Backing singer film '20 Feet From Stardom' also in running for nomination

‘Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer’ and ’20 Feet From Stardom’ and among the documentaries that have been shortlisted for this year’s Academy Awards.

Of the initial 147 films that qualified in the category, 15 have now been placed on a shortlist from which the five nominees will be selected.

‘Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer’, was directed by Mike Lerner and follows feminist punks Pussy Riot as they protest against Vladimir Putin’s control of Russia and then follows their subsequent incarceration.

Meanwhile, ’20 Feet from Stardom’ is director Morgan Neville’s look at the history of the background singer. The film focuses on that focuses on singers like Merry Clayton, of ‘Gimme Shelter’ fame, Darlene Love, Lisa Fischer, Tata Vega and Judith Hill. It also features interviews with the likes of Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen and Sting.

The other 13 documentaries still in contention are ‘The Act of Killing’, ‘The Armstrong Lie’, ‘Blackfish’, ‘The Crash Reel’, ‘Cutie and the Boxer’, ‘Dirty Wars’, ‘First Cousin Once Removed’, ‘God Loves Uganda’, ‘Life According to Sam’, ‘The Square’, ‘Stories We Tell’ and ‘Tim’s Vermeer’. The Oscar nominations will be announced on January 16, and the awards will be presented on March 2.

Meanwhile, Pussy Riot have vowed that they still want to topple Russian President Vladmir Putin. Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova were released from prison under a new amnesty law on December 23. The feminist punk collective’s members were given two-year sentences in August 2012 after their now infamous “punk prayer” protest at Moscow’s Cathedral Of Christ The Savior. They were taken to a prison camp in Berniki in the remote Ural Mountains.