The 2014 BAFTA ceremony will be held on February 16th in London, and we are very excited to find out which documentary film the BAFTA voters have chosen to win in the Best Documentary Category. With Dogwoof's own Blackfish and The Act of Killing both nominees, obviously our fingers and toes are all crossed for a win for our own filmmakers but there are also 3 other great documentary's in contention. Read on for more on each film, and if you haven't watched them all yet then find out below where you can see all the BAFTA nominated documentaries before the big day on Sunday!
The Act of Killing
In the 1960’s Anwar Congo was a leader in Indonesia’s pro-regime paramilitary the Pancasila Youth who, along with his band of dedicated followers, was amongst those who participated in the murder and torture more than a million alleged Communists, ethnic Chinese and intellectuals. Proud of their deeds and completely unpunished, Anwar and his pals are delighted when the film’s director ask them to re-enact these murders for their documentary – in any genre they desire. Initially Anwar and his friends enthusiastically take up the challenge using hired actors, making elaborate sets and costumes and even using pyrotechnic, but eventually as the movie violence is played out and reconstructed, Anwar finally begins to feel unease and remorse.
The Armstrong Lie
Beginning in 2009, Academy Award winning documentarian Alex Gibney followed Armstrong for four years chronicling his return to cycling after retirement, as he tried to win his eighth title. Unexpectedly, Gibney was also there in 2012 when Armstrong admitted to doping, following a federal criminal investigation, public accusations of doping by his ex-teammates, and an investigation by the US Anti-Doping Agency, that led USADA's CEO, Travis Tygart, to conclude that Armstrong's team had run 'the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.’
Blackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.
Renowned illusionists and professional debunkers Penn & Teller unite for this documentary investigation into the mysterious methods of Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer, whose photo-realistic paintings predated the invention of the camera by 150 years. In Tim's Vermeer, they document the obsession of their friend Tim Jenison, a successful inventor of computer graphics equipment, who sets out to prove a theory. Tim's mission: to paint with his own hands a replica of Vermeer's The Music Lesson.
We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks
A documentary that details the creation of Julian Assange's controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history. Filmed with the startling immediacy of unfolding history, Academy Award-winning director Alex Gibney’s We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks details the creation of Julian Assange’s controversial website, which facilitated the largest security breach in U.S. history. Hailed by some as a free-speech hero and others as a traitor and terrorist, the enigmatic Assange’s rise and fall are paralleled with that of PFC Bradley Manning, the brilliant, troubled young soldier who downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents from classified U.S. military and diplomatic servers, revealing the behind-the-scenes workings of the government’s international diplomacy and military strategy.