Oscar / Best Documentary

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The page lists all films that have been nominated for the Oscar for best documentary or have received this award. Films are listed according to their year of production, so at the 2005 Academy Awards , the best production of 2004 was recognized. The documentary film itself is always awarded, but the Oscar usually goes to the producer or production company.


Most frequently paid producer Walt Disney (4 wins)
Most frequently nominated producer Charles Guggenheim (10 nominations)
Most nominated production company without a win The March of Time and United States Army Air Forces (4 nominations each)


year Award winners for the movie Nominations
1943 United States Navy Battle of Midway (The Battle of Midway) The March of Time for Africa, Prelude to Victory

United States Army Signal Corps for Combat Report
Frederic Ullman junior for Conquer by the Clock
Walt Disney for The Grain That Built a Hemisphere
United States Department of Agriculture for Henry Browne, Farmer
National Film Board of Canada for High Over the Borders
The Netherlands Information Bureau for High Stakes in the East
National Film Board of Canada for Inside Fighting China
United States Office of War Information for It's Everybody's War
British Ministry of Information for Listen to Britain
Belgian Ministry of Information for Little Belgium
Victor Stoloff , Edgar Loew , for Little Isles of Freedom
United States Office of War Information for Mister Gardenia Jones
United States Office of War Information for Mr. Blabbermouth!
Walt Disney for The New Spirit
William H. Pine for Paramount Victory Short No. T2-3: The Price of Victory
William C. Thomas for We Refuse to Die
United States Merchant Marine for A Ship Is Born
British Ministry of Information for Twenty-One Miles
Concanen Films for The White Eagle
United States Army Air Forces for Winning Your Wings

United States Army Special Services Prelude to War (Prelude to War)
Australian News & Information Bureau Kokoda Front Line!
Artkino Pictures Moscow Strikes Back
1944 British Ministry of Information Desert Victory United States Army for Baptism of Fire

United States Department of War Special Service Division for The Battle of Russia
United States Army Pictorial Service for Report from the Aleutians
United States Office of Strategic Services Field Photographic Bureau for War Department Report

1945 United States Navy The Fighting Lady United States Army Air Forces for Resisting Enemy Interrogation
1946 The Governments of Great Britain and the United States of America The True Glory United States Army Air Forces for The Last Bomb
1947 not awarded
1948 Sid Rogell , Theron Warth and Richard Fleischer Design for Death United States Department of State Office of Information and Educational Exchange for Journey Into Medicine

Paul Rotha for The World Is Rich

1949 Orville O. Dull The Secret Land Janice Loeb for one of the Pacific (The Quiet One)


year Award winners for the movie Nominations
1950 Crown Film Unit Daybreak in Udi Paul F. Heard for Kenji Comes Home
1951 Robert Snyder The Titan: Story of Michelangelo Jack Arnold and Lee Goodman for With These Hands
1952 Olle Nordemar Kon-Tiki Bryan Foy for Ich war FBI Mann MC ( I Was a Communist for the FBI )
1953 Irwin Allen The Sea Around Us Dore Schary for The Hoaxters

Hall Bartlett for Navajo

1954 Walt Disney The Living Desert (The Living Desert) John Taylor , Leon Clore and Grahame Tharp for the conquest of Everest (The Conquest of Everest)

Castleton Knight for A queen is crowned (A Queen is Crowned)

1955 Walt Disney Wonders of the Prairie (The Vanishing Prairie) Guy Glover for The Stratford Adventure
1956 Nancy Hamilton The Unconquered René Risacher for Crèvecœur
1957 Jacques-Yves Cousteau The silent world (Le monde du silence) The Government Film Committee of Denmark for Where the Mountains Sail (Hvor bjergene sejler)

Louis Clyde Stoumen for The Naked Eye

1958 Jerome Hill Albert Schweitzer Lionel Rogosin for On the Bowery

Manuel Barbachano Ponce for torero

1959 Ben Sharpsteen White Wilderness (White Wilderness) James Carr for Across Antarctica (Antarctic Crossing)

Robert Snyder for The Hidden World
Nathan Zucker for Psychiatric Nursing


year Award winners for the movie Nominations
1960 Bernhard Grzimek Serengeti must not die David L. Wolper for The Race for Space
1961 Larry Lansburgh The horse with the flying tail Robert D. Fraser for Rebel in Paradise
1962 Arthur Cohn and René Lafuite Just heaven and dirt (Le ciel et la boue) Istituto Nazionale Luce, Comitato Organizzatore Del Giochi Della XVII Olimpiade for La grande olimpiade
1963 Louis Clyde Stoumen Black Fox: The True Story of Adolf Hitler Hugo Niebeling for Alvorada - New beginnings in Brazil
1964 Robert Hughes Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel with the World Marshall Fluff for The Yanks Are Coming

Paul de Roubaix for Le maillon et la chaîne

1965 Jacques-Yves Cousteau World without the sun (Le monde sans soleil) Jean Aurel for Night Over Europe: 2pm - 6pm (2pm - 6pm)

Bert Haanstra for Twelve Million (Alleman)
Jack Le Vien for The Finest Hours
Mel Stuart for Four Days in November

1966 Sidney Glazier The Eleanor Roosevelt Story Laurence E. Mascott for The Battle of the Bulge… The Brave Rifles

Peter Mills for The Forth Road Bridge
Marshall Flaum for Let My People Go
Frédéric Rossif for Die für Madrid (Mourir à Madrid)

1967 Peter Watkins The War Game Alfred R. Kelman for The Face of A Genius

Peter Jones , Tom Daly for Helicopter Canada
Alex Grasshoff for a truly great family (The Really Big Family)
Haroun Tazieff for Le volcan interdit

1968 Pierre Schœndœrffer 2nd Company, 1st Platoon, Vietnam 1966 (Le section Anderson) Murray Lerner for Festival

Carroll Ballard for Harvest
Jack Le Vien for A King's Story
William C. Jersey for A Time for Burning

1969 Bill McGaw Journey Into Self James Blue for A Few Notes on Our Food Problem

William Cayton for The Legendary Champions
David H. Sawyer for Other Voices


year Award winners for the movie Nominations
1970 Bernard Chevry The music - my life (L'amour de la vie - Artur Rubinstein) Robert K. Sharpe for Before the Mountain Was Moved

Emile de Antonio for In the Year of the Pig
Comite Organizador de los Juegos de la XIX Olimpiada for Olimpiada en México
Irwin Rosten for The Wolf Men

1971 Bob Maurice Woodstock Harald Reinl for memories of the future

Jim Jacobs for Jack Johnson
Ely Landau for Then My Life Wasn't Free - Martin Luther King (King: A Filmed Record… Montgomery to Memphis)
David H. Vowell for Say Goodbye

1972 Walon Green The Hellstrom Chronicle (The Hellstrom Chronicle) Alan Landsburg for Alaska Wilderness Lake

Marcel Ophüls for The House Next Door - Chronicle of a French City During the War (Le chagrin et la pitié)
Bruce Brown for the devil guys on hot fire chairs (On Any Sunday)
Lennart Ehrenborg , Thor Heyerdahl for Ra

1973 Sarah Kernochan and Howard Smith Marjoe Bert Haanstra for eat and be eaten (Bij de beesten af)

Marvin Worth , Arnold Perl for Malcolm X
Robert Hendrickson , Laurence Merrick for Manson
Eckehard Munck for The Silent Revolution

1974 Kieth Merrill The Great American Cowboy John D. Goodell for Always a New Beginning

Alexander Grasshoff for Journey to the Outer Limits
Bengt von zur Muehlen for the Battle of Berlin
Gertrude Ross Marks , Edmund F. Penney for Walls of Fire

1975 Peter Davis and Burt Schneider Hearts and Minds Judy Collins , Jill Godmilow for Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman

Herbert Kline for The Challenge… A Tribute to Modern Art
Jacquot Ehrlich , David Bergman , Haim Gouri for Ha-Makah Hashmonim V'Echad
Natalie R. Jones , Eugene S. Jones for The Wild and the Brave

1976 FR Crawley , James Hager and Dale Hartleben Shot ride from Mount Everest (The Man Who Skied Down Everest) Walter F. Parkes , Keith F. Critchlow for The California Empire

Glen Pearcy for Fighting for Our Lives
Irwin Rosten for The Incredible Machine
Shirley MacLaine for The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir

1977 Barbara Kopple Harlan County, USA James Gutman , David Helpern junior for Hollywood on Trial

Michael Firth for Off the Edge
Anthony Howarth , David Koff for People of the Wind
Donald Brittain , Robert A. Duncan for Volcano: An Inquiry Into the Life and Death of Malcolm Lowry

1978 John Korty , Dan McCann, and Warren L. Lockhart Who Are the DeBolts? And Where Did They Get Nineteen Kids? Robert Dornhelm , Earle Mack for The Children of Theater Street

Bill Brind , Torben Schioler , Tony Ianzelo for High Grass Circus
Harry Rasky for Homage to Chagall: The Colors of Love
James Klein , Julia Reichert , Miles Mogulescu for Union Maids

1979 Arnold Shapiro Scared straight! Alan Root for Mysterious Castles of Clay

Jean-Pierre Dutilleux , Luiz Carlos Saldanha for Raoni
Albert Lamorisse for Le vent des amoureux
Anne Bohlen , Lyn Goldfarb , Lorraine Gray for With Babies and Banners: Story of the Women's Emergency Brigade


year Award winners for the movie Nominations
1980 Ira Wohl Best boy David A. Vassar for Generation on the Wind

Paul Cowan , Jacques Bobet for Going the Distance
Steve Singer , Tom Priestley for The Killing Ground
Glenn Silber , Barry Alexander Brown for The War at Home

1981 Murray Lerner From Mao to Mozart - Isaac Stern in China
(From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China)
Ross Spears for Agee

Jon Else for The Day After Trinity
David Bradbury for Front Line
Bengt von zur Muehlen , Arthur Cohn for The Yellow Star - The Persecution of Jews 1933–1945

1982 Arnold Schwartzmann and Marvin Hier Genocide Suzanne Bauman , Paul Neshamkin , Jim Burroughs for Against Wind and Tide: A Cuban Odyssey

Ken Burns for Brooklyn Bridge
Mary Benjamin , Susanne Simpson , Boyd Estus for Eight Minutes to Midnight: A Portrait of Dr. Helen Caldicott
Glenn Silber , Teté Vasconcellos for El Salvador: Another Vietnam

1983 John Zaritsky A student has disappeared
(Just Another Missing Kid)
Sturla Gunnarsson , Steve Lucas for After the Ax

Michel Chalufour , John Karol for Ben's Mill
Meg Switzgable for In Our Water
Joseph Wishy for A Portrait of Giselle

1984 Emile Ardolino He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin ' Richard Kotuk , Ara Chekmayan for Children of Darkness

Robin Anderson , Bob Connolly for First Contact
Michael Bryans , Tina Viljoen for The Profession of Arms
Jim Klein , Julia Reichert for Seeing Red

1985 Rob Epstein and Richard Schmiechen The Times of Harvey Milk Charles Guggenheim , Nancy Sloss for high schools

Alex W. Drehsler , Frank Christopher for In the Name of the People
Karel Dirka , Zev Braun for Marlene
Cheryl McCall for Streetwise

1986 Mario Florio and Victoria Mudd Broken Rainbow Susana Blaustein Muñoz , Lourdes Portillo for Las madres de la Plaza de Mayo

Japhet Asher for Soldiers in Hiding
Ken Burns , Buddy Squires for The Statue of Liberty
Steven Okazaki for Unfinished Business

1987 Brigitte Berman Artie Shaw: Time Is All You've Got style = "font-size: smaller;" | David Bradbury for Chile: Hasta Cuando?

Kirk Simon , Amram Nowak for Isaac in America: A Journey with Isaac Bashevis Singer
Sharon I. Sopher for Witness to Apartheid

Joseph Feury and Milton Justice Down and Out in America
1988 Aviva Slesin The Ten-Year Lunch Callie Crossley , James A. DeVinney for Eyes on the Prize

John Junkerman , John W. Dower for Hellfire: A Journey from Hiroshima
Robert Stone for Radio Bikini
Barbara Herbich , Cyril Christo for A Stitch for Time

1989 Marcel Ophüls Hôtel Terminus: The Time and Life of Klaus Barbie (Hôtel Terminus) Robert Bilheimer , Ronald Mix for The Cry of Reason: Beyers Naude - An Afrikaner Speaks Out

Bruce Weber , Nan Bush for Let's Get Lost
Ginny Durrin for Promises to Keep
Christine Choy , Renee Tajima-Peña for Who Killed Vincent Chin?


year Award winners for the movie Nominations
1990 Rob Epstein and Bill Couturié Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt Richard Kilberg , Yvonne Smith for Adam Clayton Powell

Vince DiPersio , William Guttentag for Crack USA: County Under Siege
Al Reinert , Betsy Broyles Breier for For All Mankind - A Big Step for Humanity (For All Mankind)
Judith Leonard , Bill Jersey for Super Chief: The Life and Legacy of Earl Warren

1991 Barbara Kopple and Arthur Cohn American Dream Mark Kitchell for Berkeley in the Sixties - The Birth of the '68 Movement (Berkeley in the '60s)

Mark Mori , Susan Robinson for Building Bombs
Judith Montell for Forever Activists: Stories from the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
Robert Hillmann , Eugene Corr for Waldo Salt: A Screenwriter's Journey

1992 Allie Light and Irving Saraf In the Shadow of the Stars Vince DiPersio , Bill Guttentag for Death on the Job

Alan Raymond , Susan Raymond for Doing Time: Life Inside the Big House
Hava Kohav Beller for The Restless Conscience (The Restless Conscience)
Lawrence R. Hott , Diane Garey for Wild by Law

1993 Barbara Trent and David Kasper The Panama Deception David Haugland for Changing Our Minds: The Story of Dr. Evelyn Hooker

Sally Dundas for Das Flammenmeer von Kuwait (Fires of Kuwait)
William Miles , Nina Rosenblum for Liberators: Fighting on Two Fronts in World War II
Margaret Smilow , Roma Baran for Music for the Movies: Bernard Herrmann

1994 Susan Raymond and Alan Raymond I Am a Promise: The Children of Stanton Elementary School David Paperny , Arthur Ginsberg for The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter

Susan Todd , Andrew Young for Children of Fate: Life and Death in a Sicilian Family
David Collier , Betsy Thompson for For Better or for Worse
Chris Hegedus , DA Pennebaker for Die Kommandozentrale (The War Room)

1995 Freida Lee Mock and Terry Sanders Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision Charles Guggenheim for D-Day Remembered

Deborah Hoffmann for Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter
Connie Field , Marilyn Mulford for Freedom on My Mind
Jean Bach for A Great Day in Harlem

1996 Jon Blair Anne Frank - contemporary witnesses remember (Anne Frank Remembered) Michael Epstein , Thomas Lennon for The Battle Over Citizen Kane

Mike Tollin , Fredric Golding for Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream
allan Miller , Walter Scheuer for Small Wonders
Jeanne Jordan , Steven Ascher for Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern

1997 Leon Gast and David Sonenberg When We Were Kings Susan W. Dryfoos for The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story

Jo Menell , Angus Gibson for Mandela
Anne Belle , Deborah Dickson for Suzanne Farrell: Elusive Muse
Rick Goldsmith for Tell the Truth and Run: George Seldes and the American Press

1998 Marvin Hier and Richard Drank Into the Promised Land (The Long Way Home) Spike Lee , Sam Pollard for Four Little Girls (4 Little Girls)

Michael Paxton for Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life
Michèle Ohayon , Julia Schachter for Colors Straight Up
Dan Gifford , William Gazecki for Waco: The Rules of Engagement

1999 James Moll and Kenneth Lipper The last days (The Last Days) Matthew Diamond , Jerry Kupfer for Dancemaker

Jonathan Stack , Liz Garbus for The Farm: Angola, USA
Robert B. Weide for Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth
Barbara Sonneborn , Janet Cole for We are sorry to have to tell you (Regret to Inform)


year Award winners for the movie Nominations
2000 Kevin Macdonald and Arthur Cohn One Day in September (One Day in September) Wim Wenders , Ulrich Felsberg for Buena Vista Social Club

Roko Belic , Adrian Belic for Genghis Blues
Nanette Burstein , Brett Morgen for On the Ropes
Paola di Florio , Lilibet Foster for Speaking in Strings

2001 Mark Jonathan Harris and Deborah Oppenheimer Kindertransport - Into the Arms of Strangers: Stories of the Kindertransport Death Lending for Legacy

Deborah Hoffmann , Frances Reid for Long Night's Journey Into Day
Daniel Anker , Barak Goodman for Scottsboro: An American Tragedy
Josh Aronson , Roger Weisberg for Sound and Fury

2002 Jean-Xavier de Lestrade , Denis Poncet A killer made to measure (Un coupable idéal) Edet Belzberg for asphalt children in Bucharest (Children Underground)

Susan Froemke , Deborah Dickson for LaLee's Kin: The Legacy of Cotton
Justine Shapiro , BZ Goldberg for Hate and Hope - Children in the Middle East Conflict (Promises)
Christian Frei for War Photographer

2003 Michael Moore and Michael Donovan Bowling for Columbine Gail Dolgin , Vicente Franco for Daughter from Danang

Jacques Perrin for Nomads of the Skies - The Secret of the Migratory Birds (Le peuple migrateur)
Malcolm Clarke , Stuart Sender for Kurt Gerron - Prisoner of Paradise
Jeffrey Blitz , Sean Welch for Spellbound

2004 Errol Morris and Michael Williams The Fog of War Carlos Bosch , Josep Maria Domènech for Balseros

Andrew Jarecki , Marc Smerling for Capturing the Friedmans
Nathaniel Kahn , Susan R. Behr for My Architect
Sam Green , Bill Siegel for The Weather Underground

2005 Zana Briski and Ross Kauffman Born in a brothel - children in the red light district of Calcutta (Born Into Brothels: Calcutta's Red Light Kids) Luigi Falorni , Byambasuren Davaa for The Story of the Weeping Camel

Morgan Spurlock for Super Size Me
Lauren Lazin , Karolyn Ali for Tupac: Resurrection
Kirby Dick , Eddie Schmidt for Twist of Faith

2006 Luc Jacquet and Yves Darondeau The journey of the penguins (La marche de l'empereur) Hubert Sauper for Darwin's Nightmare

Alex Gibney , Jason Kliot for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Henry-Alex Rubin , Dana Adam Shapiro for Murderball
Marshall Curry for Street Fight

2007 Davis Guggenheim An Inconvenient Truth Amy Berg , Frank Donner for Deliver Us from Evil (Deliver Us from Evil)

James Longley , Yahya Sinno for Iraq in Fragments
Heidi Ewing , Rachel Grady for Jesus Camp
Laura Poitras , Jocelyn Glatzer for My Country, My Country

2008 Alex Gibney and Eva Orner Taxi to the Dark Side Charles H. Ferguson , Audrey Marrs for No End In Sight - Invasion of the Amateurs?

Richard E. Robbins for Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience
Michael Moore , Meghan O'Hara for Sicko
Andrea Nix Fine , Sean Fine for War / Dance

2009 James Marsh and Simon Chinn Man on Wire Ellen Kuras , Thavisouk Phrasavath for The Betrayal - Nerakhoon

Werner Herzog , Henry Kaiser for Encounters at the End of the World (Encounters at the End of the World)
Scott Hamilton Kennedy for The Garden
Tia Lessin , Carl Deal for Trouble the Water


year Award winners for the movie Nominations
2010 Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens The Bay (The Cove) Anders Østergaard , Lise Lense-Møller for Burma VJ - Reports from a Closed Country (Burma VJ: Reporter i et lukket land)
Robert Kenner , Elise Pearlstein for Food, Inc.
Judith Ehrlich , Rick Goldsmith for The Most Dangerous Man in America - Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers)
Rebecca Cammisa for Which Way Home
2011 Charles H. Ferguson and Audrey Marrs Inside job Banksy , Jaimie D'Cruz for Exit Through the Gift Shop
Josh Fox , Trish Adlesic for Gasland
Tim Hetherington , Sebastian Junger for Restrepo
Lucy Walker , Angus Aynsley for Waste Land
2012 TJ Martin , Dan Lindsay and Richard Middlemas Unbeaten (Undefeated) Danfung Dennis , Mike Lerner for Hell and Back Again
Marshall Curry , Sam Cullman for If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Joe Berlinger , Bruce Sinofsky for Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Wim Wenders , Gian-Piero Ringel for Pina
2013 Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn Searching for Sugar Man Emad Burnat , Guy Davidi for 5 Broken Cameras
Dror Moreh , Philippa Kowarsky , Estelle Fialon for Kill First (The Gatekeepers)
David France and Howard Gertler for How to Survive a Plague
Kirby Dick , Amy Ziering for The Invisible War
2014 Morgan Neville , Gil Friesen and Caitrin Rogers 20 Feet from Stardom Joshua Oppenheimer , Signe Byrge Sørensen for The Act of Killing
Zachary Heinzerling , Lydia Dean Pilcher for Cutie and the Boxer
Richard Rowley , Jeremy Scahill for Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield
Jehane Noujaim , Karim Amer for The Square
2015 Laura Poitras , Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky Citizenfour John Maloof , Charlie Siskel for Finding Vivian Maier
Rory Kennedy , Keven McAlester for Last Days in Vietnam
Wim Wenders , Juliano Ribeiro Salgado , David Rosier for Das Salz der Erde (The Salt of the Earth)
Orlando von Einsiedel , Joanna Natasegara for Virunga
2016 Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees Amy Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin for Cartel Land
Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen for The Look of Silence
Liz Garbus , Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes for What Happened, Miss Simone?
Evgeni Afinejewski and Den Tolmor for Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom
2017 Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow OJ Simpson: Made in America Ava DuVernay , Spencer Averick and Howard Barish for 13th
Raoul Peck , Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck for I Am Not Your Negro
Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman for Life, Animated
Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo for Seafire
2018 Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan Icarus Steve James , Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman for Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Agnès Varda , JR and Rosalie Varda for Moments : Faces of a Journey
Feras Fayyad , Kareem Abeed and Søren Steen Jespersen for The Last Men of Aleppo
Yance Ford and Joslyn Barnes for Strong Iceland
2019 Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi , Jimmy Chin , Evan Hayes and Shannon Dill Free solo RaMell Ross , Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim for Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Bing Liu and Diane Quon for Minding the Gap
Talal Derki , Ansgar Frerich , Eva Kemme and Tobias N. Siebert for Of Fathers and Sons - The Children of the Caliphate
Betsy West and Julie Cohen for RBG - A Life for Justice
2020 Steven Bognar , Julia Reichert and Jeff Reichert American Factory Feras Fayyad , Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjær for The Cave
Petra Costa , Joanna Natasegara , Shane Boris and Tiago Pavan for On the Edge of Democracy
Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts for For Sama
Ljubomir Stefanov , Tamara Kotevska and Atanas Georgiev for Land of Honey

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