Ahead of the 94th Oscars in 2022, the Acadamy has released a list of films eligible for consideration in the Best Documentary category, with recent documentaries on Tina Turner, The Velvet Underground and Billie Eilish all making the cut – alongside 138 other films centred around musicians.
Billie Eilish’s recent Apple TV+ doc, The World’s A Little Blurry, is just one of the films released in 2021 to be considered. Tracing the creative life of Eilish over the course of three years, the film arrived earlier this year and offers a fascinating insight into the professional, romantic, and family life of 19-year-old Eilish.
Meanwhile, the Tina Turner documentary, TINA, has also made the grade. Weaving previously unseen footage, personal photos, audiotapes and new interviews (some of which are with Turner herself) the film, directed by Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin, tells the story of Turner’s long and illustrious career.
Also on the list is Questlove‘s stunning documentary about the 1969 Harlem Concert, Summer Of Soul. Overshadowed by its contemporary, Woodstock Festival, the Harlem Concert marked a defining moment in the history of American music and race relations.
And yet, so many of us had never heard of it before Summer Of Soul was released. As Questlove (who had originally titled his film Black Woodstock), said of the Harlem Concert series. “The Harlem Cultural Festival needed not just recognition, but ownership. With Summer of Soul, it finally has both.”
The list of films selected for consideration also includes the upcoming Brian Wilson documentary Long Promised Road; the Todd Haynes’ The Velvet Underground, which provides a deep-dive into the foundations of the seminal rock group; and Egar Wright’s The Sparks Brothers. Samuel L. Jackson, Elaine May and Liv Ullmann will all be presented with honorary Oscars at the Academy’s Governors Awards next year. The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, meanwhile, will be given to the actor, director and activist, Danny Glover.