Home / Awards / ‘Free Solo,’ ‘Minding the Gap,’ Wild Wild Country’ lead Critics’ Choice Documentary nominations

‘Free Solo,’ ‘Minding the Gap,’ Wild Wild Country’ lead Critics’ Choice Documentary nominations

Free Solo (National Geographic Films)

The Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) and the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) collectively known as the Critics’ Choice, have revealed nominations for the 3rd Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards with Free Solo, Minding the Gap and Wild Wild Country leading the pack.

Free Solo, from National Geographic Films, topped the list with six nominations, including Best Documentary, Best Sports Documentary and Best Director for Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. Hulu and Magnolia’s Minding the Gap earned five nominations including Best Documentary, Best Director and Best First Time Director for Bing Liu. Netflix’s Wild Wild Country also earned five, interestingly earning nominations in both Best Documentary and Best Limited Series Documentary. 

RBG, Won’t You Be My Neighbor and Three Identical Strangers were all nominated in Best Documentary (among other categories) and what has been one of the most successful years in history for documentary features at the box office. 

Recent winners here have been O.J.: Made in America, which ended up winning the Oscar and Jane, which ended up being snubbed. 

Broadcast Film Critics Association president Joey Berlin: “The year 2018 has been called ‘The Year of the Documentary,’ and we are so happy to give these films and shows the recognition and high praise that they deserve.”

Winners will be announced at an event on November 10th hosted by Bill Nye. 

Here is the full list of nominees:

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Crime + Punishment – Director: Stephen Maing (Hulu)
Dark Money – Director: Kimberly Reed (PBS)
Free Solo – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Films)
Hal – Director: Amy Scott (Oscilloscope)
Hitler’s Hollywood – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)
Minding the Gap – Director: Bing Liu (Hulu)
RBG – Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)
Three Identical Strangers – Director: Tim Wardle (Neon, CNN Films)
Wild Wild Country – Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way (Netflix)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Director: Morgan Neville (Focus Features)

BEST LIMITED DOCUMENTARY SERIES

America to Me (Starz)
Dirty Money (Netflix)
Elvis Presley: The Searcher (HBO Documentary Films, Sony Pictures Television)
Flint Town (Netflix)
One Strange Rock (National Geographic)
The Fourth Estate (Showtime Networks)
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling (HBO)
Wild Wild Country (Netflix)

BEST ONGOING DOCUMENTARY SERIES

30 for 30 (ESPN)
American Masters (PBS)
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN)
Frontline (PBS)
Independent Lens (PBS)
Making a Murderer (Netflix)
POV (PBS)
The History of Comedy (CNN)

BEST DIRECTOR

Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi – Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film)
Bing Liu – Minding the Gap (Hulu)
Morgan Neville – Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (Focus Features)
Kimberly Reed – Dark Money (PBS)
Rüdiger Suchsland – Hitler’s Hollywood (Kino Lorber)
Tim Wardle – Three Identical Strangers (Neon, CNN Films)

BEST FIRST TIME DIRECTOR

Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster – Science Fair (National Geographic Documentary Films)
Heather Lenz – Kusama – Infinity (Magnolia Pictures)
Bing Liu – Minding the Gap (Hulu)
Stephen Nomura Schible – Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda (MUBI)
Rudy Valdez – The Sentence (HBO Documentary Films)
Chapman Way and Maclain Way – Wild Wild Country (Netflix)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY

RBG – Directors: Julie Cohen, Betsy West (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)
Dark Money – Director: Kimberly Reed (PBS)
Fahrenheit 11/9 – Director: Michael Moore (Briarcliff Entertainment)
Flint Town – Directors: Zackary Canepari, Drea Cooper, Jessica Dimmock (Netflix)
Hitler’s Hollywood – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)
John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls – Directors: George Kunhardt, Peter W. Kunhardt, Teddy Kunhardt (HBO)
The Fourth Estate – Directors: Liz Garbus, Jenny Carchman (Showtime Networks)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

Andre the Giant – Director: Jason Hehir (HBO)
Being Serena (HBO)
Free Solo – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Film)
John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection – Director: Julien Faraut (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Minding the Gap – Director: Bing Liu (Hulu)
The Workers Cup – Director: Adam Sobel (Passion River)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

Bad Reputation – Director: Kevin Kerslake (Magnolia Pictures)
David Bowie: The Last Five Years – Director: Francis Whately (HBO Documentary Films)
Elvis Presley: The Searcher – Director: Thom Zimny (HBO Documentary Films, Sony Pictures Television)
Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I Leave Here Tomorrow – Director: Stephen Kijak (Showtime Networks)
Quincy – Directors: Alan Hicks, Rashida Jones (Netflix)
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda – Director: Stephen Nomura Schible (MUBI)
Whitney – Director: Kevin Macdonald (Roadside Attractions, Miramax)

MOST COMPELLING LIVING SUBJECT OF A DOCUMENTARY
(ALL LISTED IN THE CATEGORY WILL BE HONORED AT THE EVENT)

Scotty Bowers – Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood (Greenwich Entertainment, Kino Lorber, Starz!)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg – RBG (Magnolia Pictures, Participant Media)
Alex Honnold – Free Solo (National Geographic Documentary Film)
Joan Jett – Bad Reputation (Magnolia Pictures)
Quincy Jones – Quincy (Netflix)
David Kellman and Bobby Shafran – Three Identical Strangers (Neon, CNN Films)
John McEnroe – John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Leon Vitali – Filmworker (Kino Lorber)

MOST INNOVATIVE DOCUMENTARY

306 Hollywood – Directors: Elan Bogarin, Jonathan Bogarin (PBS, El Tigre)
Free Solo – Directors: Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (National Geographic Documentary Film)
Hitler’s Hollywood – Director: Rüdiger Suchsland (Kino Lorber)
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda – Director: Stephen Nomura Schible (MUBI)
Wild Wild Country – Directors: Chapman Way, Maclain Way (Netflix)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Director: Morgan Neville (Focus Features)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

306 Hollywood – Cinematographers: Elan Bogarin, Jonathan Bogarin, Alejandro Mejía (PBS, El Tigre)
The Dawn Wall – Cinematographer: Brett Lowell (The Orchard)
Free Solo – Cinematographers: Jimmy Chin, Clair Popkin, Mikey Schaefer (National Geographic Documentary Film)
Minding the Gap – Cinematographer: Bing Liu (Hulu)
Pandas – Cinematographer: David Douglas (Warner Brothers)
Wild Wild Country – Cinematographer: Adam Stone (Netflix)

BEST EDITING

Dark Money – Editor: Jay Arthur Sterrenberg (PBS)
Filmworker – Editor: Tony Zierra (Kino Lorber)
Free Solo – Editor: Bob Eisenhardt (National Geographic Documentary Film)
John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection – Editor: Julien Faraut (Oscilloscope Laboratories)
Three Identical Strangers – Editor: Michael Harte (Neon, CNN Films)
Won’t You Be My Neighbor? – Editors: Jeff Malmberg, Aaron Wickenden (Focus Features)

About Erik Anderson

Erik thanks his mother for his love of all things Oscar, having watched the Academy Awards together since he was in the single digits; making lists, rankings and predictions throughout the show. This led him down the path to obsessing about awards. Much later, he found himself at GoldDerby, led by Tom O’Neill and then migrated over to Oscarwatch (now AwardsDaily), headed up by Sasha Stone before breaking off to create AwardsWatch. He is a member of the International Cinephile Society, GALECA (The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics), the International Press Academy and is the founder/owner of AwardsWatch.

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