Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards nominations: ‘Free Solo’ leads with 6, ‘Minding the Gap’ picks up 5

Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi‘s “Free Solo” leads the third annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards with six bids, including Best Documentary and Best Director. Also nabbing nominations in those two top categories is Bing Liu‘s “Minding the Gap,” which is also in the running for Best First Time Director, as well as “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” “Dark Money,” “Hitler’s Hollywood,” and “Three Identical Strangers.” In all 10 films were nominated for the top prize at these awards bestowed by the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. (BFCA). The other four are “Crime + Punishment,” “Hal,” “RBG,” and “Wild Wild Country.”

Last year the BFCA nominated 16 films for this award, three of which –“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “Faces Places,” and “Strong Island” — went on to contend at the Oscars. And in 2016 the BFCA shared its Best Documentary winner (“O.J.: Made in America”) with the Academy Awards while also previewing three of the other contenders: “13th,” “Fire at Sea,” and “Life, Animated.”

The other precursors are then Cinema Eye Honors, expected to announce the nominees for their 12th annual awards in early November, and the International Documentary Association, which announced a short list of 31 titles already and will reveal the nominees by the end of October. The IDA short list includes BFCA nominees “Crime + Punishment,” “Dark Money,” “Free Solo,” “Minding the Gap,” “Three Identical Strangers” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Full list of feature film nominees below:

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Crime + Punishment – Director: Stephen Maing (Hulu)
Dark Money – Director: Kimberly Reed (PBS)
Free Solo – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Films)
Hal – Director: Amy Scott (Oscilloscope)
Hitler’s Hollywood – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)
Minding the Gap – Director: Bing Liu (Hulu)
RBG – Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)
Three Identical Strangers – Director: Tim Wardle (Neon, CNN Films)
Wild Wild Country – Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way (Netflix)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Director: Morgan Neville (Focus Features)

BEST DIRECTOR

Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi – Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film)
Bing Liu – Minding the Gap (Hulu)
Morgan Neville – Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features)
Kimberly Reed – Dark Money (PBS)
Rüdiger Suchsland – Hitler’s Hollywood (Kino Lorber)
Tim Wardle – Three Identical Strangers (Neon, CNN Films)

BEST FIRST TIME DIRECTOR

Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster – Science Fair (National Geographic Documentary Films)
Heather Lenz – Kusama – Infinity (Magnolia Pictures)
Bing Liu – Minding the Gap (Hulu)
Stephen Nomura Schible – Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (MUBI)
Rudy Valdez – The Sentence (HBO Documentary Films)
Chapman Way and Maclain Way – Wild Wild Country (Netflix)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY

RBG – Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)
Dark Money – Director: Kimberly Reed (PBS)
Fahrenheit 11/9 – Director: Michael Moore (Briarcliff Entertainment)
Flint Town – Directors: Zackary Canepari, Drea Cooper, Jessica Dimmock (Netflix)
Hitler’s Hollywood – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)
John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls – Directors: George Kunhardt, Peter W. Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt (HBO)
The Fourth Estate – Directors: Liz Garbus, Jenny Carchman (Showtime Networks)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

Andre the Giant – Director: Jason Hehir (HBO)
Being Serena (HBO)
Free Solo – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Film)
John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection – Director: Julien Faraut (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Minding the Gap – Director: Bing Liu (Hulu)
The Workers Cup – Director: Adam Sobel (Passion River)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

Bad Reputation – Director: Kevin Kerslake (Magnolia Pictures)
David Bowie: The Last Five Years – Director: Francis Whately (HBO Documentary Films)
Elvis Presley: The Searcher – Director: Thom Zimny (HBO Documentary Films, Sony Pictures Television)
Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I Leave Here Tomorrow – Director: Stephen Kijak (Showtime Networks)
Quincy – Directors: Alan Hicks, Rashida Jones (Netflix)
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda – Director: Stephen Nomura Schible (MUBI)
Whitney – Director: Kevin Macdonald (Roadside Attractions, Miramax)

MOST INNOVATIVE DOCUMENTARY

306 Hollywood – Directors: Elan Bogarin, Jonathan Bogarin (PBS, El Tigre)
Free Solo – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Film)
Hitler’s Hollywood – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda – Director: Stephen Nomura Schible (MUBI)
Wild Wild Country – Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way (Netflix)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Director: Morgan Neville (Focus Features)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

306 Hollywood – Cinematographers: Elan Bogarin, Jonathan Bogarin, Alejandro Mejía (PBS, El Tigre)
The Dawn Wall – Cinematographer: Brett Lowell (The Orchard)
Free Solo – Cinematographers: Jimmy Chin, Clair Popkin, Mikey Schaefer (National Geographic Documentary Film)
Minding the Gap – Cinematographer: Bing Liu (Hulu)
Pandas – Cinematographer: David Douglas (Warner Brothers)
Wild Wild Country – Cinematographer: Adam Stone (Netflix)

BEST EDITING

Dark Money – Editor: Jay Arthur Sterrenberg (PBS)
Filmworker – Editor: Tony Zierra (Kino Lorber)
Free Solo – Editor: Bob Eisenhardt (National Geographic Documentary Film)
John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection – Editor: Julien Faraut (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Three Identical Strangers – Editor: Michael Harte (Neon, CNN Films)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Editors: Jeff Malmberg, Aaron Wickenden (Focus Features)

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