There were 124 films that met the Academy's requirements for Oscars eligibility for 2012, from which the selection committee chose the fifteen films on the shortlist from.
The Academy also announced its short list of 8 films for consideration for the 2012 Documentary Short Subject Oscar. Three to five will earn Oscar nominations. These eight short films were selected from the 35 eligible entries by voting members of the Academy's Documentary Branch.
The final documentaries nominations, which will include 5 from the features shortlist, and 5 from the documentary shorts shortlist, will be announced live on Tuesday, January 24, 2012, at 5:30 AM PST in the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2011 will be presented on Sunday, February 26, 2012, at the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center, and televised live by the ABC Television Network.
The 2012 Documentaries Shortlist
- Battle for Brooklyn - Directors: Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley
- Bill Cunningham New York - Director: Richard Press
- Buck - Director: Cindy Meehl
- Hell and Back Again - Director: Darfang Dennis
- If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front - Director: Marshall Curry
- Jane's Journey - Director: Lorenz Knauer
- The Loving Story - Director: Nancy Buirski
- Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory - Directors: Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky
- Pina - Director: Wim Wenders
- Project Nim - Director: James Marsh
- Semper Fi: Always Faithful - Directors: Tony Hardmon and Rachel Libert
- Sing Your Song - Director: Susanne Rostock
- Undefeated - Directors: Daniel Lindsay and T.J. Martin
- Under Fire: Journalists in Combat - Director: Martyn Burke
- We Were Here - Directors: David Weissman and Bill Weber
The 2012 Documentaries Short Subject Shortlist
- The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement - produced by Purposeful Productions
- God Is the Bigger Elvis - produced by Documentress Films
- In Tahrir Square: 18 Days of Egypt's Unfinished Revolution - produced by Downtown Docs
- Incident in New Baghdad - produced by Morninglight Films
- Pipe Dreams - produced by Leslie Iwerks Productions
- Saving Face - produced by Milkhaus/Jungefilm
- The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom - produced by Supply & Demand Integrated
- Witness - produced by Buche