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Docs to Watch

Celebrate culture, unpack history and find timely perspectives with these essential, IDA-recommended docs from past to present. 

Doc To Watch

In the crowded documentary field, short documentaries don’t always get the love they deserve. Our friends at Argo understand this well and have built a whole platform that celebrates and streams short films. We are excited to partner with Argo to highlight their latest playlist A Sense of Place, which includes four documentary shorts that were nominated for IDA Documentary Awards in previous years. IDA Members with a Doc Maker membership or higher get three months of complimentary exclusive access to Argo. To learn how to access your Argo benefit, visit here. Not an IDA Member? You can visit
The act of “coming out” as a member of the LGBTQ community is often the defining moment of films about queer and trans people. Yet many of these films still struggle to capture the nuances of this experience. Audiences can look no further than to documentaries for a raw and necessary look at what coming out really looks like for LGBTQ people. This National Coming Out Day edition of Docs to Watch presents 7 documentaries that explore “coming out” not just as a singular action, but an ever-evolving process that looks different to different people. Today and every day, let’s uplift films that
Between September and October 15, we celebrate the culture and contributions of the vast and diverse Hispanic communities that call the US their home, while honoring their stories. These stories of courage and grit in the face of struggle—and often disenfranchisement—give us a glimpse into what it means to be Hispanic and American. To celebrate this year, we’ve put together a list of Latinx documentaries that you can stream online. After Maria Directed by Afro-Latinx filmmaker Nadia Hallgren (director of Becoming, the Emmy-nominated doc about former First Lady Michelle Obama), After Maria
International Podcast Day is just around the corner! With more and more people tuning in to podcasts every year—especially as COVID-19 has kept us all at home for perhaps longer than we’d hoped—many of us count on podcast storytelling to stay both informed and entertained while taking our much-needed screen breaks. For this year’s Docs to Listen, we’ve put together a list of podcasts telling true tales of the past that have captured listeners’ attention: Bangalore in Stories (PodMacha Studios) “Made in Bangalore, for the world.” From snakes on the dance floor, to the first Asian heavy metal
Youth movements have changed the world and revolutionized the way we organize against systems of oppression. From Freedom Summer to the March For Our Lives, young people have been at the forefront of some of the most radical and important activism of nearly every generation. In honor of students returning back to school and all youth who endured one of the most challenging years, this Docs to Watch features nine documentaries that celebrate young activists who look adults in the eye and say “no more.” Changing The Game (Michael Barnett, 2019) This year saw one of the most vicious attacks
This Sunday, August 15th, 2021 India celebrates 74 years of its independence from British imperial rule. It has been an incredibly challenging year for South Asian communities, both within the subcontinent and the diaspora and we thought this would be a good time to come together, even if virtually, to watch some of the best documentaries to come out of the country in recent years, and celebrate the very unique stories that show us the resilience, resistance, and the fascinating lives of its people. This year, we decided to partner with the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles (IFFLA) to create
Hot Docs is back for its 2021 festival edition, bringing short and feature-length documentaries from around the world to viewer's home screens between April 29 and May 9. Among the 219 films on the lineup this year are plenty of titles from the IDA family, including IDA Enterprise and Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund grantees, fiscally sponsored projects and films by IDA members. Check out what's in store and make sure to save your spot at showtimes for each film! Apart IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund Grantee | Systems Down In a Midwestern state caught between the opioid epidemic and surging
While the documentary field has only become more and more inclusive over the last few years, the more formative role of women in the documentary artform has been largely ignored, both in academia and mainstream film history. As Cynthia Close writes, in her book review in Documentary magazine of Shilyh Warren’s Subject to Reality: Women and Documentary Film, “[Female filmmakers] continue to be underrepresented and their early contributions to the genre struggle to assume their rightful place in the canon.” Moreover, the films of numerous female pioneers in early cinema, including Japan’s Tazuko
This decade has given us some of the boldest, most informative and timeliest documentaries in film history, and with it coming to an end, many of us here in the IDA staff are looking back on the films that had a special or significant impact on us, not just as documentary professionals, but as documentary lovers. Check out these IDA staff picks and find links to watch some of the best nonfiction storytelling on major streaming platforms, all the way from 2011 to the current moment. And make sure you use a legitimate streaming service to directly support the filmmakers and filmmaking team
There are plenty of films made by creators in the IDA family to catch. Check out the IDA-supported titles at DOC NYC this year, including IDA Enterprise Documentary Fund and Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund grantees, fiscally sponsored projects and DocuClub alumnus.