By Ray Pride

Jane Best Doc at Second Annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards

(Brooklyn, NY – November 2, 2017) – The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) announced the winners of the second annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards tonight at a gala event, hosted by Penn Jillette at BRIC in Brooklyn.

“We are so happy to be able to celebrate the supremely talented, leading voices in this golden age of documentary filmmaking and nonfiction television,” said BFCA President Joey Berlin. “It was another great night in Brooklyn in support of many of the most under-appreciated artists in our business.”

During this year’s celebration, filmmaker Joe Berlinger was honored with the Critics’ Choice Impact Award and filmmaker Errol Morris was awarded the Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award .

Presenters and attendees at the gala event included Clive Davis, Damien Echols, Gilbert Gottfried, Colin Hanks, Dolores Huerta, Barbara Kopple, Lawrence O’Donnell, Linda Perry, Kathryn Schulz, Fisher Stevens, Hannah Storm and Diane Warren.

Jane took home the evening’s most prestigious award for Best Documentary.
There was a tie for Best Director between Evgeny Afineevsky for Cries from Syria and

Frederick Wiseman for Ex Libris: The New York Public Library . The award for Best First Documentary went to Kedi .
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail won for Best Political Documentary.

The Award for Best Sports Documentary went to Icarus .
Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives took home took home Best Music

There was a tie for Most Innovative Documentary between Dawson City: Frozen Time

and Last Men in Aleppo .
The Best Song in a Documentary winner was “Jump” from Step , written by Raphael

Saadiq , Taura Stinson and Laura Karpman , performed by Cynthia Erivo . Best Documentary Series winner was The Vietnam War .
American Masters won the award for Best Ongoing Documentary Series.

Host Penn Jillette lead the celebrations for this year’s Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary honorees — The Cats of Istanbul (Kedi), Etty Ausch (One of Us), Al Gore (An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power), Laird Hamilton (Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton), Dolores Huerta (Dolores), Gigi Lazzarato (This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous), The Sung Family (Abacus: Small Enough to Jail).

The second annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards honor the finest achievement in documentary features and nonfiction television. The awards were determined by BFCA and BTJA members with expertise in the documentary field .

The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards was produced by Bob Bain Productions.

The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 300 television, radio and online critics. The Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) is a partner organization to the BFCA and includes TV, radio and Internet journalists who cover television on a regular basis. For more information, visit:



Best Documentary – Jane

Best Director (TIE) – Evgeny Afineevsky (Cries from Syria) and Frederick Wiseman (Ex Libris: The New York Public Library)

Best First Documentary – Kedi

Best Political Documentary – Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Best Sports Documentary – Icarus

Best Music Documentary – Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Best Song in a Documentary – “Jump” (Step) – written by Raphael Saadiq, Taura Stinson and Laura Karpman, performed by Cynthia Erivo

Best Documentary Series – The Vietnam War
Best Ongoing Documentary Series – American Masters

Most Innovative Documentary (TIE) – Dawson City: Frozen Time and Last Men in Aleppo

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon