February 23, 2012 Director Wim Wenders' documentary tribute to German choreographer Pina Bausch is nominated for an Academy Award. When Wenders and Bausch met more than 20 years ago, they started planning a film that would capture her unique style of modern dance. Bausch died suddenly just days before filming started.
February 22, 2012 In 2009, volunteer coach Bill Courtney led Manassas High School's struggling team to the playoffs. Filmmakers Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin chronicle the challenges of the Memphis team — on and off the field — in the Oscar-nominated documentary Undefeated.
February 21, 2012 In the documentary If a Tree Falls, director Marshall Curry tells the story of the rise and fall of the Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmentalist group that the FBI once described as America's No. 1 domestic terrorism threat. The film was nominated for an Academy Award.
February 20, 2012 Photojournalist Danfung Dennis embedded with the U.S. Marines in Afghanistan. His documentary, Hell and Back Again, has been nominated for an Academy Award. The film follows Sgt. Nathan Harris, who is wounded in battle and struggles to transition back into civilian life.
January 18, 2012 In 1994, three teens were convicted of the murder of three boys in West Memphis, Ark. The trial drew national attention, due in part to the HBO documentary series Paradise Lost. The "West Memphis Three" appealed their convictions and were released from prison in August 2011.
February 23, 2011 Restrepo, Inside Job, Waste Land, Exit Through the Gift Shop and Gasland are up for Oscars. But some early favorites, like Davis Guggenheim's Waiting for Superman, were left off the list. Bob Mondello, NPR's arts critic, talks about what academy members look for in the nominees for Best Documentary.
February 22, 2011 In Exit Through the Gift Shop, reclusive street artist Banksy tells the story of Thierry Guetta, a videographer who sets out to capture the world of street art. Through a series of unlikely events, Guetta becomes the subject — and a street artist, himself.
February 21, 2011 Waste Land tells the story of workers at Brazil's largest garbage dump, who wade through tons of garbage daily looking for recyclable scraps to sell. Director Lucy Walker documented the pickers and artist Vik Muniz, who turned the landfill into the canvas for beautiful art projects made of trash.
February 17, 2011 The 2008 financial meltdown cost millions of Americans their jobs and their homes, and left many looking for someone to blame. In his documentary Inside Job, filmmaker Charles Ferguson points the finger squarely at a financial industry that he says corrupted government and academia to rake in enormous profits.
February 16, 2011 Restrepo chronicles the deployment of 15 soldiers into Afghanistan's Korengal Valley, considered one of the military's most dangerous postings. Co-directors Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington made the film to capture the lives of the men and women fighting America's wars.