This year’s roster of DGA Awards nominees for Best Documentary Director is full of first-time contenders. The nominees are Otto Bell (“The Eagle Huntress”), Ezra Edelman (“O.J.: Made in America”), Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg (“Weiner”), Raoul Peck (“I Am Not Your Negro”) and Roger Ross Williams (“Life Animated”).
All five of their documentary features in the running number among the 15 on the Oscar shortlist. Of these DGA nominees, we are predicting “Eagle Huntress.” “I Am Not Your Negro” and “O.J.: Made in America” will make the grade at the Oscars, with “Cameraperson” and “13th” rounding out the Documentary Feature category.
“The Eagle Huntress (Director: Otto Bell)
With narration by Daisy Ridley, Bell tells the real-life story of a 13-year old Mongolian girl named Aisholpan attempting to be the first female eagle hunter in 12 generations of her family. The documentary premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
“I Am Not Your Negro” (Director: Raoul Peck)
Winner of the People’s Choice Award for documentaries at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival, Peck’s film explores the history of race relations in the U.S. based on author James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript “Remember This House,” including his takes on the lives and work of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Jr.
“Life, Animated” (Director: Roger Ross Williams)
Winner of the 2016 Sundance Directing Award: Documentary, “Life, Animated” is the story of an autistic boy and his family who used Disney animated films as a way of learning to express himself. Williams is already an Oscar champ having won Best Documentary Short in 2010 for his film “Music by Prudence.”
“O.J.: Made in America” (Director: Ezra Edelman)
Exploring the life and celebrity of O.J. Simpson through the lens of race relations in America, the ESPN documentary “30 for 30: O.J.: Made in America” is a five-part television series that premiered at Sundance and had an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run. Edelman is best known as a sports documentary filmmaker having won multiple Sports Emmys for “Brooklyn Dodgers: Ghosts of Flatbush” in 2008, but is new to the Oscar race.
“Weiner” (Directors: Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg)
Chronicling his 2013 New York City mayoral campaign and image rehabilitation after the 2011 leaked photo scandal that ended his career in Congress, Anthony Weiner is the subject of this 2016 Sundance Grand Jury Prize: Documentary winner. This is directorial debut of both Kriegman and Steinberg.
Be sure to make your DGA predictions. Weigh in now with your picks so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films are faring in our DGA odds. You can keep changing your predictions right up until just before nominations are announced on January 12 at 5:00 am PT/8:00 am ET. Be sure to read our contest rules. And join in the fierce debate over the DGA Awards taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our forums.