We always look forward to the release of the list of 15 finalists for the five finalists for the Oscar for best documentary film, since they started releasing such list a few years back. For one thing, I've worked on a couple of award winners (other prizes) in the past. Plus, it's always controversial--not so much what's named (they are almost always excellent) but what's left out, and the voting rules.
Those rules were revamped again this year, under the new chief of the Academy's division, Mr. Michael Moore. Here's this year's list, just out. Again, some notable omissions, such as Ken Burns' Central Park Five and Queen of Versailles and West of Memphis, but overall a great list (but really, HBO's Ethel?). Here's one of my picks, Searching for Sugarman.