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Meet the 2019 IDA Summer Interns!

By Rounak Maiti

From left to right: Kenneth Brown, Verena Hecht and Lauren Giella

IDA’s busy-as-ever summer season isn’t possible without the help of our interns! We are proud to present three wonderful students who are helping further our mission this summer: Kenneth Brown (Awards Competition Intern),  Lauren Giella (Documentary Magazine Intern), and Verena Hecht (Arts Education Intern). They come from a variety of backgrounds, and bring something unique to the table in expanding and nurturing the documentary community. Their internships have been generously supported by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission Arts Internship Program

Headshot of a young man with brown hair, standing in front of a greenery wall
Kenneth Brown

Kenneth Brown, Awards Competition Intern

Kenneth comes from a family background with Mexican, European and Filipino roots, and calls the Los Angeles area home. Having just graduated from California State University Fullerton with a Bachelors in Entertainment and Tourism-focused Communications, Kenneth is gearing up to begin his career in media and films. 

As an awards intern, he is dedicating most of his summer workload towards the IDA Documentary Awards. Currently, he is assisting Awards Competition Manager Juliana Sakae in organizing the judging committees that will screen all the submissions IDA receives as part of its awards cycle. Along with interning at IDA, he also works at Vox Pop Films, a documentary production company in Downtown LA.

Kenneth is a firm believer in the power of documentaries to facilitate change in communities, and is thrilled to be surrounded by the collaborative spirit and openness that IDA staff has to offer.

Headshot of a young woman with brown hair wearing a denim button down shirt and pearl earrings
Lauren Giella

Lauren Giella, Documentary Magazine Intern

Originally from New York, Lauren is in her fourth year studying journalism, screenwriting and public policy at the University of Southern California. Through her academic and professional work, such as her internship at O Magazine’s Style department last summer, Lauren is interested in film and journalism, and how the two worlds collide. 

This summer, she joins IDA as the first-ever Documentary Magazine Intern. She’ll be working with Editor Tom White on online content, columns, sorting through archival information on the website, and understanding the process of creating the magazine. Keep an eye out for content penned by Lauren on our website!

Lauren is glad she found this unique opportunity to bring her editorial experience to the doc world, as she is especially fascinated by cinematic storytelling techniques. She looks forward to learning more about the impact of journalistic documentaries at IDA, as they bring awareness to underserved issues in a visually compelling way.

Picture of a young woman with long dark hair leaning on a brick wall
Verena Hecht

Verena Hecht, Arts Education Intern

A recent transplant to Los Angeles, Verena Hecht is a native of Nuremberg, Germany. She double-majored in Theater and Media Arts along with American Studies at the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen. Her passion for documentaries began in college, where she was first introduced to the genre in a film class. Due to health complications, she ended her college program early, and eventually got a fresh start at Los Angeles City College in 2017. She is currently completing her Journalism degree.

As Arts Education intern, Verena is helping to maintain the IDA grants database. She will also provide assistance with IDA’s myriad educational programs, including Conversation Series and Master Class events. 

As a person with a disability, she is especially appreciative of IDA’s inclusivity and dedication to bringing diverse voices and opinions to the documentary community at large.