Producers Guild Documentary Nominees Include ‘Jane,’ ‘City of Ghosts,’ ‘Cries From Syria’

The winner will be announced at the Producers Guild Awards on January 20, 2018

“Jane,” “Chasing Coral,” “City of Ghosts” and “Cries From Syria” have been nominated as the best nonfiction film of 2017 by the Producers Guild of America, the PGA announced on Monday.

“Earth: One Amazing Day,” “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower” and “The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee” were also nominated in the Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures category.

For the first time, the category was expanded from five to seven nominees.

The winner will be revealed at the Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Jan. 20, 2018 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

The Producers Guild documentary category is among the most idiosyncratic of the documentary awards — and while the PGA’s best-picture nominations are typically a reliable Oscar indicator, its doc nominations are not.

Over the last five years, only seven of the 25 PGA doc nominees have gone on to receive Oscar nominations, without a single year in which more than two films were honored by both organizations.

In that time, though, three of the Producers Guild winners — “Searching for Sugar Man,” “Amy” and “O.J.: Made in America” — did go on to win the documentary-feature Oscar.

Of this year’s nominees, Matthew Heineman’s “City of Ghosts” and Evgeny Afineevsky’s “Cries From Syria,” both of which deal with the aftermath of the civil war in Syria, have done well in the year’s previous documentary awards and nominations. So has Brett Morgen’s Jane Goodall doc “Jane” and Jeff Orlowski’s climate-change film “Chasing Coral.”

The other nominees — “Earth: One Amazing Day,” “Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower” and “The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee” (which was not submitted to the Oscar race) — are unique to the Producers Guild in awards voting so far.

A record 170 nonfiction films were entered in the Oscar doc category this year.

Nominees in the PGA’s feature film and television categories will be announced on Jan. 5.

The nominees:
“Chasing Coral”
“City of Ghosts”
“Cries from Syria”
“Earth: One Amazing Day”
“Jane”
“Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower”
“The Newspaperman: The Life and Times of Ben Bradlee”