Skip to main content

Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, April 2000

By David Haugland

Dear IDA Members:

Congratulations to this year's Oscar Nominees in the Documentary Short and Documentary Feature Categories. This year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences revised its nomination process for the Documentary categories and from everything I hear, the changes have been met with popular approval from the field.

Chaired by Oscar-winning documentarian and long-time IDA member Arnold Schwartzman, the Academy's Documentary Committee announced the following nominees:

Best Documentary Short

Eyewitness, directed by Bert Van Bork, reveals the horror of Auschwitz some five decades after World War II.

King Gimp by Susan Hannah Hadary and William A. Whiteford gives us a personal view of physical disability and daily life.

The Wildest Show in the South: The Angola Prison Rodeo by Simeon Soffer and Jonathan Stack takes us behind prison barriers to watch inmates compete in an amateur rodeo.

Best Documentary Feature

Buena Vista Social Club is Wim Wenders and Ulrich Felsberg's ode to the artistry of Cuba's musical legends.

Genghis Blues from Roko Belic and Adrian Belic follows an American blues musician to Tuva for a throat-singing competition!

On the Ropes, directed by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen, brings us inside the boxing ring and into the lives of amateurs preparing for the big time.

One Day in September, from two-time Oscar-winner Arthur Cohn and Kevin MacDonald, brings home the horror of international terrorism at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

Speaking in Strings by Paolo di Florio and Lilibet Foster profiles the fearless and irreverent, yet world-renowned violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg.

Congratulations to all of the nominees and thank you for enriching the world of film by creating eight important, moving and entertaining documentaries!

As we have for 18 years, the IDA will host the documentary events of Oscar season:

  • On Thursday, March 23, our annual Oscar Nominees program and reception will be held in the Samuel Goldwyn Theater at the Academy in Beverly Hills. Clips from each of the nominated films will be featured and the filmmakers will address the audience.
  • On Saturday, March 2-5, the nominated films will be screened during DocuDay at the Directors Guild of America in West Hollywood. A dialogue with the filmmakers will be held following each screening. See you there!

It is also time for you to begin planning your submissions to the 2000 IDA Distinguished Documentary Achievement Awards. Mark your calendar now for the April 15 early entry deadline or the new final deadline of May 15. To take advantage of lower entry fees, get your submissions in early!

Our awards juries will be forming in early spring. If you're interested in volunteering for one of this year's screening committees, please send a written inquiry to the IDA Awards Committee as soon as possible—these are popular positions and everyone has a terrific time!

Again, congratulations to the Oscar documentary nominees from the IDA membership, board, trustee and staff. We look forward to hosting this year's Nominees program and reception and DocuDay in your honor.


David Haugland
IDA President