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Academy Award for Best Documentary

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The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers.

73 facts:

1942
   the winner was   
Kokoda Front Line
About Australian troops in action in New Guinea.
1943
   the winner was   
Desert Victory
Examines the Battles at El Alamein and the Allied forces quest to drive Germany and Italy from North Africa.
1944
   the winner was   
The Fighting Lady
About an Aircraft Carrier The USS Yorktown and its first major operation in WWII
1945
   the winner was   
The True Glory
Documentary of the Allied invasion of Europe and real footage of events in WWII
1947
   the winner was   
Design For Death
Documents Japanese history of violence from 700 years ago to the bombing of Pearl Harbor, with many propaganda and news reel clips.
1948
   the winner was   
The Secret Land
About the Largest expedition ever done of Antarctica. Was done by the US Navy and involved 13 ships, 23 Aircraft and 4700 People.
1950
   the winner was   
Titan: The Story of Michelangelo
The story of the Master Painter. Looks at his Art and his life works in detail.
1951
   the winner was   
Kon-Tiki
A documentary of Thor Heyerdahls expedition
1952
   the winner was   
The Sea Around Us
Based on the book with the same title which won A National Book Award. Beautiful underwater images captured on film
1953
   the winner was   
The Living Desert
A detailed look at a day in the life of desert creatures in the US and their survival skills
1954
   the winner was   
The Vanishing Prairie
A Walt Disney true life adventure feature
1955
   the winner was   
The Unconquered
Documents the outstanding life of Helen Keller with real News Reels and stills
1956
   the winner was   
The Silent World
Jacques Cousteau’s first feature length documentary of the fascinating look at what life for our marine creatures is like.
1957
   the winner was   
Albert Schweitzer
A documentary on Albert Schweitzer's fascinating life and achievements.
1958
   the winner was   
White Wilderness
A mocumentary about Lemmings in Canada
1959
   the winner was   
Serengeti
A documentary on the Beautiful Serengeti of Africa. Showcases the African wildlife and it’s brutality.
1960
   the winner was   
The Horse With the Flying Tail
A documentary on a Palomino horse and it’s journey at becoming a champion for the US Equestrian Team
1961
   the winner was   
The Sky Above, The Mud Below
A documentary on six Europeans leaving Dutch New Guinea and going on a expedition that took them on a journey across 450 miles of unmapped territory that took them 7 months to complete.
1962
   the winner was   
Black Fox: The True Story of Adolf Hitler
As its title suggests a documented look at the life of the brutal dictator of WWII
1963
   the winner was   
Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel With the World
Documenting the life of the acclaimed Poet Robert Frost and his life’s work
1964
   the winner was   
Jacques Cousteau : World Without Sun
Another fascinating look at the life under the sea filmed with hand held cameras and in the depths of the ocean in a specially made Batiscaff
1965
   the winner was   
The Eleanor Roosevelt Story
An in-depth look at the First Lady from her early childhood to her role as the Presidents wife and her tireless dedication to the UN
1966
   the winner was   
The War Game
A fictional Docu-Drama on the outcome of a nuclear war
1967
   the winner was   
The Anderson Platoon
Documenting the lives of American Soldiers for six weeks in the Vietnam War
1968
   the winner was   
Journey Into Self
At the 41st Awards ceremony on April 14, 1969, Young Americans was announced as the winner of the Documentary Feature Oscar. On May 7, 1969, the film was declared ineligible after it was revealed that the film had played in October of 1967, therefore ineligible for a 1968 Award. The first runner-up, , was awarded the statuette on May 8, 1969.
1969
   the winner was   
Arthur Rubinstein - The Love of Life
1970
   the winner was   
Woodstock
1971
   the winner was   
The Hellstrom Chronicle
1972
   the winner was   
Marjoe
Directed by Howard Smith and Sarah Kernochan
1973
   the winner was   
The Great American Cowboy
By Kieth Merrill
1974
   the winner was   
Hearts and Minds
1975
   the winner was   
The Man Who Skied Down Everest
Documenting A Japanese Quest to Ski down Mount Everest. He Skied 8000ft down from the summit
1976
   the winner was   
Harlan County, U.S.A.
A documented account of the violent coal miners strike in 1973 which lasted a year.
1977
   the winner was   
Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids?
1978
   the winner was   
Scared Straight
A documentary on inmates telling young troubled kids about the terrible life in a prison cell.
1979
   the winner was   
Best Boy
Following the life of a mentally handicapped boy over 3 years.
1980
   the winner was   
From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China
A documentary on how music is the voice of many people in China and the rich traditions music has in the country
1981
   the winner was   
Genocide
A moving documentary of the Holocaust and Concentration Camps in WWII narrated by Elizabeth Taylor and Orson Welles
1982
   the winner was   
Just Another Missing Kid
About a families struggle to getting answers to their missing sons disappearance. Has a chilling interview with the young boys killer which is shocking but very thought provoking
1983
   the winner was   
He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'
Takes us on a journey of Jacques D'Amboise school of dance as he teaches young New York Students to dance and put on their performance at the years end
1984
   the winner was   
The Times of Harvey Milk
A documented look at the first elected gay councillor and his assassination.
1985
   the winner was   
Broken Rainbow
An in-depth look at the forced relocation of 10,000 Navajo Indians from Hopi Land for a coal mine in 1974.
1986
   the winner was   
Down and Out in America
A documented account of Farmers, factory workers and new homeless in America in the recession in 1980
1987
   the winner was   
The Ten-Year Lunch
1988
   the winner was   
Hôtel Terminus
A documentary about the Gestapo Chief of Lyon and his life after the war
1989
   the winner was   
Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt
An acclaimed documentary on the people who died of AIDS and the quilt that was produced in their honour
1990
   the winner was   
American Dream
A documented account of meatpacker workers in Austin and their struggle to claim their rights for better pay with a company earning millions of dollars a year
1991
   the winner was   
In the Shadow of the Stars
A documentary on struggling opera singers trying to crack the big time
1992
   the winner was   
The Panama Deception
Details the American invasion of Panama
1993
   the winner was   
I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School
A look of one of America’s elementary schools and it’s unique way of teaching their young students
1994
   the winner was   
Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision
Is a biographical documentary on Maya Lin and the Vietnam Memorial she created and the controversy it created
1995
   the winner was   
Anne Frank Remembered
A documented account of the Frank family and their struggle in the Holocaust
1996
   the winner was   
When We Were Kings
A documentary on the fight between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali in 1974.
1997
   the winner was   
The Long Way Home
A story of Post WWII Holocaust refugees and the formation of Israel
1998
   the winner was   
The Last Days
A documentary of five Jewish survivors and their stories of the Holocaust
1999
   the winner was   
One Day in September
About the 1972 Munich Olympics when Palestine terrorists took Israeli athletes hostage. Original footage of the events that happened as well as interviews with surviving terrorists
2000
   the winner was   
Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport
A documentary on the 10,000 children secretly given up by their parents in the Holocaust to save them from death by the Nazis. 1,500,000 children died in the War
2001
   the winner was   
Murder on a Sunday Morning
A documented account of a 15 yr old African American wrongfully accused of a murder.
2002
   the winner was   
Bowling for Columbine
An in depth look at the violence happening in American society with gangs and guns
2003
   the winner was   
The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara
A documentary of Robert McNamara Secretary of Defence in the Kennedy and Johnson Administration.
2004
   the winner was   
Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids
A story of two filmmakers working together to document the life in the red light district of Calcutta
2005
   the winner was   
March of Penguins
A fascinating and wondrous look at the Emperor Penguin and the journey they take to breed and hatch their young.
2006
   the winner was   
An Inconvenient Truth
A documentary on Al Gore's campaign to make people aware of the truth about Global Warming
2007
   the winner was   
Taxi To the Dark Side
The case of an Afghan taxi driver beaten to death in 2002 while in U.S. military custody
2008
   the winner was   
Man on Wire
A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century."
2009
   the winner was   
The Cove
A film that analyzes and questions Japan's dolphin hunting culture
2010
   the winner was   
Inside Job
A film about the late 2000's financial crisis
2011
   the winner was   
Undefeated
About the struggles of a high school football team, as they attempt a winning season after years of losses
2012
   the winner was   
Searching For Sugar Man
Details the efforts of two Cape Town fans to find out about the rumoured death of American musician Sixto Rogriquez
2013
   the winner was   
20 Feet From Stardom
A music industry executive whose curiosity to know more about the lives of background singers.
2014
   the winner was   
Citizenfour
In January 2013, Laura Poitras, an American documentary film director/producer who had been working for several years on a film about monitoring programs in the U.S. that were a result of the September 11 attacks, receives an encrypted e-mail from a stranger who calls himself Citizenfour (Edward Snowden)
2015
   the winner was   
Amy
About the life and death of British singer - songwriter Amy Whitehouse.
2016
   the winner was   
O.J.: Made in America
Documentary explores two of America's greatest fixations - race and celebrity


Facts contributed by:


Allan R. Matthes








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