The Emmys may be for television programming, but often the nonfiction categories include some great documentary films that would be just as much at home in a theater; some have even had theatrical exposure at festivals before selling distribution rights to TV. When the Primetime Emmy nominations were announced this week, I noticed a couple of familiar documentary titles, most notably Spike Lee's amazing documentary about New Orleans, When the Levees Broke -- one of my top ten film picks from 2006. The four-hour HBO film has been nominated not only for best nonfiction filmmaking, but five other awards in the nonfiction categories: direction, cinematography, picture editing, sound editing and sound mixing. I'm sorry not to see the Terence Blanchard score nominated -- the documentary had a rich, haunting soundtrack -- but pleased the movie is being honored overall.

AJ Schnack, whose blog All these wonderful things is a go-to place for news and analysis about documentaries, has posted a list of nominations for just the nonfiction Emmy categories, if you don't want to wade through the long lists on the Emmy website. He also pointed out several other documentaries that played film fests and are nominated for Emmys: Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, Jonestown: The Life and Death of People's Temple and A Lion in the House. I noticed that Thin, which premiered at Sundance in 2006 before playing on HBO, is up for a direction award for Lauren Greenfield. Finally, since we're discussing movie-related programming here, it's only fair to note that the "AFI's 100 Years ...100 Cheers: America's Most Inspiring Movies" special is up for some of these awards, but I'm hoping the documentaries win in those categories.
categories Awards, Cinematical