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Notes from the Reel World: The President's Column, July-August 2007

By diane estelle Vicari

Dear IDA Community,

As I began writing this column, on a sleepless flight from Cannes after attending MIPDOC and MIPTV in April, I pondered the complexity of the international market. With IDA members representing more then 50 countries, it is clear that despite our geographic separation, our stories have no boundaries. And when presented the opportunity, we embrace this global forum. At MIPDOC, I met such trailblazers.

In its second year, the International Trailblazers Tribute is designed to highlight pioneering work in the field of documentary. IDA is a partner in this initiative, along with Hot Docs; the National Film Board of Canada (NFB); Encounters, the South Africa-based documentary festival; European Documentary Network (EDN); ATP, the Japan-based alliance of television production companies; and the South Korea-based EBS International Documentary Festival (EIDF). Eight documentary makers were honored for their creativity and innovation. IDA nominated Marshall Curry; EDN nominated Paolo Trombetti of Italy and Uldis Cekulis of Latvia; Encounters, Jean-Marie Teno of Cameroon and Vincent Moloi of South Africa; Hot Docs and NFB, Larry Weinstein; ATP, Nao Kubato; and EIDF, Chao Gan of China. 

IDA representatives also screened and judged the Arts Documentaries category for the 2007 Banff World Television Awards. The nominees are Jimmy Rosenberg--The Father, the Son & the Talent (Jeroen Berkvens, dir.); Hitler's Museum (Sascha Beier and Martin De La Fouchardiere, prods.; Jan N. Lorenzen and Hannes Schuler, dirs.); Knowledge Is the Beginning (Paul Smaczny, prod.); La Pathetique (Iossif Pasternak, dir.); Prisoners of Beckett (Michka Saäl, dir.); Still Alive: A Film about Krzysztof Kieslowski (Jerzy Jakutowicz, Slawomir Salamon, prods.; Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz, dir.). The award winner was to be announced on June 11 at Banff.

While at MIPDOC, I followed up on a conversation that began last year among several international producers about a shared concern on copyright issues and fair use. The group, which included representatives from NFB, EDN, DocLab Srl and Associazone Documentaristi Italiani--as well as myself--agreed to meet during Hot Docs the following week to launch an international exchange among our organizations. 

In Toronto, we were joined by IDA Executive Director Sandra Ruch and, by phone, past IDA President Michael Donaldson and Pat Aufderheide, director of the Center for Social Media, to discuss progress in the US regarding copyright issues and our hope for a global documentary filmmaker's statement of best practice in fair use. A subsequent meeting followed with Samantha Hodder, executive director of the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), who supported the idea and agreed to share copyright issue research with our European partners. 

I closed my week at Hot Docs by screening, with my fellow jurors, the 12 finalists of the International Documentary Challenge sponsored by IDA. IDA congratulates the recipient of the 2007 Best Film Award: Portraits of Hope by Team Tessa from Mountlake Terrace, Washington. 


With gratitude,

diane estelle Vicari
IDA President