Pussy Riot documentary makes Oscars long list

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013. Filed under: Entertainment Film International Stars
"Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer" is among 15 films in the running for the documentary feature Academy Award. ©All Rights Reserved

“Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” is among 15 films in the running for the documentary feature Academy Award.
©All Rights Reserved

(LOS ANGELES-AFP) – A film about jailed Russian punk band Pussy Riot and a documentary about a British war photographer killed in Libya made it onto an Oscar candidate long list published Tuesday.

“Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer” and “Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington” are among 15 films in the running for the documentary feature Academy Award.

Other candidates — to be cut to five nominees for the Oscars show — include “The Armstrong Lie” about the rise and fall of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, and “20 Feet from Stardom,” about the lives of back-up singers.

As usual many of the films in the running for Tinseltown’s top awards had their premieres at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year.

The Pussy Riot film’s co-director Maxim Pozdorovkin said the punk group, whose members were jailed last year for taking part in a “punk prayer” at a Moscow cathedral, is against far more than just President Vladimir Putin.

“Their problem is not Putin per se. Putin for them symbolizes an entire system of government, old-fashioned and patriotic… Their target is much larger, they want a feminist revolution in society,” he told AFP at Sundance.

Photographer Hetherington was himself nominated for an Oscar with his 2010 film “Restrepo,” along with co-director Sebastian Junger. Junger made “Which Way Is the Frontline?” after his friend’s death covering the 2011 Libya uprising.

Produced by US cable channel HBO, it follows the training and career over a decade of the Briton, from his first warzone images in Liberia to his death on April 20, 2011 at the age of 41, with fellow photographer Chris Hondros.

Others on the Oscars documentary long list are: “Blackfish,” “The Crash Reel,” “The Act of Killing,” “Cutie and the Boxer,” “Dirty Wars,” “First Cousin Once Removed,” “God Loves Uganda,” “Life According to Sam,” “The Square,” “Stories We Tell,” and “Tim’s Vermeer.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the final shortlists of nominees for the Oscars on January 16. The Oscars show, the climax of Hollywood’s annual awards season, is on March 2.

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