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Notes from the Reel World: The President's Column, November-December 2007

By diane estelle Vicari

Happy Silver Jubilee IDA!

For any nonprofit media arts organization to have reached a 25th anniversary milestone under the challenging climate to which it is constantly subjected is a feat to be reckoned with!

It has taken a community to attain this historic landmark--from membership to leadership, determined and dedicated boards and staffs, loyal trustees and sponsors, and of course, our many friends at large. 

Our history is clear, our mission remains. So what lies ahead?

As our worldwide membership, representing over 50 countries, continues to grow, our ability to raise the level of service and strengthen the infrastructure of the nonfiction filmmaking community depends on new technologies to re-imagine how we can reach, serve and communicate. We have a unique opportunity to transform our website and ourselves into a global media organization and the #1 destination for all things documentary on the Web. As part of our Silver commemoration, IDA is re-launching! Everything the organization works towards and does will leave an imprint on the website.

Just like Grand Central Station, visiting IDA's online documentary community will consist of people en route from here to there with powerful trains moving everyone along! You'll discover an online home for Documentary magazine with magazine archives, blogs, daily news updates and listings; virtual invite-only offices for premium members to discuss, host forums and show rough cuts, trailers, interviews and much more. This portal will facilitate our engagement with both emerging and established filmmakers in connecting them and keeping them abreast of the latest information in the field, as well as petitioning them to speak up in regard to IDA's advocacy work on copyright issues, Orphan Works legislation and Fair Use, among others.

Meanwhile, in partnership with Netflix as our presenting sponsor, we celebrate "The 25 Best Documentaries," a list voted on and selected by our members among 700 titles.  Congratulations to all of the filmmakers represented in the list--your work, which together spans over 50 years of documented history, is a testimony to the longevity and evolutionary life of the genre.

This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the IDA/Pare Lorentz Award! From October 18 to October 21, we present the Pare Lorentz Film Festival, made possible by a grant from The New York Community Trust. We will honor the documentaries of the visionary filmmaker Pare Lorentz, as well as the IDA/Pare Lorentz Award-winning films over the past ten years.

On December 7, we will close this banner year with the IDA Awards Gala, at which we will introduce two new categories to our tradition: The IDA/Alan Ett Music Award and a $25,000.00 IDA/Pare Lorentz Documentary Finishing Fund Grant.

We have much to celebrate! Won't you join us in toasting IDA's past, present and future? We are counting on you.


diane estelle Vicari
IDA President