‘Crip Camp,’ ‘Gunda,’ ‘Mr. Soul!’ Lead Critics Choice Documentary Nominations

Steve Pond
·6-min read

“Crip Camp,” “Gunda” and “Mr. SOUL!” led all films in nominations for the fifth annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards, which were announced on Monday by the Critics Choice Association.

The three films each received five nominations, including nods in the Best Documentary Feature category. As usual, that category cast a very wide net and contains far more nominees than other awards for nonfiction filmmaking — 14 this year, with nominations also going to “Athlete A,” “Belushi,” “Dick Johnson Is Dead,” “Feels Good Man,” “The Fight,” “The Go-Go’s,” “My Octopus Teacher,” “The Painter and the Thief,” “A Secret Love,” “The Social Dilemma” and “Time.”

Films with four nominations are “Athlete A,” “Dick Johnson Is Dead,” “Octopus Teacher” and “Totally Under Control.”

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The list was missing many of the year’s most acclaimed nonfiction films, including “Welcome to Chechnya,” “The Dissident,” “Collective,” “Disclosure,” “76 Days” and “On the Record,” none of which received any nominations. Films that were nominated in other categories but not in the supersize Best Documentary Feature category included “All In: The Fight for Democracy,” “Boys State,” “The Truffle Hunters,” “MLK/FBI,” “Totally Under Control,” “Red Penguins,” “Notturno,” “The Way I See It” and “Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado.”

Over the years, the Critics Choice top documentary category has typically contained three of the five films that go on to receive an Oscar nomination in the Best Documentary Feature category. Last year, CCA voters nominated the Oscar winner, “American Factory,” and Oscar nominees “The Cave” and “Honeyland,” but not “The Edge of Democracy” or “For Sama.”

Netflix had a substantial lead over all other companies in nominations, with 31 noms to 14 for Neon, nine for Magnolia, six for Showtime and five each for HBO, Amazon, National Geographic, PBS Independent Lens and Shoes in the Bed Productions. The now-defunct Quibi received one nomination, for the short documentary “Crescendo!”

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Critics Choice Documentary Award nominations are voted on by special committees within the Critics Choice Association, a group of more than 400 television, radio and online critics and reporters. Final voting is open to the entire organization.

The winners will be revealed on Nov. 16 in a special announcement in lieu of the usual ceremony.

The nominations:

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
“Athlete A” (Netflix)
“Belushi” (Showtime)
“Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” (Netflix)
“Dick Johnson is Dead” (Netflix)
“Feels Good Man” (Wavelength Productions/PBS Independent Lens)
“The Fight” (Magnolia Pictures/Topic Studios)
“The Go-Go’s” (Showtime)
“Gunda” (Neon)
“Mr. SOUL!” (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
“My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix)
“The Painter and the Thief” (Neon)
“A Secret Love” (Netflix)
“The Social Dilemma” (Netflix)
“Time” (Amazon Studios)

BEST DIRECTOR
Garrett Bradley, “Time” (Amazon Studios)
Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, “Athlete A” (Netflix)
Kirsten Johnson, “Dick Johnson is Dead” (Netflix)
Victor Kossakovsky, “Gunda” (Neon)
James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham, “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” (Netflix)
Dawn Porter, “John Lewis: Good Trouble” (Magnolia Pictures)
Benjamin Ree, “The Painter and the Thief” (Neon)

BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Robert S. Bader, “Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes” (HBO)
Chris Bolan, “A Secret Love” (Netflix)
Melissa Haizlip, “Mr. SOUL!” (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
Arthur Jones, “Feels Good Man” (Wavelength Productions/PBS Independent Lens)
Elizabeth Leiter and Kim Woodard, “Jane Goodall: The Hope” (National Geographic)
Elizabeth Lo, “Stray” (Magnolia Pictures)
Sasha Joseph Neulinger, “Rewind” (Grizzly Creek Films/PBS Independent Lens)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, “The Truffle Hunters” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Roger Horrocks, “My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix)
Kirsten Johnson, “Dick Johnson is Dead” (Netflix)
Victor Kossakovsky and Egil Håskjold Larsen, “Gunda” (Neon)
Scott Ressler, Neil Gelinas and Stefan Wiesen, “The Last Ice” (National Geographic)
Gianfranco Rosi, “Notturno” (Stemal Entertainment)
Ruben Woodin Dechamps, “The Reason I Jump” (Kino Lorber)

BEST EDITING
Don Bernier, “Athlete A” (Netflix)
Eli Despres, Greg Finton and Kim Roberts, “The Fight” (Magnolia Pictures/Topic Studios)
Lindy Jankura and Alex Keipper, “Totally Under Control” (Neon)
Helen Kearns, “Assassins” (Greenwich Entertainment)
Victor Kossakovsky and Ainara Vera, “Gunda” (Neon)
Eileen Meyer and Andrew Gersh, “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” (Netflix)
Charlotte Munch Bengtsen, “The Truffle Hunters” (Sony Pictures Classics)

BEST SCORE
Ari Balouzian and Ryan Hope, “Feels Good Man” (Wavelength Productions/PBS Independent Lens)
Marco Beltrami, Brandon Roberts and Buck Sanders, “The Way I See It” (Focus Features)
Tyler Durham, Sven Faulconer and Xander Rodzinski, “The Last Ice” (National Geographic)
Peter Nashel and Brian Deming, “Totally Under Control” (Neon)
Daniel Pemberton, “Rising Phoenix” (Netflix)
Jeff Tweedy, “Long Gone Summer” (ESPN)
Jeff Tweedy, Spencer Tweedy and Sammy Tweedy, “Showbiz Kids” (HBO)

BEST NARRATION
“David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet”: David Attenborough, narrator and writer (Netflix)
“Dick Johnson is Dead”: Kirsten Johnson, narrator and writer (Netflix)
“Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds”: Werner Herzog, narrator and writer (Apple)
“Mr. SOUL!”: Blair Underwood, narrator; Ellis Haizlip, writer (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
“My Octopus Teacher”: Craig Foster, narrator and writer (Netflix)
“Time”: Fox Rich, narrator and writer (Amazon Studios)
“Totally Under Control”: Alex Gibney, narrator and writer (Neon)

BEST ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY
“Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes” (HBO)
“Belushi” (Showtime)
“Class Action Park” (HBO)
“Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” (Netflix)
“MLK/FBI” (Field of Vision/IFC Films)
“Mr. SOUL!” (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
“Spaceship Earth” (Neon)

BEST HISTORICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY
“Belushi” (Showtime)
“Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” (Netflix)
“Howard” (Disney+)
“John Lewis: Good Trouble” (Magnolia Pictures)
“Mr. SOUL!” (Shoes in the Bed Production)
“Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado” (Netflix)
“Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind” (HBO)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY
“Beastie Boys Story” (Apple)
“Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan” (Magnolia Pictures)
“The Go-Go’s” (Showtime)
“Laurel Canyon” (Epix)
“Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band” (Magnolia Pictures)
“Other Music” (Factory 25)
“Zappa” (Magnolia Pictures)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY
“All In: The Fight for Democracy” (Amazon Studios)
“Boys State” (Apple)
“John Lewis: Good Trouble” (Magnolia Pictures)
“MLK/FBI” (Field of Vision/IFC Films)
“The Social Dilemma” (Netflix)
“Totally Under Control” (Neon)
“The Way I See It” (Focus Features)

BEST SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY
“Coded Bias” (7th Empire Media/PBS Independent Lens)
“Fantastic Fungi” (Moving Art)
“Gunda” (Neon)
“I Am Greta” (Hulu)
“The Last Ice” (National Geographic)
“My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix)
“Spaceship Earth” (Neon)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY
“Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes” (HBO)
“Athlete A” (Netflix)
“Be Water” (ESPN)
“A Most Beautiful Thing” (50 Eggs Films)
“Red Penguins” (Universal Pictures)
“Rising Phoenix” (Netflix)
“You Cannot Kill David Arquette” (Super LTD)

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
“Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible” (ESPN)
“The Claudia Kishi Club” (Netflix)
“Crescendo!” (Quibi)
“Elevator Pitch” (Field of Vision)
“Hunger Ward” (Spin Film/Vulcan Productions/RYOT Films)
“Into the Fire” (National Geographic)
“My Father the Mover” (MTV Documentary Films)
“The Rifleman” (Field of Vision)
“The Speed Cubers” (Netflix)
“St. Louis Superman” (MTV Documentary Films)

MOST COMPELLING LIVING SUBJECTS OF A DOCUMENTARY (HONOR)
Dr. Rick Bright – “Totally Under Control” (Neon)
Steven Garza – “Boys State” (Apple)
The Go-Go’s – “The Go-Go’s” (Showtime)
Judith Heumann – “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” (Netflix)
Dick Johnson – “Dick Johnson is Dead” (Netflix)
Maggie Nichols, Rachael Denhollander, Jamie Dantzscher – “Athlete A” (Netflix)
Fox Rich – “Time” (Amazon)
Pete Souza – “The Way I See It” (Focus Features)
Taylor Swift – “Miss Americana” (Netflix)
Greta Thunberg – “I Am Greta” (Hulu)

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