Published January 11, 2013
LOS ANGELES – Scoring an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature is a huge feather in any filmmaker's cap, but some critics question whether such an honor is only possible if a film's subject matter leans to the left.
"The Academy is incredibly hypocritical. These aren't the best documentaries. They are the best documentaries that fit a very select liberal view of the world," Dan Gainor, VP of Business and Culture for the Media Research Center, told FOX411's Pop Tarts column regarding this year's nominees, which were announced on Thursday. "Hollywood doesn't care one iota for conservatives. Most of the movies it makes are geared to a liberal elite and ordinary Americans don't have conservative alternatives."
So what documentaries made the cut?
The Oscar website, which provides a synopsis of all nominated films, describes candidate "5 Broken Cameras:" "As Israeli settlers begin building homes and erecting a barrier wall in the West Bank village of Bil'in, a Palestinian farm worker documents the town's resistance to the new settlement. Over the course of several years, the townspeople clash with the Israeli Defense Force, and tensions mount as the wall remains and the building continues."
Fellow nominee "How to Survive a Plague" is described: "By the mid-1980s, as the official response to the growing AIDS epidemic remained dispiritingly low-key and at times hostile, the activist group ACT UP began focusing media attention on the disease and demanding action from the government and the medical community. While some members of the group staged protests, others immersed themselves in the research being done on the virus and helped achieve a dramatic transformation in its treatment."
"According to Department of Defense estimates, over 19,300 members of the U.S. military were sexually assaulted in 2010 alone," reads the description for "The Invisible War." "Yet, although the rate of sexual assaults against women in the service is twice that of the civilian population, only ten percent of assault cases end in prosecution, with female soldiers often finding themselves ostracized or pressured into remaining silent."
Meanwhile "The Gatekeepers" has been billed as a documentary feature detailing "six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel's counter terrorism agency, speak candidly about their participation in the policies that have shaped the long history of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Starting with the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, the men discuss with remarkable openness the successes and mistakes of their individual tenures."
The final nomination went to the critically-acclaimed "Searching for Sugar Man:" "In the early 1970s, A&M released two albums by a singer-songwriter known only as Rodriguez, who dropped out of sight and was rumored to have died after the records failed to sell. When Rodriguez unexpectedly attracted a cult following in South Africa, however, two of his ardent fans decided to track down the truth behind his disappearance from the music scene."
In contrast, Dinesh D'Souza's conservative, anti-Obama documentary "2016: Obama's America" failed to even make the Oscar documentary short-list for nomination consideration, despite bringing in almost $34 million at the box office and causing ripples of controversy across the country.
And according to its producer Gerald Molen, who took home his own golden statue for the 1993 hit "Schindler's List," the snub was a clear sign of deeper political persuasions at play.
"'2016' loses an opportunity to compete in what most always perceived to be a fair business atmosphere. But no way, it is totally unbalanced and unfair. The left rules - for now," he told us.
"The Oscar is nothing more than liberals rewarding good liberal behavior at the movies," D'Souza added. "Once I realized that Michael Moore was on the board of the group that decided which documentaries get nominated, I doubly knew that the fix was in. What my friends in Hollywood don't realize is that most Americans sitting at home on Oscar night know full well that the best movies aren't being realized, the best liberal movies are being honored."
The Oscar documentary nominees did however, receive quite the thumbs up from Michael Moore himself.
"Congrats to all five Oscar nominees for Best Documentary," he tweeted. "Everyone of these films is outstanding. This is one of the best lists I've seen."
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences did not respond to request for comment.
Danielle Jones-Wesley contributed to this report.