Oscar Documentary Snubs Raise Questions Of Gender Equality, Politics

from ibtimes.com: The 2014 Oscar nominations were announced Thursday morning, and to no one’s surprise, “American Hustle” and “Gravity” led the pack with 10 nominations each. “12 Years A Slave” followed closely behind with nine nominations.

It was also no surprise that all of the nine feature films nominated for Best Picture were directed by men: The gender discrepancy in Hollywood has been a topic of conversation among filmmakers and critics of late, but with no end in sight to the persistent exclusion of female filmmakers from the box office rankings and awards-season buzz. In 2010, Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman to win a Best Director Oscar in Academy Award history (for “The Hurt Locker”), but the historic win has not translated to an increase in recognition for women behind the camera.

This year, the only female-directed feature film that had any real shot at a Best Picture nomination was Nicole Holofcener’s “Enough Said,” which has a 96 percent critic approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but was shut out of the Oscar nominations altogether, as many of us thought it might be. Women were expected to fare better in the Documentary category: Two of the year’s best-received and most influential documentaries, “Blackfish” and “Stories We Tell,” were directed by women, and both were considered locks among Oscar prognosticators (including this one). But neither documentary nabbed a nomination (the lesser-known “The Square,” directed by Jehane Noujam, did receive a nod, so women directors were not shut out altogether).

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