Sandbox Films’ “Fire of Love” is among this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Documentary Feature Film, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday.
The film, directed by Sara Dosa, tells the story of adrenaline-seeking volcanologists and lovers Katia and Maurice Krafft. The pair risked — and ultimately lost — their lives studying the dangers and inner workings of volcanoes around the world.
“When we started Sandbox Films, our goal was to produce science documentaries that broke through to mainstream audiences and became part of the cultural zeitgeist,” says Greg Boustead, one of the film’s executive producers and the founding director of Sandbox Films, a spin-off of the Simons Foundation. “This recognition from the Academy is such a special milestone toward that ongoing mission. It means so much to us — and to science’s place in society.”
The documentary recounts Katia and Maurice Krafft’s adventures using archival footage captured by the Kraffts themselves paired with narration by Miranda July.
“I was fascinated by the idea of trying to listen to the story of people who had passed away, told through what they have left behind — not just the materiality, but the questions that are left open,” Dosa says. “Some people thought it was amazing what they would do in the name of science, and other people said that they were setting dangerous precedents.”
The movie had already generated significant buzz going into the Oscar nominations. The movie is a critical darling and is “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, with a critic score of 98 percent. In addition, it received multiple nominations at the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards, including a win for Best Archival Documentary, seven Cinema Eye nominations, a BAFTA nomination and five International Documentary Association award nominations.
“Fire of Love” was produced by Sandbox Films, Intuitive Pictures and Cottage M and distributed by National Geographic Documentary Films and Neon. “Fire of Love” is available to stream on Disney+.
The film is joined by fellow Best Documentary Feature Film nominees “All That Breathes,” “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” “A House Made of Splinters” and “Navalny.” The Academy will announce the winner during the Oscars ceremony on March 12.