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Critics’ Choice Documentary Award: ‘Summer of the Soul’ wins top prize

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s look at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival took home the most awards of any film, with a total of five.

NS Critics Selection Association awarded the top prize for “Summer of Soul” at the Sixth Annual Critics’ Choice Awards Documentary Awards, honoring the best achievements in non-fiction films released in theaters, on TV or on major digital platforms. Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s look at the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival took home the most awards of any film, with a total of five.

This year’s nominations were led by “Ascension” and “Summer of Soul,” two feature films by documentary filmmakers taking part in for the first time. Each has six nominations. But “Ascension,” Jessica Kingdon’s pursuit of the Chinese dream, didn’t win any awards on Nov. 14.

“Summer of Soul,” which won top documentary and audience awards after premiering at Sundance earlier this year, has won five of the six awards it was nominated for at the awards. Critics’ Choice Awards: Best Documentary Feature, Best First Documentary Feature, Best Editing, Best Archive Documentary Feature, and Best Director, awards Thompson shares with “The Rescue” peacefully.

“The Rescue,” which tells Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin about the 2018 Thai soccer team’s rescue from an underground cave, also won Best Cinematography and Best Score.

Here is the full list of nominations for the Critics’ Choice Documentary Award, with the winners in bold:

Best Documentary

“Ascension” (MTV Documentary)
“Attica” (Showtime)
“Becoming Cousteau” (Picturehouse / National Geographic Documentary Films)
“Crime of the Century” (HBO Documentary)
“A Crime on the Bayou” (Augusta Films / Shout! Studios)
“Running away” (Neon)
“Introduction, Selma Blair” (Discovery +)
“The Lost Leonardo” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“My Name Is Pauli Murray” (Amazon Studios)
“Purchase” (Netflix)
“The Rescue” (National Geographic Documentary)
“Summer of the Soul (…Or, when the revolution can’t be televised)” (Searchlight Pictures / Hulu)

Best Director

Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin – “The Rescue” (National Geographic Documentary) (draw)
Liz Garbus – “Becoming Cousteau” (Picturehouse / National Geographic Documentary Films)
Jessica Kingdon – “Ascension” (MTV Documentary)
Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry – “Attica” (Showtime)
Jonas Poher Rasmussen – “Flee” (Neon)
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson – “Summer of the Soul (…Or, When Revolution Can’t Be Tv)” (tie)
(Photo by spotlight / Hulu)
Edgar Wright – “The Sparks Brothers” (Feature Feature)

Best first documentary feature

Jessica Beshir – “Faya Dayi” (Janus Films)
Rachel Fleit – “Introduction, Selma Blair” (Discovery +)
Todd Haynes – “The Velvet Underground” (Apple TV+)
Jessica Kingdon – “Ascension” (MTV Documentary)
Kristine Stolakis – “Pray” (Netflix)
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson – “Summer of the Soul (…Or, When Revolution Couldn’t Be televised)”
(Photo by spotlight / Hulu)
Edgar Wright – “The Sparks Brothers” (Feature Feature)

Best Cinematography

Jessica Beshir – “Faya Dayi” (Janus Films)
Jonathan Griffith, Brett Lowell and Austin Siadak – “The Alpinist” (Roadside Attraction)
David Katznelson, Ian Seabrook and Picha Srisansanee – “The Rescue”
(National Geographic Documentary)
Jessica Kingdon and Nathan Truesdell – “Ascension” (MTV Documentary)
Nelson Hume and Alan Jacobsen – “The Lonely Whale: The Search for 52” (Bleecker Street Media)
Emiliano Villanueva – “A Cop Movie” (Netflix)
Pete West – “Puff: Wonders of the Reef” (Netflix)

Best Editing

Francisco Bello, Matthew Heineman, Gabriel Rhodes and David Zieff – “The First Wave”
(National Geographic Documentary)
Jeff Consiglio – “LFG” (HBO Max and CNN Films)
Bob Eisenhardt – “The Rescue” (National Geographic Documentary)
Affonso Gonçalves and Adam Kurnitz – “The Velvet Underground” (Apple TV +)
Jessica Kingdon – “Ascension” (MTV Documentary)
Joshua L. Pearson – “Summer of the Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Couldn’t Be Televised)”
(Photo by spotlight / Hulu)
Julian Quantrill – “The Real Charlie Chaplin” (Showtime)

Best narration

“September 11: Inside the President’s War Room” (Apple TV+)
Jeff Daniels, storyteller

“Becoming Cousteau” (Picturehouse / National Geographic Documentary Films)
Vincent Cassel, storyteller
Mark Monroe and Pax Wassermann, screenwriters

“Crime of the Century” (HBO Documentary)
Alex Gibney, storyteller
Alex Gibney, writer

“Neutral Ground” (PBS)
CJ Hunt, storyteller
CJ Hunt, writer

“The Real Charlie Chaplin” (Showtime)
Pearl Mackie, storyteller
Oliver Kindeberg, Peter Middleton and James Spinney, writers

“Val” (Amazon Studios)
Jack Kilmer, storyteller
Val Kilmer, writer

“The Year The Earth Changed” (Apple TV+)
David Attenborough, storyteller

Highest point

Jongnic Bontemps – “My Name Is Pauli Murray” (Amazon Studios)
Dan Deacon – “Ascension” (MTV Documentary)
Alex Lasarenko and David Little – “The Lonely Whale: The Search for 52” (Bleecker Street Media)
Cyrus Melchor – “LFG” (HBO / CNN)
Daniel Pemberton – “The Rescue” (National Geographic Documentary)
Rachel Portman – “Julia” (Sony Pictures Classics)
Dirac Sea – “Ultimate Account” (Key Features)

The best archival documentaries

“Becoming Cousteau” (Picturehouse / National Geographic Documentary Films)
“The Real Charlie Chaplin” (Showtime)
“True Content” (Disney +)
“Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street” (HBO Documentary)
“Summer of the Soul (…Or, when the revolution can’t be televised)” (Searchlight Pictures / Hulu)
“Val” (Amazon Studios)
“The Velvet Underground” (Apple TV+)

Best historical or biographical documentaries

“Attica” (Showtime)
“A Crime on the Bayou” (Augusta Films / Shout! Studios)
“Fauci” (Magnolia Image / National Geographic Documentary)
“Ultimate Account” (Key Features)
“Julia” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“My Name Is Pauli Murray” (Amazon Studios)
“No Ordinary People” (oscilloscope)
“Val” (Amazon Studios)

Best Music Documentary

“Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry” (Apple TV+)
“Bitchin”: The Sound and Rage of Rick James” (Showtime)
“Listen to Kenny G” (HBO Documentary)
“The Sparks Brothers” (Focus Feature)
“Summer of the Soul (…Or, when the revolution can’t be televised)” (Searchlight Pictures / Hulu)
“Tina” (HBO Documentary)
“The Velvet Underground” (Apple TV+)

Best political documentaries

“Crime of the Century” (HBO Documentary)
“Enemies of the State” (IFC Films)
“Four Hours at the Capitol” (HBO Documentary)
“Influence” (StoryScope, EyeSteelFilm)
“Mayor Pete” (Amazon Studios)
“Lost in Brooks County” (Gigantic Image)
“Nasrin” (Hulu)
“Not happening in silence” (Greenwich Entertainment)

Best science/nature documentaries

“Becoming Cousteau” (Picturehouse / National Geographic Documentary Films)
“Fauci” (National Geographic Documentary)
“The First Wave” (National Geographic Documentary)
“The Loneliest Whale: The Search for 52” (Bleecker Street Media)
“Playing with Sharks” (National Geographic Documentary)
“Puff: Wonders of the Reef” (Netflix)
“The Year The Earth Changed” (Apple TV+)

Best Sports Documentary

“The Alpinist” (Roadside Attraction)
“Game Changer” (Hulu)
“The Day Sports Stood Still” (HBO)
“Kevin Garnett: Anything Can Happen” (Showtime)
“LFG” (HBO Max / CNN Films)
“Tiger” (HBO)

Best Short Documentary

“Available” (Netflix)
“Borat’s American Lockdown” (Amazon Studios)
“Secret Camp: America’s Secret Nazis” (Netflix)
“Day of Rage: How Trump Supporters Captured the U.S. Capitol” (The New York Times)
“Doll” (Ibex Dancing)
“The Last Cruise” (HBO Documentary)
“The Queen of Basketball” (The New York Times)
“Snowy” (TIME Studios)

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https://www.indiewire.com/2021/11/critics-choice-documentary-awards-summer-soul-1234679392/ | Critics’ Choice Documentary Award: ‘Summer of the Soul’ wins top prize

Aila Slisco

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