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Amanda Knox
Amanda Knox

DOC NYC festival announced the line-up of its Short List section of 15 of the year’s leading nonfiction films released theatrically that are being highlighted for special attention.

The DOC NYC Short List has a history of being a predictor of other awards, from critics’ prizes and top ten lists to the Oscars. Last year, the DOC NYC Short List had ten titles overlapping the subsequent Oscar Documentary Short List, and all five titles that were Oscar nominated. For the last five years, DOC NYC screened the documentary that went on to win the Oscar: Amy (2015), Citizenfour (2014), 20 Feet From Stardom (2013), Searching for Sugar Man (2012), and Undefeated (2011).

All of the DOC NYC Short List titles will show during the festival with the director or other special guests present for their first screening. Additionally, all the directors or other collaborators will participate on Friday, November 11 in the DOC NYC Short List Day of panel conversations.


AMANDA KNOX (Netflix) Dirs: Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn
CAMERAPERSON (Janus Films) Dir: Kirsten Johnson
FIRE AT SEA (Kino Lorber) Dir: Gianfranco Rosi
GLEASON (Open Road & Amazon Studios) Dir: Clay Tweel
I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (Magnolia Pictures) Dir: Raoul Peck
INTO THE INFERNO (Netflix) Dir: Werner Herzog
JIM: THE JAMES FOLEY STORY (HBO Documentary Films) Dir: Brian Oakes
LIFE, ANIMATED (The Orchard & A&E IndieFilms) Dir: Roger Ross Williams
MAPPLETHORPE: LOOK AT THE PICTURES (HBO Documentary Films) Dir: Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato
MISS SHARON JONES! (Starz) Dir: Barbara Kopple
OJ: MADE IN AMERICA (ESPN) Dir: Ezra Edelman
13TH (Netflix) Dir: Ava DuVernay
THE IVORY GAME (Netflix) Dir: Kief Davidson, Richard Ladkani
TRAPPED (PBS-Independent Lens) Dir: Dawn Porter
WEINER (IFC Films & Showtime) Dir: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg


The festival also revealed that the Robert and Anne Drew Award for Documentary Excellence goes to a mid-career filmmaker distinguished for observational cinema. This year’s recipient is Dawn Porter, who will receive a $5,000 cash prize sponsored by Drew Associates. Porter’s latest film TRAPPED, about abortion providers struggling to stay open in the South, screens at DOC NYC as part of this year’s Short List and previously won a Sundance Special Jury prize for Social Impact Filmmaking. Her previous films include Gideon’s Army and Spies of Mississippi. The award’s name celebrates Robert Drew, who pioneered the documentary style that came to be known as American cinema vérité, and his wife Anne, who was his filmmaking partner for more than four decades. The two previous recipients were Kim Longinotto and Laura Poitras. Jill Drew, the general manager of Drew Associates, who helped select the recipient, said “My fatherin-law Robert Drew felt the best documentary stories were told up-close with people under pressure making difficult choices of real consequence. Dawn’s work does just that. It doesn’t matter which side of an issue you’re on, her subjects are true-to-life riveting.”

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