Two documentaries that focus on musicians, "20 Feet from Stardom" and "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer," are among the 15 films advancing in the voting process for the 86th Academy Awards. One hundred forty-seven films had originally qualified in the category.

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The Academy's Documentary Branch determined the shortlist in a preliminary round of voting. Documentary Branch members will now select the five nominees from among the 15 titles.

Produced by the late Gil Friesen, "20 Feet from Stardom" is director Morgan Neville's chronicle of the history of the background singer that focuses on the careers of Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega and Judith Hill. It also includes interviews with the front men, among them Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger and Sting.

Director Mike Lerner's "Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer" tells the story of feminist punk rockers Pussy Riot's protest against Vladimir Putin's Russia and their incarceration. The film delves into the personal motives and courage of the women and exposes the state of Russian justice.

The other 13 documentaries being considered are  "The Act of Killing," "The Armstrong Lie," "Blackfish," "The Crash Reel," "Cutie and the Boxer," "Dirty Wars," "First Cousin Once Removed," "God Loves Uganda," "Life According to Sam," "The Square," "Stories We Tell" and "Tim's Vermeer." 

The Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 16. The awards will be handed out March 2.