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Previewing the 2024 Best Documentary Feature Oscars

March 7, 2024

We’re just a few days away from the 96th Academy Awards presentation. Here’s a rundown of the group of five internationally focused documentaries that earned nominations for Best Documentary Feature: Bobi Wine: The People’s President, The Eternal Memory, Four Daughters, To Kill a Tiger, and 20 Days in Mariupol.

20 Days in Mariupol documents the devastating attack on civilians in the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol in the early days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, also secured a nomination. Pulitzer Prize-winning AP photojournalist Mstyslav Chernov, a Ukraine native, directed the documentary, which is produced by the PBS program Frontline and the Associated Press.

Frontline Executive Producer Raney Aronson-Rath and Michelle Mizner, a Frontline producer/editor, who also worked in both capacities on the documentary, recently joined Michael Azevedo on FC’s podcast, Making Media Now. You can find that podcast chat, wherever you listen to podcasts.

Bobi Wine is a film about the titular Ugandan pop star who ran for president of his country against a dictator who has been in power for going on 40 years. The film is directed by Ugandan natives Moses Bwayo and Christopher Sharp. This is the first Oscar nomination for Bwayo and Sharp.

Chile’s Maite Alberdi has earned the second Oscar nomination of her career for The Eternal Memory. Her film tells the love story of Augusto Góngora and Paulina Urrutia, two prominent figures in Chile, whose bond endured event after Augusto was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 62. He lost his battle with the disease in 2023. 

With Four Daughters, Kaouther Ben Hania also earned the second Oscar nomination of her career. The film, which shared the top prize for documentary at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, centers on Olfa Hamrouni, a Tunisian woman who raised four girls, and then dealt with anguish after her two eldest daughters joined the fanatical ISIS Islamist movement in Libya. Ben Hania, who has worked in fiction and nonfiction previously, incorporated actors to portray the missing daughters, and well as Olfa.

Finally, To Kill a Tiger, set in a village in India, tells the story of a family that fought for justice against long odds after their daughter was the victim of a brutal sexual assault by three young men. Among the film’s executive producers are Dev Patel, Mindy Kaling, Canadian poet Rupi Kaur, and Dr. Atul Gawande, the renowned surgeon and author.

We congratulate all the filmmakers for their nominations and for having delivered to audiences stories of profound humanity and consequence. We’ll be watching on March 10 to see who takes home the Oscar!

We are grateful for the generous support of our sponsors:

Massachusetts Cultural Council
Lowel Cultural Council
Cabot Family Charitable Trust
Liberty Mutual Foundation
City of Boston Arts and Culture