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Notes from the Reel World: The President's Column, March-April 2007

By diane estelle Vicari

Dear IDA Community:

It's a brand new year and with it, the opportunity to begin again--never resting upon our many accomplishments nor dwelling upon our unfulfilled goals.

Rarely do we get to peak behind the scenes of a nonprofit and recognize that it has taken a community to have reached our 25th Anniversary celebration! The IDA Board of Directors is a team of gifted, dedicated individuals who contribute their time and share their respective areas of expertise. Without this team, IDA would not thrive. Every IDA board since the inception of the organization can take great pride in contributing to IDA's success.

As we welcome five new board members--Beth Bird, Brian Gerber, Thomas Rigler, Mark Vega and Sue West--we sadly bid farewell to Barbara Gregson, who has completed her nine-year tenure on the board. In addition, Doug Chang, John Koch and David Schiff have stepped down to pursue their individual paths and careers. Candace Chatman will continue to be our liaison to Kodak and remain active with IDA. All will be missed, and we wish them the very best. 

Our staff--Tracie Lewis, programs and events coordinator; Maria Arzola, membership coordinator; Amy Halpin, fiscal sponsorship coordinator; Ruriko Sumi, administrative assistant; Laurie Alcantar, bookkeeper; and Erik Bethke, multimedia producer--have kept watch during the best and worst of times under the guidance of our inexhaustible, larger-than-life executive director, Sandra Ruch. Our magazine team--Tom White, editor; Tamara Krinsky, associate editor; Tomm Carroll, editorial consultant; Val Echavarria, art director; Jana Green, production assistant and photo editor; Jodi Pais Montgomery, manager, advertising sales; and Laura Almo, Web listings editor--has weathered the constant and growing demands of publishing. We have learned to depend on the IDA and Documentary staffs, and more often than not, we forget about the impact they have made over the last years. I am grateful to all of them for their continued devotion.

In a longstanding IDA tradition, we honor and celebrate the outstanding achievement of the Academy Award-nominated documentaries. The 2006 DocuWeekTM program showcased the theatrical screenings of Jesus Camp; Iraq in Fragments, recipient of the 2006 IDA Feature Award; Deliver Us From Evil, an IDA Award nominee; and the short documentaries Blood of the Yingzhou District, another IDA Award nominee; and Phoenix Dance. In addition, An Inconvenient Truth earned the Pare Lorentz Award. Don't miss out on the opportunity to see all of the nominated documentaries during DocuDayTM, NY and LA. We thank HBO Documentary Films for sponsoring DocuDayTM NY on February 17, and we would also like to thank the Sundance Channel, which joins us again this year with its support of DocuDayTM LA on February 25. Join us for a rare chance to meet all the filmmakers at these screenings!

Congratulations to all of the Academy Award nominees in the documentary categories!


diane estelle Vicari
IDA President