Oscars Documentary Shortlist Includes American Symphony 20 Days in Mariupol

“American Symphony,” “20 Days in Mariupol,” “To Kill a Tiger” and “Four Daughters” are among the 15 films that made the shortlist in the Oscars’ Best Documentary Feature category, one of 10 shortlists announced by the Academy on Thursday. A total of 167 films were eligible in the category.

“20 Days in Mariupol,” from Ukraine, is one of two docs that also made the International Feature List. The other was Kaouther Ben Hania’s “Four Daughters,” from Tunisia.

The shortlist includes most of the most acclaimed nonfiction films of 2023, though it does contain some notable omissions. “Kokomo City,” a nominee for the Cinema Eye Honors and Critics Choice Documentary Awards, did not make the shortlist, and neither did “The Mother of All Lies” (which did make the international shortlist), “The Deepest Breath,” “The Mission,” “Silver Dollar Road” or two marathon-length films from renowned filmmakers, Steve McQueen’s “Occupied City” and Frederick Wiseman’s “Menus-Plaisirs – Les Troisgros.”

In the documentary-short category, the 15-film shortlist included films from Ben Proudfoot, whose “The Last Repair Shop” focuses on a Los Angeles-based shop that repairs and restores musical instruments for children. Proudfoot won the Oscar in this category last year for “The Queen of Basketball” and was nominated in 2021 for “A Concerto Is a Conversation.” His co-director on “The Last Repair Shop” is Kris Bowers, who was also shortlisted writing the original score to “The Color Purple.”

Also shortlisted was “Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó,” one of the shorts in TheWrap’s ShortList Film Festival this year.

The complete shortlists for documentaries are below.


“American Symphony”
“Apolonia, Apolonia”
“Beyond Utopia“
“Bobi Wine: The People’s President”
“Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy”
“The Eternal Memory”
“Four Daughters”
“Going to Mars: The Nikki Giovanni Project”
“In the Rearview”
“Stamped from the Beginning”
“Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie“
“A Still Small Voice”
“32 Sounds”
“To Kill a Tiger”
“20 Days in Mariupol”


“The ABCs of Book Banning”
“The Barber of Little Rock”
“Between Earth & Sky”
“Black Girls Play: The Story of Hand Games”
“Camp Courage”
“Deciding Vote”
“How We Get Free”
“If Dreams Were Lightning: Rural Healthcare Crisis”
“Island in Between”“Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó”“Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó”
“The Last Repair Shop”
“Last Song from Kabul”
“Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó”
“Wings of Dust”

Steve Pond contributed to this report.

20 Days in Mariupol American Symphony

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