Documentaries about such diverse music figures as Linda Ronstadt, Miles Davis, Luciano Pavarotti, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash are among the 159 features that have been submitted in the documentary feature category for the 92nd Academy Awards.
At least seven of the 159 films were also entered for best music film in the upcoming 62nd annual Grammy Awards process. Those films that are vying for both Oscar and Grammy noms are: Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes, David Crosby: Remember My Name, Echo in the Canyon, Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles, Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, Pavarotti and Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese.
Other music docs that are entered in the Oscar process are The Black Godfather (about legendary music executive Clarence Avant), The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story, Fiddlin,’ Gay Chorus Deep South, The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice, Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound, Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love (about the relationship between the late Leonard Cohen and his Norwegian muse Marianne Ihlen), 16 Bars (featuring Speech), A Tuba to Cuba (about New Orleans’ famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band), Western Stars (starring Bruce Springsteen) and Woodstock: Three Days That Defined a Generation.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences stresses that several of these films have not yet had their required Los Angeles and New York qualifying releases. Submitted features must fulfill the theatrical release requirements and comply with all of the category’s other qualifying rules in order to advance in the voting process.
Numerous music docs have won in this category in the past, including Arthur Rubinstein – The Love of Life (1969), Woodstock (1970), From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China (1980), Artie Shaw: Time Is All You’ve Got (1986), In the Shadow of the Stars (1991), Searching for Sugar Man (2012), 20 Feet From Stardom (2013) and Amy (about Amy Winehouse, 2015).
A shortlist of the 15 films that are advancing in the category will be revealed on Dec. 16. Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced on Jan. 13, 2020. The Oscars will be held Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.