167 Documentaries Enter Oscars Doc Race – See the Full List

Taylor Swift’s concert movie isn’t eligible, but two different movies named “Bella” are

20 Days in Mariupol American Symphony
"20 Days in Mariupol" (PBS), "American Symphony" (Netflix)

Voters in the Academy’s Documentary Branch will have 167 feature films and 114 shorts to consider for this year’s Oscars, according to emails sent to the branch over the past four months.

That number is 23 more than last year’s total of 144 eligible documentaries, but well short of the record total of 238 set in 2020, when the eligibility rules were loosened because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The list below is of all the films that were made available to the branch in the Academy Screening Room and assigned as required viewing to members of the branch. It is not the Academy’s official list of eligible films in the Best Documentary Feature category, which will be released before shortlist voting begins in mid December. That list is generally identical to this one, though it’s possible that films on this list might fail to meet eligibility requirements.

The list does not include the top-grossing nonfiction film of the year, “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour,” which was ineligible because of an Academy rule that disqualifies “works that are essentially unfiltered records of performances.” However, the list does include a different film about a concert by a performer named Taylor, “Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music.”

Curiously, so did two films with essentially the same title: “Bella,” a documentary about choreographer Bella Lewitzky that was made available to voters on Nov. 10, and “Bella!,” a doc about politician Bella Abzug that appeared in the screening room one week later.

Nine different batches of nonfiction films and eight groups of short films were placed into a members-only screening room accessible to voters, with each member of the branch assigned 10% of the titles as required viewing.

Voters are free to see as many films as they’d like outside their required lists, which are in place to ensure that each eligible film is viewed by a minimum number of voters. With the branch standing at 648 members during the last Oscar season, that means every qualifying film was assigned to between 60 and 70 voters, though it’s unknown how many branch members watch all their required-viewing films and participate in the first round of voting.   

The eligible films were made available to voters on nine different Fridays, beginning on August 10 with an initial 10 films. The second batch of 19 titles was added on Sept. 1, along with the first group of 34 short docs. Nine more features were added later in September, with October bringing groups of 11, 18 and 16 films. November brought a three week barrage: 30 new films on Nov. 3, 31 more on Nov. 10 and a final batch of 24 on Nov. 17.

Those groups of films added up to 168 documentaries, but “Kiss the Future,” a film about the rock group U2’s 1997 performance in Sarajevo, was later withdrawn and is no longer available in the screening room.

The 167 films include virtually all of the highest-profile nonfiction films of 2023, including “American Symphony,” “20 Days in Mariupol,” “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie,” “The Eternal Memory,” “Four Daughters,” “Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project,” “Kokomo City,” “The Mother of All Lies” and “Stamped From the Beginning.” IDA Documentary Award nominees “Milisuthando” and “Q” are not on the list, and neither are “Judy Blume Forever,” “Black Ice,” “Copa 71” and a number of other films listed as contenders on other websites.

First-round voting will take place from Dec. 14 through Dec. 18. On Dec. 21, shortlists of 15 documentary features and 15 doc shorts will be announced, with a second round of voting taking place Jan. 11-16 to narrow the 15 semi-finalists down to five nominees.     

Here is the full list of all the films placed in the screening room and assigned to voters. According to a Nov. 17 email, no additional films will be added to this list.

“After Sherman”
“Against the Tide”
“AKA Mr. Chow”
“American: An Odyssey to 1947”
“American Symphony”
“And Miles to Go Before I Sleep”
“Anonymous Sister”
“Another Body”
“Apache Blues: Welcome Home”
“Apolonia, Apolonia”

“Bad Press”
“Beyond Utopia”
“Bobi Wine: The People’s President”
“Bye Bye Tiberias”

“Close to Vermeer”
“Common Ground”
“A Compassionate Spy”
“Cup of Salvation”

“De Humani Corporis Fabrica”
“Deep Rising”
“The Deepest Breath”
“Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy”
“The Disappearance of Shere Hite”
“Dosed: The Trip of a Lifetime”

“Eat Bitter”
“The Echo”
“El Juicio”
“Elis & Tom – It Had to Be You”
“The Eternal Memory”
“Every Body”

“Fantastic Machine”
“Finding Her Beat”
“For the Animals”
“Four Daughters”
“Full Circle”

“Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project”
“Grandpa Was an Emperor”

“Have You Got It Yet? The Story of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd”
“Here. Is. Better.”
“High & Low – John Galliano”
“The Holly”
“Holy Frit”

“I Got a Monster”
“If You Let Me Go”
“Imagining the Indian”
“Immediate Family”
“In the Company of Rose”
“In the Rearview”
“In the Shadow of Beirut”
“In Viaggio: The Travels of Pope Francis”
“Incompatible With Life”
“Into the Spotlight”
“The Invention of the Other”
“Invisible Beauty”
“The Issues with Tissue: A Boreal Love Story”
“It Ain’t Over”

“Joan Baez: I Am a Noise”

“King Coal”
“Knights of Santiago”
“Kokomo City”

“The Lady Bird Diaries”
“Lakota Nation vs. United States”
“Land of My Dreams”
“The Last Rider”
“The League”
“Little Richard: I Am Everything”
“The Lost Weekend: A Love Story”

“The Melt Goes On Forever: The Art & Times of David Hammons”
“Menus-Plaisirs – Les Troisgros”
“The Mission”
“Mission Peace: The Staunch Moderates Documentary”
“The Mother of All Lies”
“The Mountains”
“Mourning in Lod”
“Mr. Jimmy”                                    
“Music Is My Life – Dr. Joseph Shabalala and Ladysmith Black Mambazo”
“My Name Is Happy”

“Nam June Paik: Moon is the Oldest TV”
“1946: The Mistranslation That Shifted Culture”
“North Circular”

“Occupied City”
“Orlando, My Political Biography”
“Our Body”

“Pacific Mother”
“The Padilla Affair”
“The Painting”
“Pay or Die”
“Pictures of Ghosts”
“The Pigeon Tunnel”
“Plan C”

“Radical Wolfe”
“Razing Liberty Square”
“Reality Winner”
“A Revolution on Canvas”
“Rewind & Play”
“A Rising Fury”
“Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling”

“Sam Now”
“Samuel and the Light”
“The Secret Cities of Mark Kistler”
“Shot in the Arm”
“Show Her the Money”
“Silver Dollar Road”                                  
“The Smell of Money”
“Smoke Sauna Sisterhood”
“A Song Film by Kishi Bashi – ‘Omoiyari’”
“Songs of Earth”
“Sound of the Police”
“Splice Here: A Projected Odyssey”
“Stamped From the Beginning”
“State of the Unity”                        
“Stephen Curry: Underrated”
“A Still Small Voice”
“Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie”
“A Storm Foretold”
“Symphony of the Holocaust”

“Taylor Mac’s 24-Decade History of Popular Music”
“32 Sounds”
“This Much We Know”
“They Shot the Piano Player”
“Thy Neighbors”
“Tito, Margot and Me”
“To Kill a Tiger”
“Total Trust”
“20 Days in Mariupol”
“26.2 to Life”                       
“Twice Colonized”

“Umberto Eco: A Library of the World”
“Under the Sky of Damascus”
“Unfinished Business”
“Unzipped: An Autopsy of American Inequality”


“We Dare to Dream”
“What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat and Tears?”
“While the Green Grass Grows”
“While We Watched”
“Who I Am Not”
“Wild Beauty: Mustang, Spirit of the West”

“Yoshiki Under the Sky”
“You Were My First Boyfriend”
“Your Fat Friend”


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