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Notes from the Reel World: The President's Column, February-March 2005

By Richard Propper

Dear IDA Members,

As this organization continues to grow, so does our need for more help. You may not be aware that we accomplish our programs and events with a small staff. The IDA depends on our working board of directors to initiate and direct the many activities you read about in these pages. While most of our board is composed of filmmakers, we also need professionals from law, fundraising, multimedia, accounting, publishing, etc. This year we had 27 talented and experienced applicants vying for seven slots on the board. The seven newly elected board members I am pleased to introduce to you are Robert Bahar, Dianna Costello, Paola Freccero, Cary Jones, John Koch, Bob Niemack and David Schiff. Welcome aboard!

In 2005 I see two important areas of growth for the IDA: a richer, more useful website, and more events on the East Coast. This organization has enjoyed a long success based in Los Angeles. Entertainment is indeed an industry here, and documentaries are now a genuine part of the television and theatrical landscape. In trying to engage more members outside of Los Angeles, we have had limited success. While our magazine is anticipated 10 times a year for our larger membership base, the members outside of LA miss out on some great events. Now we will begin to bring those events to New York and Washington, DC.

I have recently read that America's drug companies have put out a notice not to speak with Michael Moore regarding his next documentary about America's health care system. This is interesting coming from a group that contributed huge amounts of money to both political parties. What could they possibly not want to discuss? Recently Americans heard from drug manufactures not to purchase prescription drugs from Canada because their content could not be verified. Hmmm. These would be the same drug companies that import or manufacture the very same prescription drugs into Canada from the US. Let Michael Moore and all other documentary filmmakers keep asking the hard questions. The world needs us now more than ever. 

As you may have read in these pages last issue, the IDA celebrated the 20th anniversary of its awards program at the Director's Guild of America on December 10. It was a glorious night. Many great documentaries and documentarians were honored; check out our website for the winners. Many of these films will air in 2005 on various channels and they are well worth watching.


Until next time,

Richard Propper
IDA President