15 films vie for Best Documentary Oscar

Politics and nature dominate the shortlist

by Jennie Kermode

The Truffle Hunters might just dig up a prize
The Truffle Hunters might just dig up a prize

Politically themed documentaries an those with a focus on animals dominate the competition for this year's Best Documentary Oscar, with the shortlist revealed today. There's a focus on international concerns with pandemic documentary 76 Days, which looks at life on the front line in Wuhan's hospitals, and Welcome To Chechnya, which explores the persecution of LGBTQ people in the Russian province, while All In: The Fight For Democracy tackles problems with the US electoral system head on.

Neflix nature documentary My Octopus Teacher is likely to be a popular choice with the public, as the film was widely discussed on social media, while Gunda takes a close-up look at animals whose natural instincts are constrained by life on the farm and The Truffle Hunters meets old men whose faithful hounds help them to make a living searching for treasure on mouldering forest floors.

Those documentary contenders in full:-

Best Documentary Feature

Best Documentary Short Subject

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Relations and reactions Stellan Skarsgård on the importance of life and Hope

Back on the trail Anna Kerrigan on depicting mental illness and creating backstories for Cowboys

Portrait of a killing Woo Min-ho on the death of President Park and The Man Standing Next

Secret agent men Ollie Aslin and Gary Lennon on low budget espionage and Castro’s Spies

Taking possession Christopher Alender, Marcos Gabriel and Brigitte Kali Canales on The Old Ways

Schoolgirls takes top prize at Goyas Pilar Palomero's debut wins four awards at Spanish Oscars

Bad Luck Banging Or Loony Porn wins Golden Bear Radu Jude takes top prize at virtual edition

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