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‘Summer of Soul’ Named Best Feature at the Critics Choice Documentary Awards

The Questlove-directed music doc won all six of its nominated categories

“Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” took home six awards from the Sixth Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards, Sunday night, including Best Documentary Feature.

Acclaimed musician Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson also won for his directorial debut of the music doc, shaping a treasure trove of footage from the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, tying with Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin for “The Rescue.”

Other awards the film took home include Best First Documentary Feature, Best Editing, Best Archival Documentary and Best Music Documentary.

“The Rescue” – which chronicles the 2018 daring rescue of 12 boys and their coach from deep inside a flooded cave in Northern Thailand – also received awards for Best Cinematography and Best Score.

​​“We are proud to be able to recognize such outstanding work at this year’s awards gala, in our return to a live event,” said Christopher Campbell, President of the Critics Choice Association Documentary Branch. “It was a wonderful night of showcasing and honoring the best of the best in documentary storytelling, with a mix of fresh faces and veteran talents lauded by our members. We are excited for our choices to inform the choices of film fans everywhere, as the CCDAs continue to support nonfiction filmmaking and influence the growing audience for documentaries.”    

Legendary documentarian R.J. Cutler was presented the D A Pennebaker Award, formerly known as the Critics Choice Lifetime Achievement Award. Cutler’s body of work includes the documentary films “The War Room,” “A Perfect Candidate,” “Thin,” “The September Issue,” “The World According to Dick Cheney,” “Listen to Me Marlon” and, most recently, “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry.”

Below is the complete list of tonight’s winners.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”

BEST DIRECTOR (TIE)

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson – “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”

BEST DIRECTOR (TIE)

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin – “The Rescue”

BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson – “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

David Katznelson, Ian Seabrook and Picha Srisansanee – “The Rescue”

BEST EDITING

Joshua L. Pearson – “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”

BEST SCORE

Daniel Pemberton – “The Rescue”

BEST ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY

“Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”

BEST HISTORICAL OR BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY

“Val”

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

“Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY

“The Crime of the Century”

BEST SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY

“Becoming Cousteau”

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

“The Alpinist”

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

“The Queen of Basketball”

BEST NARRATION

“Val”