DGA announces documentary nominees

Posted by · 11:11 am · January 12th, 2011

Two days after revealing their feature film nominees, the Directors’ Guild of America has named their five selections in the documentary category. It’s a list that mostly lends credence to the presumed Oscar frontrunners, with one notable exception: Chinese director Lixin Fan, whose lavishly acclaimed debut “Last Train Home” was left off the Academy’s 15-title documentary shortlist, to the dismay of many a critic.

Fan isn’t the only first-timer to crack the DGA’s list: war journalist Sebastian Junger and photographer Tim Hetherington made the cut for their gutsy foray into filmmaking, “Restrepo.” Notably, if not surprisingly, absent is “Exit Through the Gift Shop” director Banksy — the Guild was never likely to tap a celebrity outsider who won’t even identify himself, and I suspect the Academy will have similar reservations.

Meanwhile, note the three overlaps between the PGA and DGA lists, “Client 9,” “Waiting for Superman” and “Inside Job,” with only the last-named film also scoring with the Writers’ Guild. Just in case you hadn’t spotted the one to beat. Check out the nominees at The Circuit.

[Photo: National Geographic Entertainment]

→ 10 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

10 responses so far

  • 1 1-12-2011 at 11:17 am

    Sam C. said...

    You think the AMPAS will snub Exit Through the Gift Shop? With all the buzz?

  • 2 1-12-2011 at 11:18 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Happens all the time. Hoop Dreams, anyone?

    The buzz you speak of is critic-created. The Academy is a very different beast. (Note that none of the Guilds have picked it.) It could make the cut — and I certainly hope it does — but it’s no shoo-in.

  • 3 1-12-2011 at 11:31 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    I think Exit is probably going to miss based on all the “is it real” talk. Just haven’t updated yet. In the midst of watching all the shortlisters.

  • 4 1-12-2011 at 11:35 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    Agreed. Plus, it could strike a number of voters in that branch as a little “light.” They’re not exactly renowned for their sense of humour.

  • 5 1-12-2011 at 12:05 pm

    Chase Kahn said...

    “Exit Through the Gift Shop” will definitely be snubbed. It’s too good.

  • 6 1-12-2011 at 12:20 pm

    Tom C said...

    I’m guessing the final list would be (if “Exit” does get the shaft):

    “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer”
    “Inside Job”
    “Waiting for Superman”

    Here’s to hoping that if Banksy does make it in, it will knock out either “Superman,” though more likely and sadly it will be “Restrepo” or “Gasland.”

    I’m also kind of hoping that the lack of guild showing (outside of the PGA) spells doom for “The Tillman Story,” which in my opinion is a repetitive and tedious work.

  • 7 1-12-2011 at 1:10 pm

    flipthetruck said...

    It’s such a shame, Exit Through the Gift shop is my favorite film this year

  • 8 1-12-2011 at 3:03 pm

    Dan E said...

    Restrepo was outstanding. Very happy to see the nomination

  • 9 1-13-2011 at 8:41 am

    Holden said...

    I just saw Exit Through the Gift Shop. I absolutely loved it, but it sort of mirrors this race with The Social Network and The King’s Speech (TKS = Waiting for Superman.) Exit Through the Gift Shop is obviously the better film, but it may be looked over because of some very ridiculous barriers.

    As I side note, I think it would be really cool if they accepted mockumentaries into the Best Documentary field. That would be pretty interesting.