Documentaries about Billie Eilish, Tina Turner, Brian Wilson, The Velvet Underground and Sparks are among 138 features that are eligible in the documentary feature category for the 94th Academy Awards.
Summer of Soul (..or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), which is a Grammy nominee for best music film, is also vying for an Oscar nod. The film is about a 1969 concert series in Harlem that was overshadowed by Woodstock, which was held in New York that same year.
Eilish, who is also a Grammy nominee for best music film with Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles, is eligible for an Oscar nod with a different film, Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry. Eilish also has a good chance of landing an Oscar nod for best original song for “No Time to Die” from the James Bond film of the same name.
Other films on the eligibility list include The Jesus Music, a doc about the rise of the contemporary Christian music genre; Fire Music, about the free jazz movement of the 1960s and ’70s; Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres, a doc about one of that magazine’s top writers and editors from shortly after its inception in 1967 until 1981; and Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It, about the performer who in 1977 became just the third person ever to complete the EGOT.
Members of the documentary branch will vote to determine the shortlist and the nominees. A shortlist of 15 films will be announced on Dec. 21.
Here’s a partial list of docs, with a focus on music and entertainment, that are eligible this year:
Ailey [a portrait of dance pioneer Alvin Alley]
Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road
Can You Bring It: Bill T Jones and D-Man in the Waters [about Jones’ ballet of the same name]
The Capote Tapes [Truman Capote]
Dave Chapelle Live in Real Life
Ennio [also known as the Glance of Music, about film composer Ennio Morricone]
The Jesus Music
Like a Rolling Stone: The Life & Times of Ben Fong-Torres
No Straight Lines: The Rise of Queer Comics
The Real Charlie Chaplin
Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided to Go for It
Road Runner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain
The Sparks Brothers
Summer of Soul (..or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
The Velvet Underground
Here’s some fine print from the Academy: “Some of the films have not yet had their required qualifying release and must fulfill that requirement and comply with all the category’s other qualifying rules to advance in the voting process.
“Documentary features that have won a qualifying film festival award or have been submitted in the international feature film category as their country’s official selection are also eligible in the category. Films submitted in the documentary feature category may also qualify for Academy Awards in other categories, including best picture.”
Click here to view the complete list of 138 eligible films in the documentary feature category.