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'Bully,' 'How to Survive a Plague,' 'Sugarman' Make Oscars Documentary Short List

The headline-grabbing "Bully," the AIDS-activism documentary "How to Survive a Plague" and "Searching for Sugarman," about a folk singer rediscovering his fans are among the films chosen for the short list of possible nominees in the Documentary Feature category at the 85th Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday.

"Searching for Sugar Man" has already picked up a win at the International Documentary Festival and nominations from the Producers Guild documentary awards and the Cinema Eye Honors. 

Also read: 'Searching for Sugar Man' Rodriguez: From Poverty to Carnegie Hall

Surprisingly, "West of Memphis," Amy Berg's documentary about the young men convicted of  murdering three 8-year-old boys in Arkansas who were innocent of the crime, did not make the cut.

"Bully," about the phenomenon of teenaged bullying, was distributed by The Weinstein Company and battled with the Motion Picture Association over an R rating, arguing that adolescents should be able to see the film.

Also read: 'Bully' Can Be Seen by Minors - with a Note - at AMC Theaters

The 15 films on the list, which were culled from 126 films originally qualified for the category, will be whittled down to five final contenders by members of the Academy's Documentary Branch.

Read the full list below.

   "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," Never Sorry LLC    "Bully," The Bully Project LLC    "Chasing Ice," Exposure    "Detropia," Loki Films    "Ethel," Moxie Firecracker Films    "5 Broken Cameras," Guy DVD Films    "The Gatekeepers," Les Films du Poisson, Dror Moreh Productions, Cinephil    "The House I Live In," Charlotte Street Films, LLC    "How to Survive a Plague," How to Survive a Plague LLC    "The Imposter," Imposter Pictures Ltd.    "The Invisible War," Chain Camera Pictures    "Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God," Jigsaw Productions in association with        Wider Film Projects and Below the Radar Films    "Searching for Sugar Man," Red Box Films    "This Is Not a Film," Wide Management    "The Waiting Room," Open'hood, Inc.

The 85th Academy Awards will air Feb. 24 on ABC.