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The Best Nonfiction Films of the Year Are…?

The Best Nonfiction Films of the Year Are…? (photo)

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Best documentary at the Oscars is, like best foreign language film, the type of category that seems invented to be grumbled over, with selections and winners rarely reflecting the films everyone else in the world finds most worthy of praise. So it’s much less frustrating to look to organizations like the International Documentary Association for better indicators of the docs that are the cream of 2010’s crop.

The nominees for the 2010 IDA Documentary Awards were announced today, and the contenders for the top prize include Banksy’s “Exit Through The Gift Shop,” a personal favorite; Laura Poitras’ Al-Qaeda saga “The Oath”; Joonas Berghaell and Mika Hotakainen’s look at Finnish sauna culture “Steam of Life”; Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor’s trailing of Montana sheepherders “Sweetgrass”; and Lucy Walker’s tale of making art of trash “Waste Land,” opening in New York on Friday. The awards will take place in L.A. on December 3rd.

Distinguished Feature Documentary Nominees

“Exit Through The Gift Shop”
Director: Banksy

“The Oath”
Director: Laura Poitras

“Steam Of Life”
Directors: Joonas Berghaell, Mika Hotakainen

Directors: Ilisa Barbash, Lucien Castaing-Taylor

“Waste Land”
Director/Writer: Lucy Walker

Distinguished Short Documentary Nominees

“Keep Dancing”
Director: Greg Vanderveer

“The Last Campaign Of Governor Booth Gardner”
Director: Daniel Junge

“Woman Rebel”
Director/Producer: Kiran Deol

“The Fence”
Director/Producer: Rory Kennedy

“The Last Truck”
Directors/Writers/Producers: Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert

Continuing Series Award Nominees

“30 For 30”

“American Experience”

“Art In The Twenty-First Century”

“Brick City”
Sundance Channel

“Wide Angle”

Limited Series Award Nominees

“Affliction Series: Culture And Mental Illness In Indonesia”

“Have You Heard From Johannesburg”

“Latin Music USA”


“This Emotional Life”

IDA/David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award Nominees

“Little Mom”
Director/Producer: Maria Fortiz-Morse

“Perry County”
Directors/Producers: Matt Durning, N’jeri Eaton

“The Stinking Ship”
Director/Producer: Bagassi Koura

“Waiting For A Train: The Toshio Hirano Story”
Director/Producer: Oscar Buchar

“Whales Of Gold”
Director/Producer: Lucia Duncan

IDA Music Documentary Award Nominees

“For Once In My Life”
Directors: Mark Moormann, Jim Bigham

“Genius Within: The Inner Life Of Glenn Gould”
Directors/Producers: Michele Hozer, Peter Raymont

“The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls”
Director: Leanne Pooley

“Thunder Soul”
Director/Producer: Mark Landsman

“When I Rise”
Director: Mat Hames

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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