By Ray Pride

Fourth Annual Critics Choice Documentary Nominations Listed

LOS ANGELES, CA (OCTOBER 14, 2019) – The Critics Choice Association (CCA) has announced the nominees for the fourth annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards (CCDA). The winners will be presented their awards at a gala event, hosted by Property Brothers’ Jonathan Scott, on Sunday, November 10, at BRIC in Brooklyn, New York.

The Biggest Little Farm leads this year with seven nominations, including Best Documentary Feature, John Chester for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Narration, and Best Science/Nature Documentary.

Recognized with six nominations each are Apollo 11 and They Shall Not Grow Old.

The nominations for Apollo 11 are Best Documentary Feature, Todd Douglas Miller for Best Director, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Archival Documentary, and Best Science/Nature Documentary,

The nominations for They Shall Not Grow Old are Best Documentary Feature, Peter Jackson for Best Director, Best Editing, Best Score, Best Archival Documentary, and Most Innovative Documentary.

One Child Nation received five nominations including Best Documentary Feature, Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang for Best Director, Best Editing, Best Narration, and Best Political Documentary.

Recognized with four nominations each are The Cave, Honeyland, American Factory, Aquarela, and Sea of Shadows.

The nominations for The Cave are Best Documentary Feature, Feras Fayyad for Best Director, Best Cinematography, and Best Score. In addition, the film received an honor for Dr. Amani Ballor for Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary.

The nominations for Honeyland are Best Documentary, Best Cinematography, Best First Documentary Feature, and Best Science/Nature Documentary. In addition, the film received an honor for Hatidze Muratova for Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary.

The nominations for American Factory are Best Documentary Feature, Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert for Best Director, Best Editing, and Best Political Documentary.

The nominations for Aquarela are Best Cinematography, Best Score, Best Science/Nature Documentary, and Most Innovative Documentary.

The nominations for Sea of Shadows are Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Score, and Best Science/Nature Documentary,

At the gala ceremony, a special new honor, The D A Pennebaker Award, will be presented to legendary documentarian Frederick Wiseman. The award, formerly known as the Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award, is named for prior winner D A Pennebaker, who passed away this summer. It will be presented by filmmaker Chris Hegedus, Pennebaker’s longtime collaborator and widow.

Acclaimed filmmaker Michael Apted will receive The Landmark Award, an honor bestowed upon him for his extraordinary and unparalleled achievement with the Up series, which has just added 63 Up to this historic work.

“As the film and television industry constantly evolves, documentaries remain a vibrant creative art form that entertains as well as informs,” said CCA CEO Joey Berlin. “The CCA has the privilege to publicly support and celebrate the outstanding work of these artists, while at the same time providing media consumers with help in making informed and smart choices as they face more decisions about ‘what to watch’ than ever before. We are proud that our awards event has become a valuable way to help people ‘find the good stuff’ and to help filmmakers find their audiences.”


American Factory (Netflix)

Apollo 11 (Neon)

The Biggest Little Farm (Neon)

The Cave (National Geographic)

Honeyland (Neon)

The Kingmaker (Showtime)

Knock Down the House (Netflix)

Leaving Neverland (HBO)

Maiden (Sony Pictures Classics)

One Child Nation (Amazon Studios)

They Shall Not Grow Old (Warner Bros.)



Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts, For Sama (PBS)

Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert, American Factory (Netflix)

John Chester, The Biggest Little Farm (Neon)

Feras Fayyad, The Cave (National Geographic)

Peter Jackson, They Shall Not Grow Old (Warner Bros.)

Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11 (Neon)

Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang, One Child Nation (Amazon Studios)



Ben Bernhard and Viktor Kossakovsky, Aquarela (Sony Pictures Classics)

John Chester, The Biggest Little Farm (Neon)

Fejmi Daut and Samir Ljuma, Honeyland (Neon)

Nicholas de Pencier, Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (Kino Lorber)

Muhammed Khair Al Shami, Ammar Suleiman, and Mohammad Eyad, The Cave (National Geographic)

Richard Ladkani, Sea of Shadows (National Geographic)



Georg Michael Fischer and Verena Schönauer, Sea of Shadows (National Geographic)

Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11 (Neon)

Jabez Olssen, They Shall Not Grow Old (Warner Bros.)

Amy Overbeck, The Biggest Little Farm (Neon)

Lindsay Utz, American Factory (Netflix)

Nanfu Wang, One Child Nation (Amazon Studios)



Jeff Beal, The Biggest Little Farm (Neon)

Matthew Herbert, The Cave (National Geographic)

Matt Morton, Apollo 11 (Neon)

Plan 9, They Shall Not Grow Old (Warner Bros.)

  1. Scott Salinas,Sea of Shadows(National Geographic)

Eicca Toppinen, Aquarela (Sony Pictures Classics)



Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (Kino Lorber)

Alicia Vikander, narrator
Jennifer Baichwal, writer

The Biggest Little Farm (Neon)
John Chester and Molly Chester, narrators
John Chester, writer

The Edge of Democracy (Netflix)

Petra Costa, narrator
Petra Costa, Carol Pires, David Barker and Moara Passoni, writers

The Elephant Queen (Apple)

Chiwetel Ejiofor, narrator

Mark Deeble, writer

For Sama (PBS)

Waad Al-Kateab, narrator

Waad Al-Kateab, writer

Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People (First Run)

Adam Driver, narrator

Oren Rudavsky and Bob Seidman, writers

One Child Nation (Amazon Studios)

Nanfu Wang, narrator

Nanfu Wang, writer

Western Stars (Warner Bros.)

Bruce Springsteen, narrator
Bruce Springsteen, writer



Midge Costin, Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound (Matson Films)

A.J. Eaton, David Crosby: Remember My Name (Sony Pictures Classics)

Pamela B. Green, Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (Kino Lorber/Zeitgeist Films)

Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, Honeyland (Neon)

Richard Miron, For the Birds (Dogwoof)

Garret Price, Love, Antosha (Lurker Films)



Amazing Grace (Neon)

Apollo 11 (Neon)

Maiden (Sony Pictures Classics)

Mike Wallace is Here (Magnolia)

Pavarotti (CBS Films)

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (Netflix)

They Shall Not Grow Old (Warner Bros.)

What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali (HBO)



David Crosby: Remember My Name (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Kingmaker (Showtime)

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (Greenwich)

Love, Antosha (Lurker Films)

Mike Wallace is Here (Magnolia)

Pavarotti (CBS Films)

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (Magnolia)



Amazing Grace (Neon)

David Crosby: Remember My Name (Sony Pictures Classics)

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (Greenwich)

Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool (Abramorama)

Pavarotti (CBS Films)

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (Netflix)

Western Stars (Warner Bros.)



American Factory (Netflix)

The Edge of Democracy (Netflix)

Hail Satan? (Magnolia)

The Kingmaker (Showtime)

Knock Down the House (Netflix)

One Child Nation (Amazon Studios)



Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (Kino Lorber)

Apollo 11 (Neon)

Aquarela (Sony Pictures Classic)

The Biggest Little Farm (Neon)

The Elephant Queen (Apple)

Honeyland (Neon)

Penguins (Disney)

Sea of Shadows (National Geographic)



Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (Entertainment Studios)

Diego Maradona (HBO)

Maiden (Sony Pictures Classics)

Rodman: For Better or Worse (ESPN)

The Spy Behind Home Plate (Ciesla Foundation)

What’s My Name: Muhammad Ali (HBO)



Aquarela (Sony Pictures Classics)

Cold Case Hammarskjöld (Magnolia)

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese (Netflix)

Screwball (Greenwich)

Serendipity (Cohen Media)

They Shall Not Grow Old (Warner Bros.)



The Chapel at the Border (Atlantic Documentaries)

(Director and Producer: Jeremy Raff)

Death Row Doctor (The New York Times Op-Docs)

(Director: Lauren Knapp)

In the Absence (Field of Vision)

(Director: Yi Seung-Jun. Producer: Gary Byung-Seok Kam)

Lost World
(Director and Producer: Kalyanee Mam. Producers: Adam Loften and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee)

Mack Wrestles (ESPN)

(Directors and Producers: Taylor Hess and Erin Sanger. Producers: Erin Leyden and Gentry Kirby)

Period. End of Sentence. (Netflix)

(Director: Rayka Zehtabchi. Producers: Melissa Berton, Garrett K. Schiff and Lisa Taback)

The Polaroid Job (The New York Times Op-Docs)

(Director: Mike Plante)

Sam and the Plant Next Door (The Guardian)

(Director and Producer: Ömer Sami)

The Unconditional
(Director and Producer: Dave Adams. Producers: Adam Soltis, Renee Woodruff Adams, Josie Swantek Heitz, and Chris Tuss)

The Waiting Room (The Guardian)

(Director and Producer: Victoria Mapplebeck)



Dr. Amani Ballor – The Cave (National Geographic)

David Crosby – David Crosby: Remember My Name (Sony Pictures Classics)

Tracy Edwards – Maiden (Sony Pictures Classics)

Imelda Marcos – The Kingmaker (Showtime)

Hatidze Muratova – Honeyland (Neon)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin – Knock Down the House (Netflix)

Linda Ronstadt – Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (Greenwich)

Dr. Ruth Westheimer – Ask Dr. Ruth (Hulu)



The fourth annual awards ceremony will take place Sunday, November 10, 2019 at BRIC in Brooklyn, New York. The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards will again be produced by Bob Bain Productions.



The Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards are an off-shoot of The Critics’ Choice Awards, which are bestowed annually by CCA to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. Historically, the Critics’ Choice Awards are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.


The CW Television Network will again partner with CCA as the exclusive broadcast home for the 25th annual Critics’ Choice Awards, honoring the finest achievements in both movies and television as part of a three-hour special on The CW on January 12, 2020. For more information, visit:



Frederick Wiseman is a director of 43 films, primarily focusing on American institutions. In 2018, he was the Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University. In 2016, he received an Honorary Award for lifetime achievement from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Board of Directors. He is a MacArthur Fellow, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has won numerous industry awards, including four Emmys. In recent years, he directed Beckett’s Happy Days and Vasily Grossman’s The Last Letter at the Comédie Française in Paris, and The Last Letter at Theatre for a New Audience in New York. A ballet, inspired by his first film, Titicut Follies (1967), premiered at the New York University Skirball Theater in 2017.


Since the 1960s, Michael Apted has helmed an extensive list of feature films and documentaries. His feature films include Gorillas in the MistCoal Miner’s DaughterGorky ParkThunderheartNellThe World is Not Enough, EnigmaEnoughAmazing Grace, the third installment of C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and Unlocked.


His documentary credits include the Boris Grebenshikov film The Long Way HomeIncident at Oglala, Bring on the Night, Moving the Mountain, Me and Isaac Newton, the soccer film Power of the Game, and the official 2006 World Cup Film. But among his most widely recognized documentary directorial achievements are his internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning sequels based on the original 7 Up documentary: 7 Plus 7, 21, 28, 35, 42 Up, 49 Up, 56 Up, and soon to be released 63 Up. The films have followed the lives of 14 Britons since the age of seven in seven year increments.

Born in England in 1941, he studied law and history at Cambridge University. He has received numerous awards and nominations for his extensive body of work, including a Grammy, British Academy Awards, a DGA Award and the IDA Career Achievement Award. He was elected President of the DGA in 2003, and served three terms concluding in 2009. He has served as Secretary-Treasurer since 2011.


Jonathan Scott is an executive producer with Scott Brothers Entertainment (SBE), an award-winning production company based in Toronto, Canada, that he founded with his twin brother, Drew. Jonathan and Drew host multiple top-rated HGTV series, including the Emmy-nominated Property Brothers and Brother vs. Brother, which air in more than 160 countries. Jonathan is also a best-selling author, Billboard-charting recording artist, and social media influencer, with millions of followers across his digital platforms. In 2017, Jonathan was named Habitat Humanitarian, the highest recognition offered by Habitat for Humanity. Jonathan is also a longtime advocate of environmental responsibility and the advancement of clean, renewable energy. In 2019, he co-wrote and published the e-book Knowledge is Power with Vice President Al Gore and his NGO, Climate Reality, about the power and impact of solar energy on our lives and economy. Power Trip, Jonathan’s documentary on energy production and solar suppression in America, will be released in 2020. For more information about Jonathan, follow @MrSilverScott on social.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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