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15 Doc Features Make AMPAS Short List

By Tom White

The Awards Season is in full effect! The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced the short list for the entries in the Documentary Feature category. These 15 will advance in the voting process for the 81st Academy Awards. A record 94 pictures had originally qualified in the category.

And the lucky 15:

At the Death House Door (Dirs.: Peter Gilbert, Steve James)
The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) (Dir.: Ellen Kuras; Co-Dir.: Thavisouk Phtrasavath)
Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh (Dir.: Roberta Grossman; Prod.: Lisa Thomas)
Encounters at the End of the World (Dir.: Werner Herzog; prod.: Henry Kaiser)
Fuel (Dir.: Josh Tickell; Prods.: Greg Reitman, Dale Rosenbloom, Daniel Assael)
The Garden (Dir./Prod.: Scott Hamilton Kennedy)
Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (Dir./Prod.: Scott Hicks; Prod.: Susanne Priessler)
I.O.U.S.A. (Dir.: Patrick Creadon; Prods.: Christine O'Malley, Sarah Gibson)
In a Dream (Dir.: Jeremiah Zagar)
Made in America (Dir.: Stacy Perlata; Prod.: Baron Davis)
Man on Wire
(Dir.: James Marsh; Prod.: Simon Chinn)
Pray the Devil Back to Hell (Dir.: Gini Reticker; Prod.: Abigal Disney)
Standard Operating Procedure (Dir./Prod.: Errol Morris; prod.: Julie Bilson Ahlberg)
They Killed Sister Dorothy (Dir.: Daniel Junge; Prods.: Henry Ansbacher, Nigel Noble)
Trouble the Water (Dirs.: Tia Lessin, Carl Deal)

The Betrayal (Nerakhoon), Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts, Made in America and Pray the Devil Back to Hell all screened as part of IDA's DocuWeek Theatrical Documentary Showcase this past summer. Furthermore, Fuel (formerly Fields of Fuel) and Trouble the Water were both projects in IDA's Fiscal Sponsorship Program.

The Documentary Branch Screening Committee viewed all the eligible documentaries for the preliminary round of voting. Documentary Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles on the short list.

The 81st Academy Awards nominations will be announced on Thursday, January 22, 2009, with the Oscars telecast a month later, on February 22.