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The Oscar-nominated documentaries and their trailers

Jan Rader, one of the women profiled in the documentary Heroin(e) who are trying to stop opioid overdoses in Huntington, West Virginia. (Photo by Netflix)

The nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced this morning, and those include the 10 documentary films—five feature and five shorts—that were nominated for Oscars.

The difference in the two categories is simply about running time: shorts are less than 40 minutes long, and all other documentaries are considered features.

The awards will be presented March 4.

Here are the 10 nominees, descriptions from their web sites or press materials, and their trailers.

Oscar nominees for documentary (feature)

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, Steve James (director), Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman.  Watch via PBS/Frontline

“[T]he little-known story of the only U.S. bank prosecuted in relation to the 2008 financial crisis.”


Faces Places, Agnès Varda and JR (directors), and Rosalie Varda.

“89-year old Agnes Varda, one of the leading figures of the French New Wave, and acclaimed 33 year-old French photographer and muralist JR teamed up to co-direct this enchanting documentary/road movie.”


Icarus, Bryan Fogel (director) and Dan Cogan. Watch on Netflix.

“An American filmmaker and cyclist unwittingly wades into a global scandal when a Russian scientist leaks shocking details of a vast doping conspiracy.”


Last Men in Aleppo, Feras Fayyad (director), Kareem Abeed, and Søren Steen Jespersen. Watch clips via

Volunteers in Syria “are fighting for sanity in a city where war has become the norm.”


Strong Island, Yance Ford (director) and Joslyn Barnes. Watch on Netflix.

The “forces of family, grief and racial injustice converge in this powerful documentary exploring the murder of filmmaker Yance Ford’s brother”



Oscar documentary (short) nominees

Edith+Eddie, Laura Checkoway (director) and Thomas Lee Wright.

“America’s oldest interracial newlyweds. A love story under threat.”


Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405, Frank Stiefel (director)

“a portrait of a brilliant 56 year old artist who is represented by one of Los Angeles’ top galleries. Her body of raw, emotional work reveals a lifetime of extreme depression and anxiety.”


Heroin(e), Elaine McMillion Sheldon (director) and Kerrin Sheldon. Watch on Netflix

“This documentary follows three women — a fire chief, a judge and a street missionary — as they battle West Virginia’s devastating opioid epidemic.”


Knife Skills, Thomas Lennon (director)

“What does it take to build a world-class French restaurant? What if the staff is almost entirely men and women just out of prison? What if most have never cooked or served before, and have barely two months to learn their trade?”


Traffic Stop, Kate Davis (director) and David Heilbroner. Watch on HBO in March.

“the story of Breaion King, a 26 year-old African-American school teacher from Austin, Texas who is stopped for a routine traffic violation that escalates into a dramatic arrest”

Watch the trailer here