‘Crip Camp,’ ‘Gunda,’ ‘Mr. Soul’ Top Critics Choice Documentary Nominations

Tim Gray
·6 min read

Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution,” “Gunda” and “Mr. Soul” lead the fifth annual Critics Choice Association’s documentary nominations, with five apiece. Among the eclectic list of nominees are Taylor Swift, Greta Thunberg, veteran filmmaker Werner Herzog and longtime disability advocate Judith Heumann, as well as docs about such notables as John Lewis, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Lee and Frank Zappa.

Recognized with four nominations each are “Athlete A,” “Dick Johnson Is Dead,” “My Octopus Teacher” and “Totally Under Control.”

In terms of distributors, Netflix led with 31 nominations, followed by Neon with 14 and Magnolia Pictures with nine. Showtime had six, while HBO, Amazon, National Geographic, PBS Independent Lens and Shoes in the Bed Productions earned five each.

It’s the fifth annual documentary honors for the group, honoring projects released in theaters, on TV and on major digital platforms, as determined by the voting of CCA members. Winners will be announced at a presentation on Nov. 16.

Here are the nominations.

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“Athlete A” (Netflix)

“Belushi” (Showtime)

“Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” (Netflix)

“Dick Johnson is Dead” (Netflix)

“Feels Good Man” (Wavelength Productions/PBS Independent Lens)

“The Fight” (Magnolia Pictures/Topic Studios)

“The Go-Go’s” (Showtime)

“Gunda” (Neon)

“Mr. Soul!” (Shoes in the Bed Productions)

“My Octopus Teacher” (Netflix)

“The Painter and the Thief” (Neon)

“A Secret Love” (Netflix)

“The Social Dilemma” (Netflix)

“Time” (Amazon Studios)

DIRECTOR

Garrett Bradley, “Time”

Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, “Athlete A”

Kirsten Johnson, “Dick Johnson is Dead”

Victor Kossakovsky, “Gunda”

James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham, “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution”

Dawn Porter, “John Lewis: Good Trouble” (Magnolia Pictures)

Benjamin Ree, “The Painter and the Thief”

FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Robert S. Bader, “Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes” (HBO)

Chris Bolan, “A Secret Love” (Netflix)

Melissa Haizlip, “Mr. Soul!”

Arthur Jones, “Feels Good Man”

Elizabeth Leiter and Kim Woodard, “Jane Goodall: The Hope” (National Geographic)

Elizabeth Lo, “Stray” (Magnolia Pictures)

Sasha Joseph Neulinger, “Rewind” (Grizzly Creek Films/PBS Independent Lens)

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, “The Truffle Hunters” (Sony Pictures Classics)

Roger Horrocks, “My Octopus Teacher”

Kirsten Johnson, “Dick Johnson is Dead”

Victor Kossakovsky and Egil Håskjold Larsen, “Gunda”

Scott Ressler, Neil Gelinas and Stefan Wiesen, “The Last Ice” (National Geographic)

Gianfranco Rosi, “Notturno” (Stemal Entertainment)

Ruben Woodin Dechamps, “The Reason I Jump” (Kino Lorber)

EDITING

Don Bernier, “Athlete A”

Eli Despres, Greg Finton and Kim Roberts, “The Fight”

Lindy Jankura and Alex Keipper, “Totally Under Control” (Neon)

Helen Kearns, “Assassins” (Greenwich Entertainment)

Victor Kossakovsky and Ainara Vera, “Gunda”

Eileen Meyer and Andrew Gersh, “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution”

Charlotte Munch Bengtsen, “The Truffle Hunters”

SCORE

Ari Balouzian and Ryan Hope, “Feels Good Man”

Marco Beltrami, Brandon Roberts and Buck Sanders, “The Way I See It” (Focus Features)

Tyler Durham, Sven Faulconer and Xander Rodzinski, “The Last Ice”

Peter Nashel and Brian Deming, “Totally Under Control”

Daniel Pemberton, “Rising Phoenix” (Netflix)

Jeff Tweedy, “Long Gone Summer” (ESPN)

Jeff Tweedy, Spencer Tweedy and Sammy Tweedy, “Showbiz Kids” (HBO)

NARRATION

“David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet” (Netflix); David Attenborough, narrator-writer

“Dick Johnson is Dead”; Kirsten Johnson, narrator-writer

“Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds” (Apple); Werner Herzog, narrator-writer

“Mr. Soul!”; Blair Underwood, narrator; Ellis Haizlip, writer

“My Octopus Teacher”; Craig Foster, narrator-writer

“Time”; Fox Rich, narrator-writer

“Totally Under Control”; Alex Gibney, narrator-writer

ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY

“Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes” (HBO)

“Belushi” (Showtime)

“Class Action Park” (HBO)

“Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution”

“MLK/FBI” (Field of Vision/IFC Films)

“Mr. Soul!”

“Spaceship Earth” (Neon)

HISTORICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY

“Belushi”

“Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution”

“Howard” (Disney+)

“John Lewis: Good Trouble”

“Mr. Soul!”

“Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado” (Netflix)

“Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind” (HBO)

MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

“Beastie Boys Story” (Apple)

“Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan” (Magnolia Pictures)

“The Go-Go’s”

“Laurel Canyon” (Epix)

“Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band” (Magnolia Pictures)

“Other Music” (Factory 25)

“Zappa” (Magnolia Pictures)

POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY

“All In: The Fight for Democracy” (Amazon Studios)

“Boys State” (Apple)

“John Lewis: Good Trouble”

“MLK/FBI”

“The Social Dilemma”

“Totally Under Control”

“The Way I See It” (Focus Features)

SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY

“Coded Bias” (7th Empire Media/PBS Independent Lens)

“Fantastic Fungi” (Moving Art)

“Gunda”

“I Am Greta” (Hulu)

“The Last Ice” (National Geographic)

“My Octopus Teacher”

“Spaceship Earth” (Neon)

SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

“Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes”

“Athlete A”

“Be Water” (ESPN)

“A Most Beautiful Thing” (50 Eggs Films)

“Red Penguins” (Universal Pictures)

“Rising Phoenix”

“You Cannot Kill David Arquette” (Super LTD)

SHORT DOCUMENTARY

“Blackfeet Boxing: Not Invisible” (ESPN); directors: Kristen Lappas and Tom Rinaldi. Producers: Craig Lazarus, José Morales, Lindsay Rovegno, Victor Vitarelli and Ben Webber

“The Claudia Kishi Club” (Netflix); Director and Producer: Sue Ding

“Crescendo!” (Quibi); director: Alex Mallis. producers: Matt O’Neill and Perri Peltz

“Elevator Pitch” (Field of Vision); Director and Producer: Martyna Starosta

“Hunger Ward” (Spin Film/Vulcan Productions/RYOT Films; Director and Producer: Skye Fitzgerald. Producer: Michael Scheuerman

“Into the Fire” (National Geographic); Director: Orlando von Einsiedel. Producers: Mark Bauch, Harri Grace and Dan Lin

“My Father the Mover” (MTV Documentary Films); Director: Julia Jansch. Producer: Mandilakhe Yengo

“The Rifleman” (Field of Vision); Director: Sierra Pettengill. Producer: Arielle de Saint Phalle

“The Speed Cubers” (Netflix); Director and Producer: Sue Kim. Producers: Evan Krauss and Chris Romano

“St. Louis Superman” (MTV Documentary Films); Directors and Producers: Sami Khan and Smriti Mundhra. Producer: Poh Si Teng

MOST COMPELLING LIVING SUBJECTS OF A DOCUMENTARY (HONOR)

Dr. Rick Bright – “Totally Under Control”

Steven Garza – “Boys State”

The Go-Go’s – “The Go-Go’s”

Judith Heumann – “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution”

Dick Johnson – “Dick Johnson is Dead”

Maggie Nichols, Rachael Denhollander, Jamie Dantzscher – “Athlete A”

Fox Rich – “Time”

Pete Souza – “The Way I See It”

Taylor Swift – “Miss Americana” (Netflix)

Greta Thunberg – “I Am Greta”

“At a unique time for the entertainment industry and the world, documentaries are more important and fortunately more abundant and more available and more essential than ever,” said Christopher Campbell, president of the Critics Choice Assn. documentary branch. “It is a great honor for the CCA to celebrate these stories and subjects and shed light on the work of so many incredible filmmakers.”

The Critics Choice Assn. reps more than 400 television, radio and online critics and entertainment reporters. It was organized last year with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. and the Broadcast Television Journalists Assn., recognizing the blurring of the distinctions between film, television, and streaming content.

More from Variety

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.