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

Richard “Ricky” Leacock, who’d first worked with Robert Flaherty (Nanook of the North) on Louisiana Story, provided the portable and unobtrusive filmmaking technology that freed filmmakers such as Robert Drew (Primary), D A Pennebaker (Dont Look Back) and the Maysles brothers (Salesman) to define a new genre of immediate, fly-on-the-wall documentaries.

And as a professor at the program he helped establish at MIT, Leacock mentored a new generation of filmmakers, including Ross McElwee (Sherman’s March) and Mira Nair (Monsoon Wedding).

Leacock died in March at age 89.

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

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POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 400 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.