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Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, December 2000 / January 2001

By David Haugland

It’s that time of year again when an envelope arrives reminding us that this magazine is going to disappear from our mailboxes if we don’t renew our IDA membership. Should you need a reason, let me give you two: Charles Guggenheim and Martin Scorsese.

Martin Scorsese took time out from shooting his current feature in Rome to film a message for IDA members that was delivered on the big screen during this year’s IDA Awards on October 27. Eloquent as ever, Mr. Scorsese commented that IDA’s recognition of The Film Foundation’s work in preservation was especially significant as it was recognition “of filmmakers by filmmakers.”

On a very personal note that same evening, Charles Guggenheim reflected on his 50 years making documentaries. Accompanied by his wife Marion, daughters Grace and Sara, and sons Davis and Jonathan, Mr. Guggenheim said that while he surely has more films to make, he is most proud that the next generation of his family will continue his documentary filmmaking tradition.

When icons of filmmaking like these two gentlemen are moved by your recognition of their life and work through the IDA, it says that you and your fellow IDA members are an important voice in the documentary world. Remember, IDA is the only membership organization dedicated solely to the documentary form with an international constituency. As an IDA member, you’re in good company.

Good company’s nice, but when we’re in the trenches making a documentary, we all need more. So during the past year, the Membership Committee of IDA has made an increase in the value of membership its top priority. When you renew your membership for 2001, you’ll receive the greatest number of new membership benefits ever offered by IDA. These range from discounts on insurance to on-line incentives, and from raw stock to lab work—and expanded and improved internet services!

Next year also marks a new collaboration with Kodak. IDA and Kodak are now putting the finishing touches on a new worldwide program exclusively for IDA members that will provide consultation and assistance from conception through preservation of documentaries.

In 2001, IDA continues a full range of other member services: publication of International Documentary, fiscal sponsorship of documentary production, production seminars, screenings, the Oscar Nominee Reception and Program, DocuDay, DocuFest, Doctober and other special events and services. When you renew your membership, you’ll immediately be eligible to take advantage of all IDA discounts and services.

Finally, you are important to IDA. You are telling the stories that demand to be told and which documentary audiences everywhere eagerly await. IDA is here to support and serve you and the worldwide documentary community. IDA is your organization, dedicated solely to the documentary, and it’s your advocate around the world.

So, when that envelope arrives in your mailbox, put it on the top of your mail and join us for another year! Then we’ll all be in good company.


-David Haugland

P.S. Happy New Year!