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Notes from the Reel World: The President's Column, May 2006

By diane estelle Vicari

Dear IDA Community:

I once read that "A good business or community is a group of people moving together--different genders, ethnicities, strengths, talents--utilizing each other and understanding that if they fall, someone will stop them." 

You may be a documentarian, a distributor, a broadcaster, hopefully an IDA member and certainly a supporter of our community. If you have time, access to resources, expertise and knowledge in your respected field, we invite you to help shape the future of IDA.

Our very small staff--Tracie Lewis, programs and events manager; Stephon Litwinczuk, membership coordinator; Janice Van Wagner, fiscal sponsorship administrator; and Sandra Ruch, executive director--have been operating with Herculean efforts, and they welcome your input and contributions!

If you live outside of Los Angeles (our home base) and desire to meet other IDA members in your community and/or organize local events, please let us know. We have an amazing Advisory Board made up of media arts leaders from across the US, as well as from Canada, Switzerland and China; we can reach your community via e-mail blast and e-newsletter. Contact Sandra Ruch at with your suggestions and ideas.

Coming up in May and June is our five-week seminar series, Docs from A to Z. Among the highlights, past IDA President Michael Donaldson will speak on IDA's latest advocacy efforts with respect to best practices in fair use and copyright ownership. Check our website for the full list of programs.

DocuWeekTM, our weeklong theatrical documentary showcase roll-out, supports documentarians in qualifying their films for Academy Award consideration. It will take place August 18-24 at the ArcLight Theatre in Hollywood. If you have completed a documentary that meets the Academy's official rules for qualifying (see, you may want to consider entering it into DocuWeekTM. The entry forms will be available on April 1, 2006 at

The 22nd Annual IDA Awards Competition is just around the corner. Committees for all awards categories shortly will be formed and will begin to review the 2006 entries. If you are a filmmaker, or know of a documentarian who should submit, please consider sending in your doc or encouraging the documentarian to do so.  Check our website for dates and eligibility requirements. If you live in Los Angeles, have experience in filmmaking and wish to join a screening committee, contact us at

Last but not least, IDA is a membership-driven organization. If you have left us for one reason or another, please consider rejoining! You do not have to be a filmmaker to be a member of IDA. Our benefits of membership and service to the community are continually growing. For a complete list, visit the website or contact Stephon Litwinczuk at

Won't you take a moment to consider? 


With gratitude,

diane estelle Viacri
IDA President