Here Are the 124 Documentaries Eligible for This Year’s Oscars

     October 23, 2015


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today the films that are eligible for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar. 124 films in total have been submitted for consideration, and they cover a vast array of subjects and filmmaking styles. This massive list will be narrowed down to a shortlist of 15 in December, followed by the announcement of the five nominees in January.

This year’s crop of contenders is as formidable as ever. If there’s something of a “frontrunner” at this point it might be the Amy Winehouse doc Amy, which devolved yours truly into a puddle of tears on a recent international flight despite my having little interest in its subject. The buzzworthy Sundance pic The Wolfpack also appears, as does one of the most intense films of the year, Cartel Land. There’s also the accomplished Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck and timely campus sexual assault film The Hunting Ground, and of course Michael Moore’s new documentary Where to Invade Next. One doc I hope doesn’t get lost in the shuffle is Joshua Oppenheimer’s Act of Killing companion film The Look of Silence, which is a similarly devastating look at the same subject matter from the victims’ points of view.

amy-movie-posterAnyway, as always the Best Documentary Feature category at the Oscars can be something of a surprising (and infuriating) little beast. It’s hard to predict exactly what voters will respond to—remember, the high school football doc Undefeated beat Paradise Lost 3, a film that literally saved a dude’s life.

So take a look at the full list of contenders below, and let us know what your favorite documentary of the year is thus far. The 88th Oscars, hosted by Chris Rock, will be held on February 28th.

Above and Beyond

All Things Must Pass


The Armor of Light

Ballet 422

Batkid Begins

Becoming Bulletproof

Being Evel

Beltracchi — The Art of Forgery

Best of Enemies

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

Bolshoi Babylon

Brand: A Second Coming

A Brave Heart: The Lizzie Velasquez Story

Call Me Lucky

Cartel Land

Censored Voices



the-look-of-silence-posterComing Home

Dark Horse

Deli Man

Dior and I

The Diplomat

(Dis)Honesty — The Truth about Lies

Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll



Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon

Eating Happiness

Every Last Child

Evidence of Harm

Farewell to Hollywood

Finders Keepers

The Forecaster

Frame by Frame

Gardeners of Eden

A Gay Girl in Damascus: The Amina Profile

Godspeed: The Story of Page Jones

Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

He Named Me Malala

Heart of a Dog


How to Change the World


hitchcock-truffaut-posterThe Hunting Ground

I Am Chris Farley

In Jackson Heights

In My Father’s House

India’s Daughter

Ingrid Bergman — In Her Own Words

Iraqi Odyssey


Janis: Little Girl Blue

Karski & the Lords of Humanity

Killing Them Safely

Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

Lambert & Stamp

A Lego Brickumentary

Listen to Me Marlon

Live from New York!

The Look of Silence

Meet the Patels


The Mind of Mark DeFriest

Misery Loves Comedy

Monkey Kingdom

A Murder in the Park

My Italian Secret

kurt-cobain-montage-of-heck-posterMy Voice, My Life


Of Men and War

One Cut, One Life

Only the Dead See the End of War

The Outrageous Sophie Tucker

Peace Officer

The Pearl Button

Pink & Blue: Colors of Hereditary Cancer



The Prime Ministers: Soldiers and Peacemakers

Prophet’s Prey

Racing Extinction

The Resurrection of Jake the Snake

Ride the Thunder — A Vietnam War Story of Victory & Betrayal


The Russian Woodpecker

Searching for Home: Coming Back from War

Seeds of Time


The Seven Five

Seymour: An Introduction


A Sinner in Mecca

Something Better to Come

Song from the Forest

the-hunting-ground-posterSong of Lahore

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine

Steve McQueen: The Man & Le Mans

Stray Dog

Sunshine Superman

Sweet Micky for President

Tab Hunter Confidential

The Tainted Veil

Tap World


Thao’s Library

Those Who Feel the Fire Burning

3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets

The Touch of an Angel

TransFatty Lives

The True Cost


Very Semi-Serious: A Partially Thorough Portrait of New Yorker Cartoonists

The Wanted 18

We Are Many

We Come as Friends

We Were Not Just … Bicycle Thieves. Neorealism

Welcome to Leith

What Happened, Miss Simone?

What Our Fathers Did: A Nazi Legacy

Where to Invade Next

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

The Wolfpack

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