The eligibility of documentaries for awardage from both that lusted after winged woman (Emmy) and the coveted naked man (Oscar) is a labyrinthine maze from which we would never exit were we to foolishly enter. In fact, someone needs to make a documentary about THAT to sort it all out. Documentaries leave strange crumbs all over both the big and small screens on their long walking journey through often complicated and extremely protacted "releases".
I bring this up because a portion of the Emmy nominations were announced today (like The Grammys there are hundreds of categories) in the non-fiction fields of news and documentary. I was surprised, for example, to see Semper Fi: Always Faithful, The Loving Story and We Were Here as nominees. You may recall they were all Oscar finalists (though not nominees) back in 2011 and now they're up for 2013 Emmys! Actual nominees from that Oscar year show up too, particularly those from the Best Documentary Short category. I thought we'd highlight a few categories in case you've seen any of these films. They might be familiar to you even if you spend more time in theaters than in front of your television.
OUTSTANDING INFORMATIONAL PROGRAMMING - LONG FORM
- Semper Fi: Always Faithful -MSNBC Documentaries
- The Interrupters -Frontline PBS (read our interview with director Steve James)
- The Suicide Plan -Frontline PBS
- My Reincarnation - POV PBS
- Wish Me Away - Showtime
OUTSTANDING HISTORICAL PROGRAMMING - LONG FORM
- The Loving Story -HBO Documentary Films
- Vito -HBO Documentary Films (read our interview with director Jeffrey Schwartz. Vito Russo wrote the groundbreaking book "The Celluloid Closet" which is all about the problems of LGBT presence in Hollywood films. That book and his AIDS activism are his legacy. This doc was also nominated for "Best Research")
- Jesse Owens - American Experience PBS
- We Were Here - Independent Lens PBS [Available on Netflix Instant Watch]
- Nostalgia for the Light -POV PBS
And there are several other categories of non fiction programming too like "arts and cultural, science, and economic" . Finally, all the fields seem to unite under the umbrella category "Best Documentary" which has six nominations, all of them previous Oscar nominees or finalists except for Nostalgia for the Light, which nevertheless had a movie awards presence winning Best Documentary at the European Film Awards and winning a WGA nomination as well. That said I should note that this is no guarantee that how the docs aired on television is the same way they aired in cinema since documentaries can shape shift as they switch mediums and details of their stories continue to emerge. Some get much longer and are divvied up into segments for news programs.
- Project NIM -HBO Documentary Films
- Saving Face - HBO Documentary Films
- The Loving Story - HBO Documentary Films
- The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - HBO Documentary Films
- Hell and Back Again - Independent Lens -PBS
- Nostalgia for the Light - POV PBS
Do you like docs and if so have you seen any of these films?
P.S. Of Note: 60 Minutes won a nomination for "Outstanding Interview" for their profile of Steven Spielberg during Lincoln's run. If winged Emmy is anything like naked Oscar, it won't win its category.
P.P.S. The Emmy nominations most people talk about when they talk about Emmys are the ones that will be announced a week from today on July 18th. We'll talk about those soon!