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The 2012 Oscar Nominees for Best Documentaries

The list of nominees for the 84th Academy Awards was announced today. The Academy Awards are only 33 days away but it should give you enough time to go see the nominated documentaries before the big night.

Oscar nominees for Best Documentary Feature:

Hell and Back Again, directed by photojournalist and filmmaker Danfung Dennis and produced by Mike Lerner. The film follows a soldier who is trying to readjust to civilian life back in his hometown in North Carolina, USA after getting injured while on a mission in Afghanistan. Available on DVD from Amazon.

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front, directed by Marshall Curry and produced by Sam Cullman. The Earth Liberation front is a group of radical environmentalist and the film is about it´s operations, arrests of the groups members and the rise and fall of the group. Available on DVD from Amazon.

Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory directed by Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky. A film about  the 1993 “West Memphis Three” child murders and the 18-year fight to prove the innocence of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley who were found guilty of the murders despite lack of evidence.

Pina directed by Wim Wenders and produced by Gian-Piero Ringel. Pina is a dance documentary in 3D. Performers in the film are members of the Pina Bausch dance theater group in the German city Wuppertal. Available on DVD from Amazon.

Undefeated, directed by TJ Martin, and Dan Lindsey, produced by Richard Middlemas. The Manassas High School football team is coached by Bill Courtney who needs to make sure the team overcomes their problems in order to hold on to their great winning record.

The Oscar nominees for Best Documentary Short:

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement, directed by Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin. In the days leading up to Barack Obama’s victory in the 2008 election, a former civil rights activist Mr. James Armstrong, a barber in Birmingham, Alabama, looks back on the early days of the Civil Rights Movement.

God is the Bigger Elvis, directed by Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson. Dolores Hart is a woman who made a life altering choice in the 1960´s. After a short career in films, where one of her role was opposite Elvis Presley himself, Hart decided to leave Hollywood to become a Benedictine nun.

Indicent in New Baghdad, directed by James Spione. U.S. Army Specialist Ethan McCord witnessed the indecent when U.S attack helicopters killed two Reuters journalists and unarmed civilians in Baghdad in 2007 – an incident which the world first heard of when Wikileaks released the cockpit video of the attack in April 2010. McCord suffered from PTSD and returned back home to America. He turned against the war and since Wikileakes released the video, he has traveled the country speaking for the rights of PTSD sufferers.

Saving Face, directed by Daniel Junge and Sharemeen Obaid-Chinoy. Dr. Mohammad Jawad is a plastic surgeon who helps victims of acid attacks in Pakistan. According to the film’s website there are at least 100 people attacked with acid every year in Pakistan and the majority are women.

The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, directed by Lucy Walker and produced by Kira Carstensen. A month after the Tsunami hit Japan, the Cherry blossom season began. The cherry blossom brought faith and courage to survivors to rebuilt their lives and their society. The music in the film is by musician Moby. This is the second time Lucy Walker is nominated for an Oscar. Last year she was nominated for her documentary Wasteland.

You can watch the films trailers on the films´ websites. You can already watch some of the docs on VoD websites or buy the DVD on Amazon. Docs & Film Festivals will keep you posted who goes home with Mr. Oscar. The photo with this post is as still frame from the trailer for The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.

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