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35th Annual IDA Documentary Awards

Freida Lee Mock

Career Achievement Award

Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning Freida Lee Mock is a director, writer and producer of feature-length and short documentaries. Her five Academy Award nominations include the winner Maya Lin: A Strong Vision, about the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC; nominees Rose Kennedy, a Life to Remember; SING!, about one of the world’s foremost children’s choirs, the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus; Never Give Up, about Holocaust survivor and conductor Dr. Herbert Zipper; and To Live or Let Die, a story about medical ethics.

Mock has received numerous best director awards, including a Director’s Guild of America nomination for Maya Lin. She was the first Governor elected to the Documentary Branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and served as its Chair, as well as  Co-chair of the DGA Documentary Awards selection Committee. Mock’s films focus on stories with strong, character-driven dramatic arcs, set against a backdrop of history, art, politics and social justice themes. 

Mock’s ANITA – Speaking Truth to Power, about the life and times of Anita Hill, inspired the HBO movie Confirmation, starring Kerry Washington. Mock’s award-winning G–DOG features the charismatic Jesuit priest Greg Boyle, who launched the largest, most successful gang intervention and rehab program in the world, Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles.

She recently completed RUTH: Justice Ginsburg in her Own Words, to coincide with Justice Ginsburg’s 25th year on the Supreme Court; The Choir and Conductor, part of the SINGing! Series; and The Heroes Project/ Seven Summits, a feature documentary about seven young, single- and double-amputee veterans climbing the tallest mountains on each of the seven continents.

Other works by Mock include Return With Honor, Wrestling With Angels: Playwright Tony Kushner; Sing China!, and the Oscar short-listed Lt. Watada.

Mock graduated from UC Berkeley in history and English and did graduate work in law and history. She founded Sanders & Mock Productions and the nonprofit American Film Foundation, which specializes in producing films on the arts, sciences and the humanities.