The FRONTLINE (PBS) documentary ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL, directed by award-winning filmmaker Steve James (Life Itself, Hoop Dreams) and produced by Mark Mitten (Life Itself) and Julie Goldman (Life Animated, Buck), has been nominated for an Academy Award® in the Documentary Feature category. This nomination marks first Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature for Steve James; Mark Mitten’s first Academy Award® nomination; and Julie Goldman’s second Academy Award® nomination for Best Documentary Feature. For the acclaimed PBS documentary series FRONTLINE produced out of WGBH/Boston, this is a first Academy Award® nomination.

ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL chronicles the Chinese-American Sung family’s fight to clear their names after their small bank in New York City’s Chinatown became the only U.S. bank indicted for mortgage fraud related to the 2008 financial crisis. The documentary follows how the bank’s indictment and subsequent trial forced the Sung family to defend themselves — and their bank’s legacy in the Chinatown community — over the course of a five-year legal battle.

Abacus: Small Enough To Jail | Trailer | PBS Distribution from Kartemquin Films on Vimeo.

“I’m so pleased and grateful. This is such a wonderful recognition for all of the ABACUS team, but especially for the Sung family. It has been a joy being able to follow their story,” said director James.

One of 2017’s most critically-acclaimed documentaries, ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL was previously nominated for “Best Documentary” by both the National Board of Review and by The Chicago Film Critics Association, and was awarded “Best Political Documentary” by the Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards last November. Steve James is a nominee for Best Director by the DGA for his work on ABACUS.

Another Country handled post production audio. Tim Konn, who supervised audio post said: "we've been lucky enough to work with Steve James and the good people of Kartemquin on a number of projects, and are thrilled to see Abacus get such acclaim. We at AC feel it relates a very important story and are honored to have played a part in telling it. Bravo, KTQ!"

Drew Weir was the re-recording mixer on the project.

"Abacus is brooding study of injustice in our legal system woven together with a deeply human story of the American dream," he said. "We hope the sound design and mix are able to help bring the audience along the emotional journey. It's has been fantastic to work on this film and I can't wait for the big night."

Another Country's Alex Paguirigan and Mike Regan handled sound effects editing.

The New York Times called ABACUS “a classic underdog tale,” and The Hollywood Reporter called it “both an affirmation and an indictment of the American Dream.”

The 90th Academy Awards® nominations were announced today by the Academy. Also nominated in the Documentary Feature category was the POV documentary, Last Men in Aleppo. This year’s Oscars ceremony will take place Sunday, March 4, 2018.