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Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, November 2001

By Michael Donaldson

Dear IDA Members,

As reports begin to come in from our members around the world, it is clear that everyone is "getting back to work." The pain of loss will not quickly pass, especially for those who lost loved ones in the September 11th attacks. Everyone, even those far from New York, has been affected by those mind-numbing events. And, of course, the curiosity of the world is turned more intently toward a corner of the world where most of our members have not traveled.

As you read this, at least two teams of IDA members are in Afghanistan searching cinematically for answers, information and insight. And what a dangerous, uncertain place that region of the world has become for those who live and work there. Humanitarian aid will not have—indeed, could not have—made much of a difference in their day-to-day lives. I am still grappling to find appropriately responsive words and actions. If any of you are working on projects that relate to—or are responsive to—the current turn of events in the world, please let us know. We would like to do a wrap-up of projects around the globe.

For the International Documentary Association, scheduled activities, including DOCtober, have proceeded apace. Members continued their travels around the world, including to the Producers Association Conference in Australian, and I visited China and recruited members for IDA at the television award ceremonies in Chang-sha, the capitol of Hunan Province.

The IDA staff is preparing for the annual meeting of members, which will be held on December 8, 2001, at 9:00 a.m. at the Kodak facility in Los Angeles. This meeting will immediately precede the all-day screening of the IDA Award-winning films. The idea is to have it at a time and place where a maximum number of people can attend. This year, the agenda will include electing the board members and voting to streamline our by-laws, which are very important to the continued growth and smooth running of the organization.

If you cannot attend in person, we urge you to send in your proxy. We are striving for the widest possible involvement of the membership. Please look at the official notice in the magazine and fill out the proxy form to ensure a quorum. To vote by proxy, fill out the form on page. Return it to IDA headquarters by mail or fax. There is a slate of candidates for the board of directors, and their names and a brief bio of the slate, along with some important by-law updates, will be posted on the IDA website,, after November 14. Let us know if you can attend so that we can plan properly. If you cannot attend, please send in a proxy.



Michael C. Donaldson