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So far, "The Act of Killing" is shaping up to be the most celebrated documentary of this awards season. Joshua Oppenheimer's sobering one-off about Indonesian genocide has yet to miss a stop on the circuit: it landed a number of top nods last week for the IDA Awards, and has also landed Best Documentary nods at the Gotham Awards and European Film Awards. Today, it extended its streak with five top nods for the Cinema Eye Awards, which stand alongside the IDAs as the most significant documentary-centered ceremony of the season.
With nominations for Best Documentary, Director, Editing, Production and the Audience Award, "Killing" has the most important bases covered. (It remains to be seen whether the Academy can handle its more gutsily avant garde qualities.) The most-nominated film, however, is "Cutie and the Boxer," a study of married Japanese-American artists preparing an exhibition together as they assert their own creative identities; it netted six nods, including Best Documentary and Debut Feature. Rewarded with the directing prize at Sundance, it also received a special mention at the recent London Film Festival.
Aside from "The Act of Killing," the only film to appear on both the IDA and Cinema Best Documentary Feature lists is Sarah Polley's tricky family memoir "Stories We Tell" -- another buzz title angling for Oscar consideration this year. The top category is rounded out by abortion study "After Tiller" and the brooding, experimental "Leviathan," a wordless vision of commercial fishing in the North Atlantic with a near-hypnotic command of sound and image.
Meanwhile, popular favorite "20 Feet from Stardom," which is possibly a little too sunnily mainstream for these award, made its presence felt with a nomination in the Audience Award, where "Blackfish" and "The Square" also found favor, while "Cutie" and "Killing" each showed up again. In the TV category, meanwhile, Alex Gibney's Emmy-winning (and, last year, Oscar-shortlisted) "Mea Maxima Culpa" goes up against Sebastian Junger's moving portrait of the late Tim Hetherington, with whom he collaborated three years ago on "Restrepo."
Nominations were determined by a range of expert juries; winners will be announced in New York City on an unconfirmed date in early January.
The full list of nominations is on the next page.
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