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‘Fire of Love,’ ‘Good Night Oppy’ Lead Critics Choice Documentary Awards Nominations

”Moonage Daydream,“ ”Navalny“ and ”Three Minutes: A Lengthening“ also receive multiple nominations

AWARDS BEAT

“Fire of Love,” National Geographic and Neon’s film about a married couple from France who were two of the world’s foremost volcanologists until they were killed by an eruption in Japan, leads all films in nominations for the seventh Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards, the Critics Choice Association announced on Monday.

“Fire of Love” received seven nominations, one more than “Good Night Oppy,” the Amazon release that looks at the unexpectedly long life of the Mars rover.

Other films with multiple nominations include the David Bowie experience “Moonage Daydream,” the film about a Russian dissident, “Navalny,” and the Holocaust memory piece “Three Minutes: A Lengthening,” all of which received five nominations; and “The Automat,” “The Janes” and “The Beatles: Get Back,” which received four.

In the Best Documentary Feature category, the nominees were “Aftershock,” “The Automat,” “Descendant,” “Fire of Love,” “Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down,” “Good Night Oppy,” “The Janes,” “Moonage Daydream,” “Navalny” and “Sidney.”

The Critics Choice Documentary Awards do not distinguish between nonfiction film and television, which means that, for instance, Judd Apatow and Michael Bonflglio were nominated in the Best Director category for the HBO doc series “George Carlin’s American Dream” alongside theatrical filmmakers alongside film premieres like “Descendant,” “Moonage Daydream” and “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed.”

The short doc “Nuisance Bear” was nominated in the Best Short Documentary category, but also for Best Science/Nature Documentary and Best Cinematography, where it’s going up against a roster of feature-length docs.

As usual for the CCDA, some of the year’s most acclaimed nonfiction films were either not nominated at all (“Last Flight Home”) or not nominated in the top category (“All That Breathes,” “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” “Retrograde”).

Winners will be announced on Nov. 13 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City, with actor/comic Wyatt Cenac hosting a ceremony that will be live-streamed through Facebook Live and Instagram Live.

The ceremony will also include the presentation of the Pennebaker Award, formerly known as the Critics Choice Lifetime Achievement Award, to documentary filmmaker Barbara Kopple.

Nominations were made by special committees of Critics Choice Association members. (Full disclosure: I am a member of the CCA but did not participate in the initial round of voting.)

The full list of nominees:

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“Aftershock” (Hulu)
“The Automat” (A Slice of Pie Productions)
“Descendant” (Netflix)
“Fire of Love” (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)
“Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down” (Briarcliff Entertainment)
“Good Night Oppy” (Amazon Studios)
“The Janes” (HBO)
“Moonage Daydream” (HBO/Neon)
“Navalny” (HBO Max/CNN Films)
“Sidney” (Apple TV+)

BEST DIRECTOR
Judd Apatow, Michael Bonfiglio – “George Carlin’s American Dream” (HBO)
Margaret Brown – “Descendant” (Netflix)
Sara Dosa – “Fire of Love” (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)
Reginald Hudlin – “Sidney” (Apple TV+)
Brett Morgen – “Moonage Daydream” (HBO/Neon)
Laura Poitras – “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (HBO/Neon)
Daniel Roher – “Navalny” (HBO Max/CNN Films)
Ryan White – “Good Night Oppy” (Amazon Studios)

BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Andrea Arnold – “Cow” (IFC Films)
Lisa Hurwitz – “The Automat” (A Slice of Pie Productions)
Jono McLeod – “My Old School” (Magnolia Pictures)
Amy Poehler – “Lucy and Desi” (Amazon Studios)
Alex Pritz – “The Territory” (National Geographic Documentary Films)
David Siev – “Bad Axe” (IFC Films)
Bianca Stigter – “Three Minutes: A Lengthening” (Neon)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Benjamin Bernhard, Riju Das – “All That Breathes” (HBO)
Magda Kowalczyk – “Cow” (IFC Films)
Lucas Tucknott – “McEnroe” (Showtime)
Gabriela Osio Vanden, Jack Weisman, Sam Holling – “Nuisance Bear” (The New Yorker)
The Cinematography Team – “Our Great National Parks” (Netflix)
Alex Pritz, Tangãi Uru-eu-wau-wau – “The Territory” (National Geographic Documentary Films)

BEST EDITING
Jabez Olssen – “The Beatles: Get Back” (Disney+)
Erin Casper, Jocelyne Chaput – “Fire of Love” (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)
Joe Beshenkovsky – “George Carlin’s American Dream” (HBO)
Helen Kearns, Rejh Cabrera – “Good Night Oppy” (Amazon Studios)
Brett Morgen – “Moonage Daydream” (HBO/Neon)
Langdon Page, Maya Daisy Hawke – “Navalny” (HBO Max/CNN Films)
Katharina Wartena – “Three Minutes: A Lengthening” (Neon)

BEST SCORE
Hummie Mann – “The Automat” (A Slice of Pie Productions)
Nicolas Godin – “Fire of Love” (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)
Blake Neely – “Good Night Oppy” (Amazon Studios)
Max Avery Lichtenstein – “The Janes” (HBO)
David Schwartz – “Lucy and Desi” (Amazon Studios)
Marius de Vries, Matt Robertson – “Navalny” (HBO Max/CNN Films)

BEST NARRATION
“Deep in the Heart: A Texas Wildlife Story” (Fin and Fur Films)
Written by Ben Masters, performed by Matthew McConaughey

“Fire of Love” (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)
Written by Shane Boris, Erin Casper, Jocelyne Chaput, Sara Dosa, performed by Miranda July

“Good Night Oppy” (Amazon Studios)
Written by Helen Kearns, Ryan White, performed by Angela Bassett

“Our Great National Parks” (Netflix)
Performed by Barack Obama

“Riotsville, U.S.A.” (Magnolia Pictures)
Written by Tobi Haslett, performed by Charlene Modeste

“Three Minutes: A Lengthening” (Neon)
Written by Bianca Stigter, performed by Helena Bonham Carter

BEST ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY
“The Beatles: Get Back” (Disney+)
“Fire of Love” (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)
“Moonage Daydream” (HBO/Neon)
“Nothing Compares” (Showtime)
“Riotsville, U.S.A.” (Magnolia Pictures)
“Three Minutes: A Lengthening” (Neon)

BEST HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY
“The Automat” (A Slice of Pie Productions)
“Descendant” (Netflix)
“The Janes” (HBO)
“Lowndes County and the Road to Black Power” (Peacock)
“Still Working 9 to 5” (Mighty Fine Entertainment)
“Three Minutes: A Lengthening” (Neon)
“The U.S. and the Holocaust” (PBS)

BEST BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY
“George Carlin’s American Dream” (HBO)
“The Last Movie Stars” (HBO Max)
“Lucy and Desi” (Amazon Studios)
“The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks” (Peacock)
“Salvatore: Shoemaker of Dreams” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Sidney” (Apple TV+)
“Sr.” (Netflix)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY
“The Beatles: Get Back” (Disney+)
“Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“If These Walls Could Sing” (Disney Original Documentary)
“Louis Armstrong’s Black & Blues” (Apple TV+)
“Moonage Daydream” (HBO/Neon)
“Nothing Compares” (Showtime)
“The Return of Tanya Tucker – Featuring Brandi Carlile” (Sony Pictures Classics)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY
“Aftershock” (Hulu)
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (HBO/Neon)
“Gabby Giffords Won’t Back Down” (Briarcliff Entertainment)
“The Janes” (HBO)
“Navalny” (HBO Max/CNN Films)
“Retrograde” (National Geographic Documentary Films)
“Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom” (Netflix)

BEST SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY
“All That Breathes” (HBO)
“Cow” (IFC Films)
“Fire of Love” (National Geographic Documentary Films/Neon)
“Good Night Oppy” (Amazon Studios)
“Nuisance Bear” (The New Yorker)
“Return to Space” (Netflix)
“The Territory” (National Geographic Documentary Films)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY
“Citizen Ashe” (Magnolia/HBO)
“Hockeyland” (Greenwich Entertainment)
“Kaepernick & America” (Dark Star Pictures)
“McEnroe” (Showtime)
“The Redeem Team” (Netflix)
“Welcome to Wrexham” (FX/Hulu)

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
“38 at the Garden” (HBO)
“Angola Do You Hear Us? Voices From a Plantation Prison” (MTV Documentary Films)
“The Flagmakers” (National Geographic Documentary Films)
“Four Seasons Total Documentary” (MSNBC)
“My Disability Roadmap” (The New York Times Op Docs)
“Nuisance Bear” (The New Yorker)
“Stranger at the Gate” (The New Yorker)

BEST LIMITED DOCUMENTARY SERIES
“The Beatles: Get Back” (Disney+)
“Hostages” (HBO)
“The Last Movie Stars” (HBO Max)
“The Lincoln Project” (Showtime)
“Our Great National Parks” (Netflix)
“The U.S. and the Holocaust” (PBS)
“We Need to Talk About Cosby” (Showtime)

BEST ONGOING DOCUMENTARY SERIES
“30 for 30” (ESPN)
“American Masters” (PBS)
“Cheer” (Netflix)
“The Circus” (Showtime)
“Unsolved Mysteries” (Netflix)
“Welcome to Wrexham” (FX/Hulu)

THE PENNEBAKER AWARD
Barbara Kopple