Monday was a good day for filmmaker David France. Hours after his debut documentary "How to Survive a Plaque" won over the New York Film Critics Circle as Best First Feature, he found out that it was one of 15 semi-finalists for the Oscar. This intense examination of the AIDS epidemic also won the Gotham Award and is nominated at the Indie Spirits.
Of the other four Spirit nominees, only "The Invisible War," Kirby Dick's expose on rape in the US Army, made the academy's shortlist. Other high profile contenders include two of the PGA nominees: "Searching for Sugar Man," which traces Malik Bendjelloul's journey to find Rodriquez, a musician who enjoyed some success in the 1970s before disappearing; and "The Gatekeepers," Dror Mreh's film about the Israeli security services. Both "The Invisible War" and "Searching for Sugar Man" are in contention for the International Documentary Assn. award on Dec. 7.
Among those snubbed was NYFCC winner "The Central Park Five," which is both an IDA and Spirit nominee, as well as IDA contender "The Queen of Versailles" and the high-profile "West of Memphis."
The Documentary Branch screened 126 films and will now watch the contenders listed below again to determine the final five nominees which will be revealed on Jan. 10.
"Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry"
"5 Broken Cameras"
"The House I Live In"
"How to Survive a Plague"
"The Invisible War"
"Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God"
"Searching for Sugar Man"
"This Is Not a Film"
"The Waiting Room"
See top scores among Derbyites predicting this week's episodes and the whole seasons so far. See full leaderboards here -- did you make the lists? Prizes include $100 Amazon gift certificates plus your own personal chats with hosts Jeff Probst and Phil Keoghan.
CLICK HERE to log your predictions for lots of reality TV series, including "American Idol," "Dancing with the Stars" and "The Voice" plus Emmys and MTV Movie Awards. Learn more HERE. And see latest odds HERE.