That includes Michael Moore's 'Capitalism: A Love Story,' which was left off the shortlist just like the muckraking filmmaker's most commercially successful effort to date, 'Fahrenheit 9/11,' was in 2004.
Other notable omissions include James Toback's critically acclaimed boxer profile 'Tyson,' as well as rock docs 'Anvil! The Story of Anvil' and 'It Might Get Loud.' The latter was made by Davis Guggenheim, who won the documentary category in 2006 for 'An Inconvenient Truth.'
Meanwhile, notable films that did make the shortlist include the Lyme Disease-focused 'Under Our Skin,' the dolphin-abuse expose 'The Cove' and the corporate comestibles lid-ripper-offer 'Food, Inc.' These semifinalists for the long-form documentary category will be further whittled down to five contenders when the full list of Oscar nominees is announced.
Here's the full list of the semifinalist documentaries and filmmakers:
'Burma VJ,' Anders Ostergaard
'The Cove,' Louie Psihoyos
'Every Little Step,' Adam Del Deo and James D. Stern
'Facing Ali,' Pete McCormack
'Food, Inc.,' Robert Kenner
'Garbage Dreams,'Mai Iskander
'Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders,' Mark N. Hopkins
'The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,' Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
'Mugabe and the White African,' Lucy Bailey and Andrew Thompson
'Sergio,' Greg Barker
'Under Our Skin,' Andy Abrahams Wilson
'Valentino The Last Emperor,' Matt Tyrnauer