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Variety's Awards Circuit is home to the official predictions for the upcoming Oscars and Emmys ceremonies from film awards editor Clayton Davis. Following history, buzz, news, reviews and sources, the Oscar and Emmy predictions are updated regularly with the current year's list of contenders in all categories. Variety's Awards Circuit Prediction schedule consists of four phases, running all year long: Draft, Pre-Season, Regular Season and Post Season. The eligibility calendar and dates of awards will determine how long each phase lasts and is subject to change.

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2022 OSCARS PREDICTIONS:
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

UPDATED: March 24, 2022

AWARDS PREDICTION COMMENTARY

The race for documentary feature has been Questlove’s to lose for quite some time, as long as he managed to capture the nom.

Looking back on the last 20 years, once the field is ultimately established, there hasn’t typically been an upset victor in this category. Instead, the Academy has primarily fallen in line with the consensus choice. Four days before final Oscar voting opened, the PGA and BAFTA prizes for documentary feature sure helped a ton.

But in an awards season where 94 years of Oscar statistics are looking like they’re about to crumble, we have to be open to the possibility of a shocker. Stanley Nelson won the DGA award for Showtime’s “Attica,” and it’s a film that has a passionate base, but it’s hard to know if enough voters have seen it. Notably, if “Attica” does win, co-director Tracy A. Curry will become the first Black woman to win this category.

And then there’s Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s “Flee,” nominated in two other categories for animated feature and international feature, the first of its kind to land three noms in those spaces. This has been the hardest nomination for the Neon-distributed movie to secure, but also its biggest shot at a win if it can overtake the feel-good nature of “Summer of Soul.”

Jessica Kingdon’s “Ascension” and Rintu Thomas’ “Writing With Fire” have pockets of support, but remain dark horses in the category.

When in doubt, go with the critical darling.

Will win: “Summer of Soul (Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” (Hulu/Searchlight Pictures) – Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein

Could win: “Flee” (Neon) – Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie

Should win: “Flee” (Neon) – Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie

Awards Season Calendar (2021-2022)


ALL AWARDS CONTENDERS AND RANKINGS:

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Neon
AND THE NOMINEES ARE:
RANK FILM STUDIO DIRECTOR(S), PRODUCER(S)
1 “Summer of Soul (Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” Hulu/Searchlight Pictures Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein
2 “Flee” Neon Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
3 “Attica” Showtime Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry
4 “Writing With Fire” Music Box Films Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh
5 “Ascension” MTV Documentary Films Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell

AWARDS CATEGORY HISTORY (Documentary Feature)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. The most awarded films in Oscar history are “Ben-Hur,” “Titanic” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” at 11 statuettes. The most nominated films in Academy history are “All About Eve,” “Titanic” and “La La Land” at 14. “La La Land” is the only film of the three to have lost best picture. The most prominent Oscar “losers,” meaning most nominated and walk away with zero awards, are 1977’s “The Turning Point” and 1985’s “The Color Purple” at 11 each.


2022 Academy Awards Predictions

2021 Oscars predictions are here.

About the Academy Awards (Oscars)

The Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars, is Hollywood’s most prestigious artistic award in the film industry. Since 1927, nominees and winners have been selected by members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Seventeen branches are represented within the near 10,000 person membership. The branches are actors, associates, casting directors, cinematographers, costume designers, directors, documentary, executives, film editors, makeup and hairstylists, marketing and public relations, members-at-large, members-at-large (artists’ representatives), music, producers, production design, short films and feature animation, sound, visual effects and writers.

  • The date for the 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday, Mar. 27, 2022