The documentary series—which chronicles American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko during their record-breaking 340 days in space—was nominated in the Long Form category.
“This year’s selection shows an amazing diversity in documentary film, ranging from linear 15 minutes narratives to major interactive and ongoing projects,” says jury member Charlie Philips in a statement. “We’re in an exciting time of innovation and change, and audiences are really responding to this upsurge.”
Other contestants for the Long Form category include Stephen Maing and Laura Poitras‘ The Surrender, which documents the events leading up to the prosecution of State Department intelligence analyst Stephen Kim, and BREAK IN, a behind the scenes look at the daily lives of the street children in Cambodia—with Mikel Aristregi and José Bautista.
Three productions were nominated in the Short Form category, including Magnus Wennman and Jenny Svenberg Bunnel’s Fatima’s Drawings, the story of a young Syrian girl whose drawings offer a unique perspective into the refugee situation. Also considered is Raising Zay, a family’s journey with a transgender child, and Mei, a look at one of 60 million Chinese children left in rural areas, as her parents live hundreds of miles away for work.
In Immersive Storytelling—the contest’s newest category for web-based, non-video stories—Emily Kassie and Jon Strauss of the Huffington Post were nominated for Welcome To Parkersburg West Virginia, along with John Poole and Sami Yenigun’s Life After Death and Paolo Pellegrin and Scott Anderson’s Desperate Crossing.
The three projects in the Innovative Storytelling category all attempt to push the creative storytelling process to “a new frontier,” says jury member Joël Ronez. The New York Times Magazine’s virtual reality project The Displaced refugee story, along with The New York Times‘ interactive Greenland is Melting Away provide unique angles at current global issues. Freelance photojournalist Marc Ellison’s multimedia graphic novel on former female child soldiers, Graphic Memories, melds illustration with innovative technology.
The four overall winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony in Amsterdam on April 23.