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Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, Fall 2008

By diane estelle Vicari

Dear IDA Community:

I can vividly recall my first political moment, when, amid a snowstorm, we were sent home early from school. My Papa gathered us around our brand new massive black-and-white TV to watch a historic speech, and he explained to us the significance of the man who, in his view, "was about to change the world."

On January 20, 1961, I was barely a first grader. I heard the newly inaugurated US President John F. Kennedy declare, "My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

As I spent most of this summer screening documentaries on a brand new flat color TV, for both DocuWeek® and EURODOCS LA, a new fall festival aimed at promoting European documentaries, I find myself in awe of our community, which has the boldness and commitment to make films in direct response to an issue, and aims to bring about an understanding of worlds beyond our own. 

The significant lesson is our inter-dependence and the principle that no one can do it alone. On this note, I wish to share my column with an esteemed member of our team who has recently decided to pursue the next step of her career--Sandra Ruch.

Since beginning as publisher of Documentary magazine, I have grown affectionately reliant on a team that has been steadfastly making this publication the uniquely reliable, thoughtful and comprehensive confluence of documentary culture that it is. It will never be possible for them to get their due recognition, but I would like to thank them in these pages, which, for me, fan the flames of the documentary community.

Thank you, first of all, to our members, who make the magazine possible.

Thank you to the writers. You are a rare breed whose selflessness and passion is the lifeblood of this publication.

Thank you to our brilliant editor, Tom White, and his talented staff--Tomm Carroll, Val Echavarria, Jana Green, Tamara Krinsky and Jodi Pais-Montgomery--who have never ceased improving on a job well done.

I have treasured the experience of being the publisher of a magazine that I continue to see as a beacon, an advocate and a vital meeting of the minds for the community.

After seven years, I may not be finishing a doc, but I am already at work on something that I look forward to sharing with you all very soon. I remain equally excited about the future of the IDA and our country.

Luckily, I'm not the only one leaving office...

As for IDA, this fall we march on with our very own election, to select new individuals for the Board. Please join us in serving your community and helping us making a difference!


diane estelle Vicari
IDA President