PGA Documentary Awards nominations include the Oscar frontrunners

The Producers Guild of America announced the seven films vying for Best Documentary Feature on Monday, December 12. The nominees are: “All That Breathes,” “Descendant,” “Fire of Love,” “Navalny,” “Nothing Compares,” “Retrograde,” and “The Territory.”

Recognition from the PGA is one stop on the path to a nomination for non-fiction Oscar hopefuls. In the last two years, the PGA winner and the Oscar winner have matched (“Summer of Soul” and “My Octopus Teacher” each won both prizes), but the overlap in nominees is less consistent.

In 2021 and 2019, PGA and Oscar matched on four titles, but in 2020 and 2018 they only matched on two. In 2017, none of the seven PGA nominees were nominated by the academy. Just prior to 2020, the PGA winners “Apollo 11” (2019), “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” (2018) and “Jane” (2017) all missed out on an Oscar nomination.

So far this year, “Fire of Love” and “Navalny” are the two PGA nominees that are most widely recognized by other non-fiction awards groups. Both were nominated for the top prizes by the International Documentary Association (IDA), Cinema Eye Honors (CEH), and Critics Choice Documentary Awards (CCDA). “All That Breathes” was awarded the IDA’s top prize on December 10 and remains in contention for the CEH prize.

“The Territory” is a nominee with CEH and “Descendant” was a nominee with CCDA. “Nothing Compares” and “Retrograde” were not nominated for the top award by any of the three groups prior to the PGA announcement.

High profile documentaries that did not make the PGA cut include “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” the IDA and CEH nominee that won the prestigious Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival earlier in the year, and “Good Night Oppy,” which made a splash with the CCDA as their Best Documentary feature and winner of four other prizes.

The winner will be revealed at the 34th annual PGA Awards which will take place on February 25, 2023. The remaining Producers Guild Awards nominations, including those for the Oscar bellwether Best Picture, will be unveiled on January 12, 2023.

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