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CRITICS’ CHOICE DOC NOMINEES ANNOUNCED!

Nominations for this  2021 Critic’s Choice Documentary Awards were announced last week, and SDFF multi-year alumni filmmaker Ben Proudfoot was among the nominees. Proudfoot’s Queen Of Basketball (U.S., 22 mins) is part of his ongoing Almost Famous series of New York Times Op-Docs about female basketball player Lusia Harris, who played in the ’76 Olympics and was drafted to the NBA. 

The two films with the most nominations both come from filmmakers making their debuts in documentary—Jessica Kingdon’s Ascension about the pursuit of the “Chinese Dream” and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s Summer of Soul about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival each received six nominations this year. Two Nat Geo docs from veteran documentary directors followed on their heels with five nominations each: The Rescue (Dir. Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi of Free Solo fame) about the 2018 rescue of a boy’s soccer team from a Thai cave and Becoming Cousteau (Liz Garbus) which uses archival footage to tell the story of beloved documentarian Jacque Cousteau.

One of the biggest honors, The Pennebaker Award, will go to R.J. Cutler, who first broke onto the scene with political docs like A Perfect Candidate and The War Room, which he continue to make into the present day. His oeuvre expanded substantially with TV docuseries like American High, the feature film If I Stay, and more recent celebrity/music docs like Belushi and Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry. Winners in the Critics’ Choice other 15 documentary categories will be announced at a Nov. 16 ceremony. See the full list of nominees here.

Nominee The Rescue, a visually stunning piece of filmmaking, will be playing at the Sebastopol Rialto and ends this Tuesday. See screening details here.

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