With Michael Moore having taken Fahrenheit 9/11 out of the running, the field for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar is wide open. On Wednesday, the Academy’s documentary branch ruled 12 films eligible for next February’s prize, including such acclaimed and popular titles as Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock’s diary of the month he spent eating only McDonald’s food; Tupac: Resurrection, the biography of the rap icon; and Touching the Void, the recounting of an ill-fated mountain-climbing expedition. Two Sundance favorites made the cut: surfing doc Riding Giants, and Born Into Brothels, about child prostitution in Calcutta. Five of the films will be nominated for the Oscar, to be handed out Feb. 27.
Moore declined to submit Fahrenheit for documentary consideration, with the Oscar-winning Bowling for Columbine filmmaker saying he wanted to give other movies a chance, and knowing that his plan to book a fall pay-per-view airing of Fahrenheit so soon after its theatrical release would render the film ineligible. Moore has said he’ll campaign for the movie in other Oscar categories where it’s eligible, including Best Picture.