CNN presents an encore broadcast of Life Itself, our award-winning documentary on Roger Ebert, this Sunday, January 25th at 8pm ET.
The repeat broadcast comes just over a week after a bittersweet, busy time for the film, as the hugely successful first CNN broadcast was followed by the film missing out on an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary, much to the surprise, heartbreak and dismay of many, while on the same day being honored as the Best Documentary of the year at the Critics' Choice Awards.
Steve James posted this photo on the film's Facebook page the following day, with these words:
"Yesterday in Los Angeles... we didn't get an Oscar nomination, but we did get the honor of being named Best Documentary of the year at the Critics' Choice Awards.
In between that low and high, Chaz, Judy and I were having breakfast at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood where we were all staying because of the Critics' Choice Awards. While we sat and commiserated over the nominations, and laughed some too about the insanity of it all, we thought about how lucky we are. And then realizing that we were literally a block away from Roger's star, Judy suggested we go down and see it, especially today of all days, and take a picture.
Thanks everyone for all the support you've given this film!"
Chaz Ebert posted both a statement on the day of the Oscar nominations, and then a message of gratitude, which begins:
"Working with Steve James, one of our finest documentary filmmakers, and our team to make “Life Itself” has been one of the most gratifying experiences I could ever hope for. I am deeply moved by the hard work and dedication they devoted to every aspect of the filmmaking process. One of our objectives was to make a film that allowed the viewer to get to know Roger and his relationship to the film industry, and to life itself, in an intimate and meaningful way. I think we accomplished that, and I know that Roger would have been pleased with the outcome, and that makes me happy. The film seemed to touch the hearts and minds of so many. “Life Itself” is about the strength of the human heart. The profound and emotional depth one feels when experiencing the movie is possible because of the beautiful filmmaking."
Recognized as the "best reviewed documentary of 2014" -- and the second best reviewed limited-release movie of the year overall -- Life Itself has already been richly rewarded in this year’s awards season, with the greatest honor of all for the filmmakers being the wonderful response of the many fans the film has gained since it first world premiered at Sundance Film Festival and simultaneously online to Indiegogo backers one year ago.
Another award just came in for the film this Saturday, January 24th: the Producers Guild Award for Best Documentary. We are delighted to receive this prestigious honor! Accepting the prize last night, Steve James quipped: "I've been a member of the Academy for seven or eight years now. I think I want to join the PGA..."
See a list of notable awards and distinctions for Life Itself below:
- Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures, Producers Guild of America
Best Documentary Feature, Critics’ Choice Awards
Best Documentary Film of 2014, National Board of Review
Best Documentary, The Golden Tomato Awards, Rotten Tomatoes
Best Documentary, African-American Film Critics Association
Best Documentary, Chicago Film Critics Association
Best Documentary, Online Film Critics Society
Best Documentary, Boston Online Film Critics Association
Best Documentary, New York Film Critics Online
Best Documentary, Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association
Best Documentary, Indiana Film Journalists Association
Best Documentary, Florida Film Critics Circle
Best Documentary, North Texas Film Critics Association
Best Documentary, Oklahoma Film Critics Circle
Best Documentary, American Film Festival
Founders Prize, Traverse City Film Festival
Jury Prize, Documentary Edge Festival
Best Equality of the Sexes, Women Film Critics Circle Association
Best Film, Film Club's The Lost Weekend
Runner-Up, Best Documentary, Los Angeles Film Critics Association
Runner-Up, Best Documentary, Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association
We are deeply honored to have been nominated for the following awards; to be considered and included among such stellar company is a win in and of itself!
Best Documentary Nomination Shortlist, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences
Cinema Eyes Honors: Outstanding Achievement in Direction, Audience Choice, Outstanding Achievement in Editing, Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking, Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score
Best Documentary, Houston Film Critics Society
Best Picture, Indiana Film Journalists Association
Best Documentary, The Gotham Independent Film Awards
Best Documentary, St. Louis Film Critics
Best Documentary, San Francisco Film Critics Circle
Best Documentary, Detroit Film Critics Society
Best Documentary, San Diego Film Critics Society
Best Documentary, Phoenix Film Critics Society
Special Jury Award, Sheffield Doc/Fest 2014
Life Itself also landed on many ‘best of the year’ lists… and not just the best documentaries of the year. Again, we are deeply honored to be included on these lists, and placed alongside so many amazing films. You can check out some of those lists below:
#2, Best Reviewed Movies of 2014, Slash Film
#4, Best Movies of the Year, Entertainment Weekly
#3, The 2014 Top 10, James Berardinelli, Reel Views
#6, Best Films of 2014, The Dissolve
#6, The Best Films and TV Shows of 2014, Indiewire
#3, The 20 Best Films of 2014, Danny Miller, Cinephiled
#7, Top 10 Favorite Films of 2014, Ethan Anderton, First Showing
#1, The 10 Best Films of 2014, Nick Allen, HollywoodChicago.com
Favorite Films of the Year, Chase Whale, Central Track
#18, The 20 Best Movies of 2014, Joshua Rothkopf, Timeout New York
#16, Best of 2014: A Top 40, Ray Pride, Movie City News
#34, The 40 Best Movies of the 2014, Yahoo Movies
#36, Top 60 Films of 2014, Carlos Aguilar, SydneysBuzz
#7, Norman Wilner's Top 10 Movies, Norman Wilner, NOW Magazine
20 Essentials, 50 Great Films You Should See From 2014, Russ Fischer, Slash Film
#8, The Best Movies of of 2014, James Ward, The Californian
#2, The Best Documentaries of 2014, POV Docs, PBS
#4, Top 10 Documentaries of 2014, Tom Roston, Doc Soup, PBS
11 Great Movies We Watched This Year, Rob Christopher, The Chicagoist
Best Films of 2014, Keith Turan, Los Angeles Times
#4, Top 10 Documentaries of 2014, Alex Billington, First Showing
#9, Rick Bentley's Best & Worst Movies of 1014, Rick Bentley, The Fresno Bee
Favorite Movies of the Year, WZZM-Grand Rapids, ABC
Honorable Mention, 10 Best Films of 2014, Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter
Honorable Mention, Top 10 Films of 2014, Dana Stevens, Slate Magazine
Honorable Mention, The 10 Best Movies of 2014, Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
#11, The 15 Best Film Scores of 2014, Matt Patches, HITFIX
Thank you to everyone who has seen the film for supporting Life Itself over the course of our journey this past year.