The big shock in this year’s Producers Guild of America (PGA) lineup is the absence of the NYFCC/LAFCA/NSFC/Venice Film Festival winner “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” director Laura Poitras’s portrait of photographer extraordinaire Nan Goldin and her attempt to remove the Sackler Family name (the makers of Oxycontin) from the great museums of the world. Also omitted were “Moonage Daydream,” Brett Morgen’s documentary on David Bowie, and “Good Night Oppy,” Ryan White’s documentary on the cute little WALL•E -like NASA Mars rover.
The major surprise was the inclusion of director Kathryn Ferguson’s lackluster documentary on Sinead O’Connor, “Nothing Compares.”
Also present was “Retrograde,” Matthew Heineman’s look at the last few months of the war in Afghanistan before the US withdrawal, “Fire of Love,” Sara Dosa’s film about the husband-and-wife volcanologist couple who lost their lives when a volcano erupted in Hawaii, “Navalny” Daniel Roher’s focus on the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Alex Pritz’s “The Territory” about an indigenous tribe in the Amazon rainforest and Margaret Brown’s “Descendant,” a look at the descendants of the last-known slave ship to arrive in the United States.
That leaves the seventh nominated film, Shaunak Sen’s “All That Breathes,” which centers on two brothers in New Dehli who find and care for birds of prey that fall victim to the city’s highly polluted skies. The film has already won Best Documentary honors from the National Board of Review and, in the absence of “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” looks like the favorite to win in this lineup.
- All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen)
- Descendant (Margaret Brown)
- Fire of Love (Sara Dosa)
- Navalny (Daniel Roher)
- Nothing Compares (Kathryn Ferguson)
- Retrograde (Matthew Heineman)
- The Territory (Alex Pritz)
Winners will be honored during the 34th Annual PGA Awards ceremony on Saturday, February 25.