Oscars: 'O.J.: Made in America' Nominated for Best Documentary

Courtesy of ESPN Films

The epic documentary, with a nearly eight-hour running time, tells the story of the life and murder trial of O.J. Simpson along with the long and troubled history of race relations in America.

ESPN Films' epic documentary O.J.: Made in America has landed an Oscar nomination.

The doc, about the life and murder trial of O.J. Simpson, along with the long and troubled history of race relations in America, was one of five films named in the best documentary feature category when Oscar noms were announced Tuesday morning.

The film, with a running time of more than seven-and-a-half hours, will compete against Fire at Sea; I Am Not Your Negro; Life, Animated; and The 13th for the honor.

O.J.: Made in America premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2016 and drew critical raves. It then aired in five parts on TV (the first part premiered on ABC, followed by all five installments on ESPN). As a result, some in the documentary community had argued that the documentary shouldn't be called a film since it was financed by a TV network and tailored for television, where most people first watched it.

Director Ezra Edelman recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he was at first concerned about the running time. At the first screening of the documentary, he was tense but began to relax after realizing the audience was into it.

"It wasn't like, 'F— you. You kept us in a room for eight hours,'" Edelman joked of their response. "It was, 'Let's now talk about this.'"

He added that he sees the documentary as "a story about race and culture in America. It's a story about celebrity, and it's a story about policing. It's a story about an American city."

Andy Lewis and Scott Feinberg contributed to this report.