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"
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Oscar Nominations: New York state resident Tim Kressner (gufa54) won $1,000 for reaping the highest percentage (78%) when predicting Academy Award noms. Watch our video chat with him here and learn his strategy for making picks. See the leaderboard here. See Kressner's predix here.
Golden Globes (Film): Mario Gomez, a med studen in Mexico, won our contest with the highest percentage of correct picks (86%) and highest point score (2,693). See our video chat with him here. Two other contestants also scored 86%: lulo1989 and eastwest. Tom O'Neil reaped best Experts' score. David Schnelwar had top score among our Editors. See the leaderboard here to see if you made the top tier.
Critics Choice Nominations: Bryce H scored an impressive 83% when sizing up 20 categories. That was one percentage point ahead of our smartest Editor, Daniel Montgomery. Our top Expert was also one of our Editors, Paul Sheehan, who reaped 74%. To see how you performed, check out our leaderboard plus the score section of your account page.
Golden Globe (Film) Nominations: Jonathan was our top User, reaping a staggering 86% when forecasting the lineup of 10 categories. That put him six percentage points ahead of our best Expert -- Scott Mantz (Access Hollywood) -- and eight ahead of our leading Editor, Daniel Montogomery. Did you made the cut on the leaderboard score breakdown?
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Winners: Christian aced all rivals, scoring 82%. That was almost 20 percentage points ahead of our top Expert (Edward Douglas of ComingSoon ) and Editor (Matt Noble), both of whom earned scores of 64%. Christian foresaw that surprise screenplay win for "Before Midnight." See leaderboard.