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Meet Our Team

By Zaferhan Yumru

“We need mud to grow lotus flowers. Otherwise, they cannot take root.”
– Thích Nhất Hạnh

Headshot of Zaferhan Yumru, a middle eastern male wearing glasses, a green shirt and a sun shaped earring.
Zaferhan Yumru

My name is Zaferhan “Zaf” Yumru (he/she/they), and I am the Director of Communications at IDA. Greetings to all IDA members, including those who joined us recently, welcome!

I joined IDA in July 2022 amid a significant, public organizational transformation that, at the time, felt like being in the mire. I am happy to report that after months of work to restaff and re-invigorate our Marketing and Communications department, listening to community members, and engaging in a lot of reflection, I see the formation of the roots of lotus flowers – reminding me of the above quote from Thich Nhat Hanh. 

As a documentary filmmaker, immigrant, and long-time film festival and nonprofit worker, it is my honor and privilege to be a part of an IDA that is in the process of unionizing. This is a credit to my colleagues’ efforts with Documentary Workers Union and IDA management. DWU and IDA negotiations continue at full speed, and we look forward to executing an agreement soon. You may see updates from these meetings on this page. To get updates from DWU, you may follow them on Instagram or Twitter.

Before I start introducing my incredible colleagues at IDA –– who are working every day to provide our members like you and nonfiction media makers globally with resources and advocacy –– I would like to salute everyone who has worked at IDA in the past 41 years, especially the amazing team who came right before us. We acknowledge and appreciate all your work and hope to continue building on it.

Now, it’s time for you to meet all 22 members of the IDA staff. As a team, we speak 16 languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Czech, Farsi, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish! We represent eight nationalities, 20% of us are non-US citizens, and 42% of us identify as LGBTQIA+. With an average of 10+ years of experience in the documentary industry and fueled by an international perspective, our team is well-equipped and eager to continue serving the International Documentary Association community. 

Without further ado, please read our staff bios on our newly built Staff page here. Bonus page here if you want to meet our Board of Directors

To learn more about our team and their hobbies, like sewing, collecting vinyl records, tango, and more, follow us on Instagram.

If you would like to reach out, email me at (🇹🇷Türkçe de konuşuyorum, 🇫🇷aussi disponible en français).


Zaferhan Yumru
IDA Director of Marketing and Communications