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Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, July / August 1999

By David Haugland

The IDA is on the move-quite literally. And if you happened to be on the East Coast on June 28, you probably heard IDA members, trustees and guests marking the opening of our new East Coast office. June 28th was also an evening in HBO's annual Bryant Park outdoor screening series (The 1999 HBO Summer Festival) . To celebrate, IDA trustee Sheila Nevins graciously hosted a reception on the terrace of the New York Public Library overlooking Bryant Park. What a great place to enjoy an early summer evening in New York! After the rousing reception, we all settled in for an outdoor screening of what else? A movie! (All About Eve, yet !)

Now, you may wonder, what is IDA doing with an office and coordinator on the East Coast? Good question .

Like many documentary makers, when I lived in New York during the 1980s, I wasn't an IDA member and I didn't see the relevance of that 'Los Angeles organization ' to my life or work. Times have changed. Like you, my work is no longer based in a single locale and the people with whom I work are all around the world .

A few simple facts: IDA members live in virtually EVERY state of the union and on EVERY continent! While the headquarters remain on the West Coast, IDA is no longer just that 'Los Angeles organization.

The world of documentaries, makers and audiences has changed dramatically during the past decade. I'm proud to say that IDA has been keeping up, and in many ways, staying ahead of the curve for our field. But for IDA to continue its leadership role and extend our mission to preserve, promote and support moving image documentary media, our trustees identified the need for a greater presence by the IDA on the East Coast.

That the East Coast is home to a thriving nonfiction commu­ ni ty is truer today than ever. From archive houses to production companies to television networks, the eastern seaboard is home to numerous leaders in the American and international documentary field. It is appropriate and timely that IDA now firmly establish an ongoing presence on the East Coast n support of our membership and this growing and vital documentary community.

We initiated our increased presence on the East Coast with IDA's first four-part semi nar series in New York during April and May under the sponsorship of Eastman Kodak. And during this summer, the first East Coast screening committee for IDA Awards will convene and become an integral part of our annual awards process.

Coordinating IDA activities on the East Coast will be Susan Berry, who will work out of our Soho office at 73 Spring Street. Susan comes to the IDA with a strong background in business and a love of documentaries. Look for Susan at documentary events in the future and please join with me in welcoming her to the IDA as our East Coast Coordinator.


David Haugland
President, International Documentary Association