The Academy Awards announced on November 18 the shortlist of 15 films in the Documentary Feature category selected from the preliminary round. Next, they will be voted on by the Documentary Committee who will choose the five final nominees.
Of the 89 films that qualified - a substantial number of documentaries, a few high-profile films were missing from among the contenders, including Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story, Chris Rock's Good Hair, James Toback's Tyson, and Vogue's The September Issue. Also not listed, Michael Jackson's This is It, was released after the eligibility period cut-off date, September 30.
All Oscar nominees will be announced on February 2, 2010, at 5:30 am PST from Los Angeles. The 82nd Academy Awards will be presented on March 7, 2010, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and televised live by the ABC Television Network in the US and in more than 200 countries worldwide.
The following are the documentary contenders, in alphabetical order by title:
The Beaches of Agnes, directed by Agnès Varda: An autobiographical documentary about the life of the French documentary filmmaker.
Burma VJ: Reporting From a Closed Country, by Danish director Anders Østergaard: Using smuggled footage, the story of the 2007 protests by thousands of monks.
The Cove, directed by Louie Psihoyos: The presumed frontrunner and winner of audience awards from Sundance to Silverdocs festivals, it is an investigative exposé of dolphin slaughter near Taijii, Japan.
Every Little Step, directed by James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo: Follows dancers auditioning for Broadway revival, A Chorus Line, and the show's history.
Facing Ali, directed by Pete McCormack: Former rivals pay tribute to heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
Food, Inc., directed by Robert Kenner: Exposé of unhealthy practices by corporate agribusiness and its impact.
Garbage Dreams, directed by Mai Iskander: Follows the lives of teenage Egyptian trash collectors faced with the trade's globalization.
Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders, directed by Mark N. Hopkins DWB volunteers in Liberia and Congo war-zones struggle with emergency medical care.
The Most Dangerous Man in America, directed by Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
The story of Pentagon insider Daniel Ellsberg who leaked a top-secret Vietnam War study to the New York Times in 1971 and faced espionage and conspiracy charges.
Mugabe and the White African, directed by Andrew Thompson and Lucy Bailey
The account of a farmer's challenge to the violent Land Reform program in Zimbabwe.
Sergio, directed by Greg Barker: The life of UN's Commissioner for Human Rights and the attempted rescue of the man in Baghdad
Soundtrack for a Revolution, directed by Bill Guttentag and Dan Sturman: Journey through America's civil rights movement through its powerful music,
with Harry Belafonte, Blind Boys of Alabama, Wyclef Jean, Richie Havens
Under Our Skin, directed by Andy Abrahams Wilson:
Exposé of hidden epidemic of Lyme disease and failing of health care system.
Valentino: The Last Emperor, directed by Matt Tyrnauer: Life and 45-year career of legendary fashion designer Valentino.
Which Way Home, directed by Rebecca Cammisa: The harrowing and dangerous trek of child migrants from Central America to the US