'St. Louis Superman' documentary on activist turned Missouri lawmaker earns Oscar nomination


ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A documentary film that profiled a Missouri man’s journey from activist to state lawmaker is now one of five finalists for an Oscar, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Monday.

“St. Louis Superman” follows the story of Bruce Franks Jr., of St. Louis, who became well known during protests in Ferguson after a police officer shot and killed Michael Brown in 2014, KTVI reports.

He was elected to two terms in the Missouri House of Representatives starting in 2016 and announced his resignation last spring, citing mental health struggles and the loss of friends and loved ones to gun violence.

“St. Louis Superman” was directed by Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan and produced by Meralta Films. It was distributed by Al Jazeera English and later MTV Documentary films. The five nominees for Documentary (Short Subject) were trimmed from a total of 96 eligible films.

The film won praise on the documentary circuit, earning wins at the AFI Docs Festival, the Indy Shorts International Film Festival, the Traverse City Film Festival, and was nominated at the Tribeca Film Festival.

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