Documentaries are one of the unsung heroes of the awards season, with our attention often focused more on big budget films with all star casts. Here, however, we’re going to look at some of the best documentaries that have won an Oscar in the last few years, alongside some of our favourites that were worthy nominees, all available to watch and stream now in Australia using the options listed in this guide.
The 2020 Oscars: Best Docos and Short Films
The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, February 10th, 2020, from 12.00pm (AEDT) in Australia on the Seven network. This year will be the first time ever the event goes ahead without a host. Instead, there will only be those presenting and those nominated for Oscars on stage. Two of the most popular awards being presented across the evening include those for Best Short Film and Best Feature Film Documentaries.
There is nothing more satisfying and reassuring than great documentaries or suspenseful short films, confirming that real life is much more fascinating than the sets in Hollywood. Over the years some of the most interesting films to come out of the Oscars have been documentaries, and here we’re going to share some of the most popular recently nominated titles around, and how you can watch and stream them now in Australia.
How to Watch or Stream Oscar Nominated Docos FREE
Here in Australia, there’s only one platform that specialises in hard-to-find docos and short films: DocPlay. DocPlay offers a huge library of docos that you can watch and stream on demand, from sports and crime to lifestyle and wildlife. All you need to do is download the app from Apple Store or Google Play onto a compatible streaming device (see below) and create an account. Alternatively, you can log in from your laptop using a PC or Mac and access Docplay on a number of browsers including Safari, Chrome, Explorer and Firefox.
Every new DocPlay customer can access the platform entirely free for 30 days, and after the trial, you can keep it going for $6.95/month. There’s no set-up fees, and you can cancel at any time, so you can choose to watch great docos whether you’re in the comfort of your own home or on the move.
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This French doco was first screened at the world famous Cannes Film Festival in 2017. It follows an unlikely pair of artists, Agnes Varda and JR, as they travel around rural France meeting locals and producing huge portraits and murals inspired by those they come across. This feature length documentary was nominated for an Oscar in 2018, and is available in French with English subtitles on DocPlay.
The Act Of Killing
If you like your docos a bit more shocking and straight out of the left field, then The Act Of Killing is one you should definitely check out. It interviews the individuals who were involved in mass genocide in Sumatra, Indonesia between 1965-66, leading to the deaths of over a million people. The film won a nomination for Best Feature Documentary at the 2014 Oscars, and was also voted in the top 20 documentaries of all time by the British Film Institute.
When a former Neo Nazi gets a chance to meet with someone who he performed a hate crime on, 25 years after the actual event, an unlikely story of fear and forgiveness unravels. The film won Best Short Documentary in 2014, along with several other awards around the world for the shocking journey that both people in this story have gone through, and where their relationship ultimately ends.
We all know the power of sport and how it has the ability to unite and divide in equal measure. Undefeated is a story about a group of underprivileged kids from Memphis, who along with their volunteer coach achieve some pretty incredible feats both on and off the field. This is one of those feel good docos that can envoke a few tears, and also underlines that in life, anything is possible.
20 Feet From Stardom
This fantastic film documents the lives of backing singers in the States, those who stand behind the biggest stars in the world, yet never get to share the limelight. It’s a truly intriguing piece of film that touches on the imbalance of power within the music industry whilst celebrating some of its most talented voices. 20 Feet From Stardom won the Best Documentary award at the in Oscars 2014, and is just as powerful today as it was upon release.
What are DocPlay’s Best Features?
Streaming Devices available to use with DocPlay
Devices supported on DocPlay
– Apple TV: Yes – Download app via the App Store.
– Apple AirPlay: Yes – Use AirPlay to connect to your Apple TV from the DocPlay iOS app or website.
– Telstra TV: Yes – Available on all models.
– Xbox One: Yes – N/A
– Smart TVs: Yes – Available on Samsung 2016-2019 models.
– iOS devices: Yes – Download the app from App Store.
– Android devices: Yes – Download the app from Google Play Store.
– Android TV: Yes – Available on all Sony Android TVs and other Android TV devices.
– Google Chromecast: Yes – Cast shows directly to your TV using Chromecast from the DocPlay iOS & Android apps or website.
– Foxtel Now Box: Yes – Install DocPlay from the Google Play Store on your device.