ASIF KAPADIA’S critically-acclaimed film on the life and death of Ayrton Senna has been ruled out of the running for Best Documentary at next year’s Oscars.
The tribute to the Brazilian motor racing icon, who died tragically aged 34 in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, was a shock omission as the Academy announced its 15-film longlist last weekend.
Prior to the announcement, Senna — winner of audience awards at the Sundance, Adelaide and Los Angeles Film Festivals as well as a People’s Choice prize in Melbourne — was thought to be among one of the main contenders for the Oscar.
The documentary, made entirely out of TV archive footage, proved to be a huge hit with racing and non-racing fans alike since its worldwide release earlier this year, grossing almost €9m at the box office.
There was no room on the longlist either for Steve James, director of celebrated basketball documentary Hoop Dreams, whose latest effort The Interrupters was expected to make the cut.
The five nominees for Best Documentary will be announced by the Academy on 24 January 2012.