We’re counting down the top documentary news of 2011 on New Year’s Eve!

Tim Hetherington (Photo by Justin Hoch)

In the midst of an uprising in Libya, a mortar attack killed Restrepo co-director Tim Hetherington and war photographer Chris Hondros, providing a stark reminder of the extreme risks war journalists face.

Danfung Dennis (Hell and Back Again) told POV’s blog, “He was our prince. He pioneered storytelling in so many ways. And he pushed the boundaries of film and in media in general.”

After Hetherington’s death, filmmaking partner Sebastian Junger said he would no longer report from the front lines of war.

Read more about Hetherington and other documentarians who were killed on the job.

The 2011 Documentary Year in Review Countdown…

#12: Online payments
Ford Foundation Funds Webified Documentaries

#11: Off-camera confrontation
Michael Moore Sues the Weinsteins over ‘Fahrenheit 9/11′ Accounting

#10: A film by you
‘Life In A Day,’ a Documentary Culled from 80,000 Filmmakers, Premieres Online

#9: Cameraless documentary
‘Senna’ Breaks U.K. Box-Office Records

#8: Mobile device legend
Cinéma Vérité Pioneer Richard “Ricky” Leacock Dies

#7: Good karma
‘My Reincarnation’ Breaks Records on Kickstarter

#6: Seeing is beliebing
3-D Documentaries Hit Theaters

#5: Risks become real
War Documentarian Tim Hetherington (‘Restrepo’) Killed in Action

#4: No flash in the pan
Popcorn.js Brings HTML5 and Interactivity to Documentaries

#3: Mystery man
What if Banksy Wins an Oscar?

#2: Web threats
The Stop Online Privacy Act Catches the Web Off Guard

#1: Freedom fighters
The West Memphis 3, Subjects of the ‘Paradise Lost’ Documentary Series, Are Set Free