Hale County Oscar Nom graphic

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced the nominations for the 91st Oscars and Independent Lens was elated that Hale County This Morning, This Evening received a nomination for Best Feature Documentary. RaMell Ross‘s critically acclaimed film, “made modestly and intimately,” wrote Richard Brody in The New Yorker, the film “embodies a vast conceptual and aesthetic ambition.” Hale County, remarkably Ross’s feature debut, will air on Independent Lens on PBS February 11.  The film was also a Special Jury Award winner at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. The Oscar ceremony will be held Sunday, February 24, airing on ABC.

Currently a faculty professor at Brown University, Ross is also an internationally exhibited photographer, a Sundance Art of Nonfiction Fellow, and was part of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film” in 2015.

This makes nine Academy Award nominations for Independent Lens films: I Am Not Your Negro in 2017; The Invisible War  and How to Survive a Plague in 2013; Hell and Back Again (2012); Waste Land (2011); Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room (2006); The Weather Underground (2004); and the short documentary Why Can’t We Be a Family Again? (2002).

“With remarkable access to his subjects and his unconventional style, RaMell has created a film that gently gives us the time and space needed to wash away our judgments and recognize the deeply familiar moments of ordinary life,” said Lois Vossen, Independent Lens Executive Producer. “So much of what we see in the media is sensationalized or politicized; the love and patience in RaMell’s beautifully crafted portrait of a small town is quietly revolutionary.”

Watch the trailer for Hale County below, and please join us in congratulating RaMell on this remarkable achievement. A full list of all the nominees is available here. We’d also like to give a shout out to first-time director Bing Liu, whose ITVS-supported film Minding the Gap, also a feature film directorial debut, received an Oscar nomination as well and will air on POV on PBS February 18.