‘Virunga,’ ‘Life Itself’ among 2015 PGA Awards documentary nominees

Monday morning, the Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced its Documentary Motion Pictures nominees that will advance in the voting process for the 26th Annual Producers Guild Awards. The feature nominations are a change of pace from previous announcements, including the IDA Awards and Cinema Eye”s Nonfiction awards. You won”t find heavy-hitters like “CITIZENFOUR,” “20,000 Days on Earth,” or “The Overnighters” on this list. Instead, a few overlooked docs get the PGA bump

This year's “Docuemntary Theatrical” category includes “The Green Prince,” “Merchants of Doubt,” “Particle Fever,” “Life Itself,” and “Virunga.” While all five films earned positive reviews during their theatrical runs – and, in the case of “Particle Fever” and “Virunga,” their prosporous lives on Netflix Instant – it's the latter two that enter the PGA nominations with Oscar traction. The preservation-conscious “Virunga” earned both Cinema Eye and Indie Spirit nominations. Steve James' Robert Ebert doc was snubbed by the latter, but joined “Virunga” in Cinema Eye's Nonfiction Feature category.

The PGA also announced its nominations for non-fiction television. This year's highlighted shows include, “30 For 30,” “American Masters,” “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” “COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey,” and “Shark Tank.” 

The 2015 Producers Guild Award winners will be presented on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, where honorees Gale Anne Hurd and Mark Gordon are set to receive career honors.

Once again, this year's PGA nominees:

“The Green Prince” (Music Box Films)
“Life Itself” (Magnolia Pictures)
“Merchants of Doubt” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Particle Fever” (Abramorama/BOND 360)
“Virunga” (Netflix)