branch ruled that both producers should receive nominations, along with director Morgan Neville.

Oscar rules in the doc-feature category specify that no more than two individuals can “normally” be nominated for a film, and that the nominee or nominees must be “the individual(s) most involved in the key creative aspects of the filmmaking process.”

It is up to the committee to make exceptions to the rule of two. They did so last year for “The Gatekeepers” and the year before that for “Undefeated,” which won the Oscar.

“20 Feet From Stardom” originated with Friesen, a longtime music-industry executive who spent more than a decade as the president of A&M Records. (He was the first employee hired by founders Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss, and spent 27 years at the company.) Friesen died of leukemia in December 2012, a month before the film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

Rogers’ previous films include “The Tillman Story” and the TV doc “I Am a World Champion.”