Ezra Edelman’s O.J.: Made in America and Ava DuVernay’s 13th were the big winners at the inaugural Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards on Thursday night in New York.
Edelman’s seven-and-a-half-hour look at the tumultuous life of O.J. Simpson took home four awards, the most of the evening, for best documentary (theatrical feature), best director (theatrical feature), best limited documentary series, and best sports documentary.
DuVernay’s exploration of endemic racism in the American criminal justice system was honored with best documentary (TV/streaming), best director (TV/streaming), and best political documentary.
The category for best first documentary (TV/streaming) resulted in a tie, with awards going to both Deborah Esquenazi for Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four and Jacob Bernstein and Nick Hooker for Everything is Copy: Nora Ephron — Scripted and Unscripted.
The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years was named best music documentary; ESPN’s 30 for 30 won best ongoing documentary series; and Keith Maitland’s Tower claimed the prize for most innovative documentary.
Penn Jillette hosted the ceremony, which was presented by the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, which will be presented this year in conjunction with EW. The full list of winners follows.
Best Documentary (Theatrical Feature): O.J.: Made in America
Best Director (Theatrical Feature): Ezra Edelman, O.J.: Made in America
Best Documentary (TV/Streaming): 13th
Best Director (TV/Streaming): Ava DuVernay, 13th
Best First Documentary (Theatrical Feature): Jack Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg, Weiner
Best First Documentary (TV/Streaming): (Tie) Jacob Bernstein and Nick Hooker, Everything Is Copy — Nora Ephron: Scripted and Unscripted / Deborah Esquenazi, Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four
Best Political Documentary: 13th
Best Sports Documentary, O.J.: Made in America
Best Music Documentary: The Beatles: Eight Days a Week — The Touring Years
Best Song in a Documentary: “I’m Still Here,” Miss Sharon Jones. Written by Sharon Jones, performed by Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings
Best Limited Documentary Series: O.J.: Made in America
Best Ongoing Documentary Series: 30 for 30
Most Innovative Documentary: The Tower