2020 Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards winners: ‘Dick Johnson is Dead’ dominates with feature and director wins

Dick Johnson is Dead” won both Best Documentary Feature and Best Director (Kirsten Johnson) at the fifth annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards. This Netflix film came into the competition with four bids; it lost the cinematography race to another Netflix title, “My Octopus Teacher,” and thee narration award to “David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet.” “The Way I See It” won for score while “Totally Under Control” took editing. See the full list of CCDA winners announced on November 16 below.

The six genre prizes were awarded as follows: “MLK/FBI” (Best Archival Documentary); “John Lewis: Good Trouble” (Best Historical/Biographical Documentary); both “Beastie Boys Story” and “The Go-Go’s” (Best Music Documentary); “Boys State” (Best Political Documentary”); “My Octopus Teacher” (Best Science/Nature Documentary); and both “Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes” and “Athlete A” (Best Sports Documentary).

The Shoes in the Bed title “Mr. SOUL!” won one of its leading five bids: Best First Documentary Feature for Melissa Haizlip. The other two nominations leaders — “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution” and “Gunda” — were shut out.

Last year the CCDA awarded their top prize to “Apollo 11,” but that missed the cut at the Oscars. Instead, three of the other 10 films nominated for Best Documentary Feature with the CCDA went on to contend for that same award at the Oscars: “The Cave,” “Honeyland” and the eventual Academy Awards winner “American Factory.” In 2018 and 2017 the groups also matched on three of their nominees. In 2016 they shared the same winner “O.J.: Made in America” in addition to three other nominees.

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BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Athlete A (Netflix)
Belushi (Showtime)
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
X – Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Feels Good Man (Wavelength Productions/PBS Independent Lens)
The Fight (Magnolia Pictures)
The Go-Go’s (Showtime)
Gunda (Neon)
Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
The Painter and the Thief (Neon)
A Secret Love (Netflix)
The Social Dilemma (Netflix)
Time (Amazon Studios)

BEST DIRECTOR
Garrett Bradley, Time (Amazon Studios)
Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, Athlete A (Netflix)
X – Kirsten Johnson, Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Victor Kossakovsky, Gunda (Neon)
James Lebrecht and Nicole Newnham, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Dawn Porter, John Lewis: Good Trouble (Magnolia Pictures)
Benjamin Ree, The Painter and the Thief (Neon)

BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Robert S. Bader, Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes (HBO)
Chris Bolan, A Secret Love (Netflix)
X – Melissa Haizlip, Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
Arthur Jones, Feels Good Man (Wavelength Productions/PBS Independent Lens)
Elizabeth Leiter and Kim Woodard, Jane Goodall: The Hope (National Geographic)
Elizabeth Lo, Stray (Magnolia Pictures)
Sasha Joseph Neulinger, Rewind (Grizzly Creek Films/PBS Independent Lens)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw, The Truffle Hunters (Sony Pictures Classics)
X – Roger Horrocks, My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
Kirsten Johnson, Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Victor Kossakovsky and Egil Håskjold Larsen, Gunda (Neon)
Scott Ressler, Neil Gelinas and Stefan Wiesen, The Last Ice (National Geographic)
Gianfranco Rosi, Notturno (Stemal Entertainment)
Ruben Woodin Dechamps, The Reason I Jump (Kino Lorber)

BEST EDITING
Don Bernier, Athlete A (Netflix)
Eli Despres, Greg Finton and Kim Roberts, The Fight (Magnolia Pictures)
X – Lindy Jankura and Alex Keipper, Totally Under Control (Neon)
Helen Kearns, Assassins (Greenwich Entertainment)
Victor Kossakovsky and Ainara Vera, Gunda (Neon)
Eileen Meyer and Andrew Gersh, Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Charlotte Munch Bengtsen, The Truffle Hunters (Sony Pictures Classics)

BEST SCORE
Ari Balouzian and Ryan Hope, Feels Good Man (Wavelength Productions/PBS Independent Lens)
X – Marco Beltrami, Brandon Roberts and Buck Sanders, The Way I See It (Focus Features)
Tyler Durham, Sven Faulconer and Xander Rodzinski, The Last Ice (National Geographic)
Peter Nashel and Brian Deming, Totally Under Control (Neon)
Daniel Pemberton, Rising Phoenix (Netflix)
Jeff Tweedy, Long Gone Summer (ESPN)
Jeff Tweedy, Spencer Tweedy and Sammy Tweedy, Showbiz Kids (HBO)

BEST NARRATION
X – David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (Netflix)
Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix)
Fireball: Visitors From Darker Worlds (Apple)
Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
Time (Amazon Studios)
Totally Under Control (Neon)

BEST ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY
Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes (HBO)
Belushi (Showtime)
Class Action Park (HBO)
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
X – MLK/FBI (Field of Vision/IFC Films)
Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Productions)
Spaceship Earth (Neon)

BEST HISTORICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY 
Belushi (Showtime)
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (Netflix)
Howard (Disney+)
X – John Lewis: Good Trouble (Magnolia Pictures)
Mr. SOUL! (Shoes in the Bed Production)
Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado (Netflix)
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind (HBO)

BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY
X – Beastie Boys Story (Apple)
Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan (Magnolia Pictures)
X – The Go-Go’s (Showtime)
Laurel Canyon (Epix)
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band (Magnolia Pictures)
Other Music (Factory 25)
Zappa (Magnolia Pictures)

BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY
All In: The Fight for Democracy (Amazon Studios)
X – Boys State (Apple)
John Lewis: Good Trouble (Magnolia Pictures)
MLK/FBI (Field of Vision/IFC Films)
The Social Dilemma (Netflix)
Totally Under Control (Neon)
The Way I See It (Focus Features)

BEST SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY
Coded Bias (7th Empire Media/PBS Independent Lens)
Fantastic Fungi (Moving Art)
Gunda (Neon)
I Am Greta (Hulu)
The Last Ice (National Geographic)
X – My Octopus Teacher (Netflix)
Spaceship Earth (Neon)

BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY
X – Ali & Cavett: The Tale of the Tapes (HBO)
X – Athlete A (Netflix)
Be Water (ESPN)
A Most Beautiful Thing (50 Eggs Films)
Red Penguins (Universal Pictures)
Rising Phoenix (Netflix)
You Cannot Kill David Arquette (Super LTD)

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