Frederick Wiseman to Be Honored at 2019 Critics' Choice Documentary Awards

This year's CCDAs will be held on November 10th in Brooklyn.

Charles Haynes

The Critics’ Choice Association (formerly Broadcast Film Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association) have announced Frederick Wiseman as a special honoree at this year’s Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards. Wiseman will receive the inaugural Pennebaker Award for Lifetime Achievement, named after the late D.A. Pennebaker, who died this year.

The 89-year-old Wiseman, who has been making documentaries since the early 1960s, is one of the most important and influential directors in nonfiction cinema — and has been consistently such for more than half a century. Previously Wiseman was named Best Director (in a tie with Evgeny Afineevsky) at the 2017 Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards for Ex Libris – The New York Public Library. That film was also nominated that year for Best Documentary.

The Fourth Annual Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, which our own founding editor, Christopher Campbell, is involved with as Nominating Committee Chair, will be held in Brooklyn, New York, on Sunday, November 10th. This year’s event adds a number of new categories while honoring the best of the multitude of feature, two-part, and short nonfiction films released in 2019.

“For the fourth year in a row, we look forward to shining the spotlight on the outstanding documentary filmmaking of the year,” CCA President Joey Berlin said in a statement. “We continue to highlight the importance and cultural value of documentaries and are thrilled to give the creative filmmakers the recognition and acknowledgment that they deserve.”

Here are this year’s competitive categories:

  • Best Documentary Feature
  • Best Director
  • Best First Documentary Feature
  • Best Cinematography
  • Best Narration
  • Best Score
  • Best Editing
  • Best Archival Documentary
  • Best Political Documentary
  • Best Biographical Documentary
  • Best Science and Nature Documentary
  • Best Sports Documentary
  • Best Music Documentary
  • Best Documentary Short
  • Most Innovative Documentary

Additionally, the CCDA Nominating Committee recognizes a number of people in the category of Most Compelling Living Subject, but there is no single winner is named.

This year’s Catalyst Sponsors, which are part of a program for industry leaders to support the event, include National Geographic Documentary Films and SHOWTIME® Documentary Films.

Nominations will be announced by the CCA on October 14th.

Image by Charles Haynes via Wikimedia Commons.

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