ACCLAIMED DOCUMENTARIAN ROSS McELWEE TO RECEIVE THE PENNEBAKER AWARD ACADEMY AWARD WINNING FILMMAKER ROGER ROSS WILLIAMS TO RECEIVE THE CRITICS CHOICE IMPACT AWARD
The Ceremony Will Be Live-Streamed Through Facebook Live and Instagram Live and on THE CRITICS CHOICE ASSOCIATION WEBSITE at 7:00 PM ET on Sunday, November 12
Los Angeles, CA (Thursday, September 14, 2023) — The Critics Choice Association (CCA) has announced the recipients of two special awards for the Eighth Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards (CCDA).
The submission deadline is Friday, September 15. Submit HERE. The award nominations will be announced on Monday, October 16.
In addition to the 18 award categories listed below, two prestigious honors will be presented. The Pennebaker Award (formerly known as the Critics Choice Lifetime Achievement Award) will be presented to esteemed documentarian Ross McElwee. The award is named for Critics Choice Lifetime Achievement Award winner D A Pennebaker, who passed away in 2019. The award will be presented to McElwee by Pennebaker’s producing partner and wife, Chris Hegedus.
McElwee has made ten feature-length documentaries as well as a number of shorter films. Sherman’s March has won numerous awards, including Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. Sherman’s March was also chosen for preservation by the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 2000 as a “historically significant American motion picture.” Bright Leaves premiered at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight and was nominated for Best Documentary by both the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America. McElwee’s In Paraguay premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2008, and he returned to Venice in 2011 to premiere Photographic Memory.
In 2005, complete retrospectives of McElwee’s films were presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and later in many more cities. McElwee has received fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Film Institute, the LEF Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. McElwee received the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival’s Career Award in 2007. He is currently a Professor of the Practice of Filmmaking at Harvard University and is working on a documentary about the cable television remake of Sherman’s March.
Academy Award winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams will be awarded with the prestigious Critics Choice Impact Award which recognizes documentarians whose work has resulted in tangible societal changes.
In Williams’ newest documentary, Stamped from the Beginning, leading female scholars share a journey through history to understand how racist ideas were developed, disseminated and enshrined in American society. The film is based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same name by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. Stamped from the Beginning had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and will release on Netflix later this year.
Williams is an Oscar, Emmy, NAACP Image award, Webby and Peabody Award-winning director, producer and writer. He is the first African American director to win an Academy Award, for his film Music By Prudence. Williams directed Life, Animated, which won the Sundance directing award, was nominated for an Academy Award and won three Emmys. Williams directed God Loves Uganda, which was shortlisted for an Academy Award; the Emmy-nominated and Webby-winning VR experience Traveling While Black and Emmy winning documentary The Apollo. Williams recently co-directed the documentary Love to Love You, Donna Summer for HBO with Brooklyn Sudano, as well as episodes of The 1619 Project for Hulu.
This fall Williams’ first scripted feature Cassandro, starring Gael García Bernal, will be released by Prime Video. The film had its World Premiere at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival to critical acclaim. Additional upcoming projects include Apple TV+’s The Super Models following the lives and careers of iconic supermodels throughout the ‘90s, the previously mentioned Stamped from the Beginning for Netflix, HBO’s The Savior Complex and the second season of the widely applauded Netflix Series High on the Hog.
At the Seventh Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards, Good Night Oppy took home five trophies in all including the top award of the evening, winning Gold for Best Documentary Feature. The film’s other victories were Best Director for Ryan White, Best Score for Blake Neely, as well as Best Narration (written by Helen Kearns and Ryan White, performed by Angela Bassett), and Best Science/Nature Documentary.
Last year, for the first time, the Critics went one step further and recognized the top three finishers in the category of Best Documentary Feature. Fire of Love was the Silver medal winner, while the Bronze medal went to Navalny. Fire of Love also won Best Archival Documentary and Navalny was named Best Political Documentary. The Beatles: Get Back was another of the evening’s double award-winners, with wins for both Best Music Documentary and Best Limited Documentary Series.
The Critics Choice Associationis honoring the year’s finest achievements in documentaries released in theaters, on TV, and on major digital platforms, as determined by the voting of qualified CCA members.
For the fourth year in a row, the Critics Choice Documentary Awards welcomes National Geographic Documentary Films as the Presenting Sponsor.
Sponsors of the Eighth Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards are Milagro Tequila among others.
The categories for the Eighth Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards Presented by National Geographic Documentary Films are:
BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY
BEST TRUE CRIME DOCUMENTARY
BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY
BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY
BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY
BEST ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY
BEST SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY
BEST HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY
BEST BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY
BEST ONGOING DOCUMENTARY SERIES
BEST LIMITED DOCUMENTARY SERIES
BEST MUSIC SCORE
BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY
About the Critics Choice Awards
The Critics Choice Documentary Awards are an offshoot of the Critics Choice Awards, which are bestowed annually by the CCA to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. Historically, the Critics Choice Awards are the most accurate predictor of Academy Award nominations.
The Critics Choice Awards ceremony will be held on January 14, 2024 at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Century City, CA, and will be broadcast live on The CW.
About the Critics Choice Association (CCA)
The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 580 media critics and entertainment journalists. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, in recognition of the intersection between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.
To learn more about the Critics Choice Documentary Awards and to see past nominees and award winners, visit the Critics Choice Association website.
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