Wednesday, July 18, 2018
  • Friday, Nov. 3, 2017
Brett Morgen's "Jane" Named Best Documentary At Critics' Choice Awards
A scene from Brett Morgen's documentary "Jane"
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Director Brett Morgen’s Jane took home the top honor as Best Documentary at the second annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards held this evening (11/2) at BRIC in Brooklyn. The National Geographic film sheds light on Jane Goodall and her groundbreaking work with chimpanzees.

The documentary awards competition was presented by the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA). “We are so happy to be able to celebrate the supremely talented, leading voices in this golden age of documentary filmmaking and nonfiction television,” said BFCA president Joey Berlin. “It was another great night in Brooklyn in support of many of the most underappreciated artists in our business.”

Among the other highlights was a tie for Best Director between Evgeny Afineevsky for Cries from Syria and Frederick Wiseman for Ex Libris: The New York Public Library.

The award for Best First Documentary went to Kedi.

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail won for Best Political Documentary.

The Award for Best Sports Documentary went to Icarus.

Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives took home took home Best Music Documentary.

There was a tie for Most Innovative Documentary between Dawson City: Frozen Time and Last Men in Aleppo.

The Best Song in a Documentary winner was “Jump” from Step, written by Raphael Saadiq, Taura Stinson and Laura Karpman, performed by Cynthia Erivo.

Best Documentary Series winner was The Vietnam War.

American Masters won the award for Best Ongoing Documentary Series.

Also during this year’s celebration, filmmaker Joe Berlinger was honored with the Critics’ Choice Impact Award and filmmaker Errol Morris was awarded the Critics’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award.

And the Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary honorees were: The Cats of Istanbul (in the doc. Kedi), Etty Ausch (One of Us), Al Gore (An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power), Laird Hamilton (Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton), Dolores Huerta (Dolores), Gigi Lazzarato (This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous), and The Sung Family (Abacus: Small Enough to Jail).

The second annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards honor the finest achievement in documentary features and nonfiction television. The awards were determined by BFCA and BTJA members with expertise in the documentary field. Penn Jillette hosted the awards ceremony.

Here’s a category-by-category rundown of winners:

Best​ ​Documentary​ ​
Jane – Director: Brett Morgen (National Geographic Documentary Films/National Geographic Studios, Public Road Productions)

Best​ ​Director​ ​(TIE)​ ​
Evgeny Afineevsky – Cries from Syria (HBO/Afineevsky –lmor Production, Cinepost Barrandov, Levy Entertainment Group, Studio Malibu)
Frederick Wiseman – Ex Libris: The New York Public Library (Zipporah Films)

Best​ ​First​ ​Documentary​
Kedi – Director: Ceyda Torun (Oscilloscope Laboratories, YouTube Red/Termite Films)

Best​ ​Political​ ​Documentary​
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail – Director: Steve James (PBS/Blue Ice Films, Mitten Media, Motto Pictures, Kartemquin Films Production)

Best​ ​Sports​ ​Documentary​
Icarus – Director: Bryan Fogel (Netflix/Alex Productions, Diamond Docs, Impact Partners)

Best​ ​Music​ ​Documentary​ ​
Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of our Lives – Director: Chris Perkel (Apple Music/IM Global, Scott Free Productions)

Best​ ​Song​ ​in​ ​a​ ​Documentary​ ​
“Jump” (from the doc Step) - written by Raphael Saadiq, Taura Stinson and Laura Karpman, performed by Cynthia Erivo (Fox Searchlight/Impact Partners, Stick Figure Productions)

Best​  Limited ​Documentary​ ​Series​ ​
The Vietnam War (PBS/Florentine Films, WETA-TV Washington)

Best​ ​Ongoing​ ​Documentary​ ​Series​
American Masters (PBS/WNET New York City)

Most​ ​Innovative​ ​Documentary​ ​(TIE)​
Dawson City: Frozen Time – Director: Bill Morrison (Kino Lorber/Hypnotic Pictures, Picture Palace Pictures)
Last Men in Aleppo – Director: Firas Fayyad, Co-Director: Steen Johannessen (Grasshopper Film/Aleppo Media Center, Larm Film)