Oscar short-lists top documentaries

A scene from "Pina" - Wim Wender's 3-D dance performance film honoring the late choreographer Pina Bausch.
Neue Road

LOS ANGELES - Fifteen feature-length documentaries have made it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' short list for consideration for this year's Oscar.

The 15 documentaries will be eligible for the feature-length prize at the Feb. 26 Oscars.

Among the films that made the list - released Friday by the Academy - are:

  • "Battle for Brooklyn" - About a N.Y.C. neighborhood's fight against developers over a proposed arena (RUMER)
  • "Bill Cunningham New York" - Richard Press' profile of The New York Times photographer (First Thought Films)
  • "Buck" - A Sundance Festival Audience Award winner about real-life "horse-whisperer" Buck Brannaman (Cedar Creek Productions)
  • "Hell and Back Again" - Embedded journalist Danfung Dennis' document of a Marine company in Afghanistan won the Grand Jury and cinematography prizes at Sundance (Roast Beef Productions)
  • "If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front" - A look at the radical movement (Marshall Curry Productions)
  • "Jane's Journey" - A profile of primatologist and activist Jane Goodall (NEOS Film)
  • "The Loving Story" - The story of Virginia couple Richard and Mildred Loving, whose interracial marriage - illegal at the time - led to a landmark Supreme Court case (Augusta Films)
  • Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" covers the latest developments in the West Memphis 3 case, including their release from prison earlier this year (
  • "Pina" - Wim Wender's 3-D dance performance film honoring the late choreographer Pina Bausch (Neue Road Movies)
  • "Project Nim" - An examination of a chimpanzee's development from infancy to adulthood, directed by James Marsh, an Oscar-winner for "Man on Wire" (Red Box Films)
  • "Semper Fi: Always Faithful" - A Marine drill instructor become a whistleblower over the Corps' cover-up of water contamination (Tied to the Tracks Films)
  • "Sing Your Song" - A HBO profile of singer Harry Belafonte (S2BN Belafonte Productions)
  • "Undefeated" - A coming-of-age story of high school football players (Spitfire Pictures)
  • "Under Fire: Journalists in Combat" - About the psychological and emotional toll of covering wars (JUF Pictures)
  • "We Were Here" - A chronicle of how San Francisco responded to the AIDS epidemic (Weissman Projects)

Among those films NOT included: Acclaimed documentaries from Werner Herzog ("Into the Abyss"), Errol Morris ("Tabloid"), Morgan Spurlock ("The Greatest Movie Ever Sold"), and Steve James ("The Interrupters").