Do The Oscars Ignore Documentaries?

Do The Oscars Ignore Documentaries?

Documentaries shouldn't just be kept to their own category.
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Documentaries may not be your first choice when going to the movies. They have a reputation of being dull and academic. Many people probably think back to some dreary educational film they were shown in school, but many documentaries are nothing like that.

Documentaries aren't likely to ever top the box office, but they can be incredibly innovative films nonetheless. If the Academy Awards exist to recognize excellence in film, why are so few documentaries nominated? It's great that the Oscars have categories for best feature-length and short documentaries, but documentaries are rarely even nominated in other categories.

Of course, there are some categories that documentaries simply cannot win. Although some feature reenactments, documentaries aren't exactly eligible for acting or costuming awards. But what about technical categories, like cinematography and editing? After all, turning a collection of stock footage, interviews, and still images into a compelling film is quite the accomplishment.

According to the current Academy rules, a film must be advertised and exhibited in a commercial movie theater in Los Angeles County at least three times a day for at least a week in order to qualify for a nomination. At least one of these showings must begin between 6 and 10pm. A film must also meet certain video and audio quality standards, and it cannot be released in any form (TV, streaming, home video) prior to its theatrical run. With the exception of the short film categories, it must also be at least 40 minutes long.

It could be argued that these incredibly precise requirements are overly exclusionary, or that they give the Oscars an identity and focus it might lack if any film could be accepted for consideration. Perhaps its simply a practical necessity, to limit submissions to a manageable number. Oddly enough, the requirements for Best Documentary submissions are even more specific, requiring a qualifying run in New York City as well, a review by a film critic in the New York Times or Los Angeles Times, and an four daily screenings rather than three.

Few documentaries can satisfy all these requirements, but even the few that do are almost never recognized. Due to these standards, any film that can qualify for Best Documentary is also eligible for most of the other awards. One of the biggest obstacles for a documentary is the lack of expensive "for your consideration" campaigns. Popular films financed by large studios can afford to promote themselves in hopes of increasing their awards odds, but few documentaries will get the same treatment.

It seems the creators of documentaries shouldn't get their hopes up for Oscar recognition any time soon. The real triumph would be changing the public image of documentaries. They may be very different from conventional dramatic films, but they have the same potential to tell compelling stories and use many of the same techniques to do so.

So if you've had some documentary lounging in the dark corners of your Netflix queue for months, maybe it's time to give it a shot. It might surprise you.


Cover Image Credit: Getty Images

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.
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Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

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7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

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30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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Warcraft 3: Reforged - A legend returns

One of the top 100 games of the century makes a comeback in an epic way.

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17 years ago, the legion invaded the realm of Azeroth, forcing the different races of Humans, Orcs, Night elves, and Undead to make the most unlikely of alliances. There were those who fought for the light while the others wished to banish it. Night and day, the furnaces of Lordaeron burnt bright as the loyal dwarves of Khaz Modan hammer away the swords and shields that would aid the fight ahead.

17 years ago, the young orc warchief Thrall foresaw the fate of his people as meteors of green flames crash upon his lands. He saw the upcoming demise of his clanand ordered a mass evacuation towards a new continent where they shall be safe for generations to come. 17 years ago, the night elves felt a corruption within the Tree of Life, causing them to split into opposing factions: one fought in the name of the Goddess, while the other fought in the name of personal hatred. 17 years ago, a legion of undead came upon the shores of Lordaeron, plaguing the land and defiling the life force of the realm. That was the story of Warcraft, one that spanned continents and races only to join them together for a crucial battle of their history.

Warcraft 3: Reforged - Cinematic Trailer Youtube

Warcraft was a monument to an entire gaming generation, ranked 2nd best game of all time by German games magazine "GameStar." Its fate, however, was ultimately sealed as computing technology became better and overshadowed the old giant. Plus, with the rise of gaming consoles and handheld gaming devices, PC gaming lost its appeal slowly, and games like Starcraft or Warcraft eventually faded into oblivion.

But over on the horizon, Blizzard Entertainment came to the rescue. Following the success of their previous release of Starcraft: Remastered, they decided to come forth with their next great project: remastering Warcraft 3.

Using a new and revamped engine built over the foundations of the old one, they have rebuilt the world we once loved. Adding to that are new, high definition voices and sound effects that they recorded just for this old game. For the blurry characters of old, the team decided to upscale and remodel all present units to give them the 2019 high-def treatment they deserved. For the old user interface (UI), the development team settled on one that resembled the "Starcraft: Remastered" interface, offering more room for players to look at the gorgeous 4K character models. Also, to fit the new continuity from World of Warcraft, Blizzard opted to alter the story by a small margin, showing promising changes to the revived game.

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However, not everyone was hyped when the game was announced. Many gamers expressed disappointment at Blizzard's move of remastering old games instead of developing new ones. Many, feeling uncomfortable at the company's decision, took to the internet and into forums. Some fans expressed concerns over Blizzard's decision to retcon a game they hold dear Some are unhappy with the graphics not being consistent with characters: unit models look too detailed while buildings look cartoonish.

Despite all this, the general population loved the announcement at Blizzcon. As the game slowly reaches its release date of December 31, 2019, the hype can only go up from here. For those of us who can't hold their excitement, here's a video of the crowd's insane reaction to the announcement:


Warcraft 3 Crowd Reaction Youtube

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