Originally, 70 documentary features qualified for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences'® Best Documentary Feature Film in this year's Oscar race. Under the rules, all were screened by the committees, and 15 films have advanced to the next step - - choosing five for nomination.
Here's the short list with a little extra (Docs with dirctor(s), USA productions and in color, unless noted):
AUTISM: THE MUSICAL - Tricia Regan (Music and autistic children).
BODY OF WAR - Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro (Wounded vets).
FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO - Daniel G. Karslake (Homosexuality and religion intersect).
LAKE OF FIRE - Tony Kaye (Abortion, B&W).
NANKING - Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman (1938 "Rape of Nanking, China, by Japanese").
NO END IN SIGHT - Charles Ferguson (Iraq - Special Jury Prize, Sundance IFF).
OPERATION HOMECOMING: WRITING THE WARTIME EXPERIENCE - Richard Robbins (Troops in Iraq & Afghanistan - Special Jury Award Florida FF; nominated for IDA* award).
PLEASE VOTE FOR ME - Weijun Chen, South Africa (Election, elementary class style).
THE PRICE OF SUGAR - Bill Haney, USA / D.R. (Exploitation of workers in Dominican Republic - Audience Award, SXSW FF).
A PROMISE TO THE DEAD: THE EXILE JOURNEY OF ARIEL DORFMAN - Peter Raymont, Canada (Memories of exile, longing and democracy in Argentina through the words of author /activist Dorfman).
THE RAPE OF EUROPA - Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen and Nicole Newnham (Chronicles struggle to keep Nazis from destroying centuries of western culture - Audience Award, RiverRun IFF).
SICKO - Michael Moore (Comparing U.S. health system to others - nominated for IDA* award).
TAXI TO THE DARK SIDE - Alex Gibney (Torture in Afghanistan, Gitmo, and Iraq - Best Doc, Chicago IFF; nominated for IDA* award).
WAR/DANCE - Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine (Children in displacement camp compete in Uganda music festival despite war - Directing Award, Sundance IFF; Audience Award, Wisconsin FF; nominated for IDA* award).
WHITE LIGHT/BLACK RAIN - Steven Okazaki (Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the horror they brought to children).
*International Documentary Association Finalist. Gala is 8 December 2007. Also, see my Awards Page.
The 80th Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Tuesday, 22 January 2008, at 5:30 a.m. PT, in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater, Wilshire Boulvard, Beverly Hills, CA. The awards gala is 24 February 2008.