Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Michael J. Fox, Jon Batiste Score Big Wins at Critics Choice Documentary Awards, Hiking Oscars Chances

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“Still,” a documentary about Michael J. Fox’s battle with Parkinson’s Disease, and “American Symphony,” about musician Jon Batiste and his wife’s leukemia, were the big winners at the Critics Choice Documentary Awards last night in New York.

The evening, which was streamed from the Edison Hotel Ballroom, marked the return of Hollywood promotional activities following the end of the actors’ strike. Several SAG members showed up and expressed their relief about including Natasha Lyonne and Erich Bergen, among others. Director-actor Benny Safdie — wearing a dazzling chartreuse suit — turned up as a guest to support his friends who made HBO’s, “Telemarketers,” which tied for True Crime Documentary with “John Lennon: Murder without a Trial.”

“Still” and “American Symphony,” as well as “20 Days in Mariupol,” broke out of the crowd of documentaries that the CCA list and could be headed to the Oscars.

Jon Batiste is Golden right now: he won Best Score for his work on American Symphony and the film also took home the award for Best Music Documentary. This is on top of the Grammy nominations he picked up a few days ago for his latest album.

Among the winners was top young composer Kris Bowers, who was discovered at Julliard Music School by Aretha Franklin. Bowers won Best Short Documentary for “The Last Repair Shop,” a film he produced and scored and is also headed to the Oscars.

At the ceremony, the Pennebaker Award was presented to acclaimed documentary film maker Ross McElwee, whose many credits include the classic film, “Sherman’s March.” The award, formerly known as the Critics Choice Lifetime Achievement Award, is named in memory of legendary filmmaker D A Pennebaker, who had previously won the award.

National Geographic Documentary Films sponsored the evening. Congrats to CCA president Joey Berlin and the show’s producers. The entire production was top notch, as was the after party at Bond 45. This is the classy way to put on an awards show!

Winners of the Eighth Annual Critics Choice Documentary Awards


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie


BEST DIRECTOR

Davis Guggenheim – Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie


BEST FIRST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Mstyslav Chernov – 20 Days in Mariupol


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Tim Cragg – The Deepest Breath


BEST EDITING

Michael Harte – Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie


BEST SCORE

Jon Batiste – American Symphony


BEST NARRATION

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie – Written and Performed by Michael J. Fox


BEST ARCHIVAL DOCUMENTARY

Being Mary Tyler Moore


BEST HISTORICAL DOCUMENTARY

JFK: One Day in America


BEST BIOGRAPHICAL DOCUMENTARY

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie


BEST MUSIC DOCUMENTARY

American Symphony


BEST POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY

20 Days in Mariupol


BEST SCIENCE/NATURE DOCUMENTARY

Secrets of the Elephants


BEST SPORTS DOCUMENTARY

The Deepest Breath


BEST TRUE CRIME DOCUMENTARY – TIE

Lennon: Murder Without a Trial

Telemarketers


BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

The Last Repair Shop


The Critics Choice Awards ceremony will be held on January 14, 2024 at the Fairmont Century Plaza in Century City, CA, and will be broadcast live on The CW.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedmanhttps://www.showbiz411.com
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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