A movie about ivory hunting co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, the latest expose from prolific factual filmmaker Alex Gibney and a profile of disgraced US politician Anthony Weiner are among the contenders for next year’s Best Documentary Oscar.
A long list of 145 films have now been whittled down to 15; sadly, though, there are no nominees from this part of the world this time around.
Among the high profile contenders are The Ivory Game, which was directed by Richard Ladkani and Kief Davidson and executive produced by Oscar winner DiCaprio. The film tracks the attempts of wildlife activists to thwart the illegal ivory trade in Africa.
Zero Days, meanwhile, is the new film from noted documentary filmmaker Gibney, whose credits include the scientology movie Going Clear and Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room. The doco – which premiered earlier this year at the Melbourne International Film Festival – examines the spread of the computer malware program Stuxnet, which was initially created by the US and Israel to target Iran’s nuclear facility.
Another nominated films showcased at MIFF include Weiner, which zeroes in on disgraced New York Congressman Anthony Weiner’s mayoral campaign, The Eagle Huntress, which tells the story of a 13-year-old girl seeking to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle hunter, and Kirsten (Citizenfour) Johnson’s memoir Cameraperson.
The other short-listed films are: The Witness, Gleason, Fire at Sea, I Am Not Your Negro, 13th, Tower, Life, Animated, O.J.: Made in America, Hooligan Sparrow, Command and Control.