Tragic tale of singer Amy Winehouse wins documentary Oscar

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Posted: Feb 29, 2016 12:06 AM
Tragic tale of singer Amy Winehouse wins documentary Oscar

LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Amy," a documentary about the musical genius and drug-and-alcohol fueled death of jazz singer Amy Winehouse, won the Oscar for best documentary on Sunday.

The win capped a stellar awards season for the film, which is coming off dozens of other awards wins, including from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, the Grammys, and numerous critics contests.

The film, with a gross box office haul of $8.4 million so far, represents 43-year-old London-born director Asif Kapadia's first Oscar. It is now streaming on Amazon's Prime video service in the U.S.

"This film's all about Amy, showing the world who she really was," Kapadia said, describing the troubled singer-songwriter as "funny," ''intelligent," and "someone who needed looking after."

Kapadia shares the Oscar with producer James Gay-Rees, who also executive produced the Kapadia-directed documentary "Senna," about the early death of Formula One race driver Ayrton Senna, in 2010. The duo are taking on the life of soccer player Diego Maradona in their next documentary.

Winehouse's father, Mitch, who is portrayed encouraging Amy to continue to perform despite troubles with substance abuse, and brought in a camera crew during a vulnerable point in her career, has slammed the filmmakers on Twitter, calling the film "one dimensional, miserable and misleading."

Kapadia and Gay-Rees shrugged off the criticism in a backstage interview with reporters.

"Our job wasn't to blame anybody, it was to tell people how great Amy was," Gay-Rees said.

Kapadia said the film "became about everyone else, and how complicit you may have been, however large or however small, in the way you betrayed her."