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IDA Field-Building Fund, yellow on blue banner

About the Fund

Based on the principles of trust-based philanthropy and mutual aid, the IDA Field-Building Fund supports equity and diversity in the field by giving microgrants and rapid-response support to independent grassroots organizations/initiatives and individuals.

This fund is made possible through the generosity of individual donors (big and small), foundation partners, and corporate sponsors.


Started in 2020, the Field Building Fund is organized and administered to support organizations/initiatives with low to no operating budgets and independent nonfiction media makers working with limited means. The fund includes our Organizational Field-Building Grant which directly supports organizations/initiatives and our IDA Supported Artist Award which we distribute in partnership with regional festivals. The Field-Building Fund is administered through a rolling nomination process.

Field Building Fund nominations are elicited from previous grantees, IDA team members, and partners. If you would like to nominate an organization/initiative please email

Organizational Field-Building recipients have included AXS Film Fund, BIPOC Editors Database Initiative, and Best of Intentions Workshop.

Our inaugural IDA Supported Artist Award was awarded at the 2023 Durban Filmmart.

IDA Supported Artist Award Recipients
Summer 2023


Director: Saif Chida / Producer, Olfa Ben Achou

Set in the city of Kef, CIRTA is a hybrid film project that combines a short-fictionalized film and a feature-length documentary whose conception and making echo and complement each other. Although there are no more cinemas in this region today, for many years, a magical place has illuminated the lives of the inhabitants of Le Kef: the cinema CIRTA.

Kids sitting on stone steps outside

Partner Festival: Durban Film Market
Durban FilmMart Institute logo: black, pink, and white image. Pink and black text.

The Durban FilmMart is Africa's premier finance and co-production market. The DFM provides selected African filmmakers with projects in development the opportunity to pitch film projects to leading financiers and content buyers.  The DFM is produced by the Durban FilmMart Institute, which was created to provide effective programs and services in order to promote, support, and facilitate investment in the African film industries so that African film industry professionals and products are competitive and celebrated globally.


Director: Deming Chen / Producer, Hansen Lin

In a small village in southern China, left-behind children bravely use written word to express their internal worlds. One such child, Gong, uses poetry to bid farewell to the mother who abandoned him at birth and the fleeting days of his youth.

Black and white image of a person squatting in a field, looking through binoculars.

The Old Land

Director: David Darmadi / Producer, Zaky Thpm

A poetic documentary about the life of Panana, who lives on a traditional Getek boat and earns his living on the "Banjir Kanal Barat" river amidst the hustle and bustle of Jakarta city.

Film still from 'The Old Land'. Panana on a boat on the river.

Partner Festival: Docs By The Sea

Docs By The Sea logo. Blue and gold text.

Docs by the Sea (DbtS) is an annual international documentary lab and forum based in Bali, Indonesia, dedicated to cultivating creative documentary projects from Asia. As part of DBTS, Asian documentary projects receive mentorship and pitching opportunities, establishing connections with other filmmakers in Asia as well as international industry guests.

Field-Building Fund Grantees 

Fall 2022 

Logo: A green sun rises over a mountain range. Underneath the mountain is the text "Freetown Media Center"Freetown Media Centre

The Freetown Media Centre’s mission is to promote freedom of expression through the development of the creative industries in Sierra Leone, using community engagement, education, and capacity-building programs.  The vision of the Freetown Media Centre is to contribute to the advancement of creative arts and digital media in Sierra Leone and the world at large and to continue to lead in the promotion of storytelling and self-expression.

Projects: Idriss Kpange Filmmaker Fellowship

The WeOwnTV Idriss Kpange Filmmaker Fellowship is a film fund and professional development program supporting the production of independent documentaries directed by Sierra Leonean filmmakers. The program will provide filmmakers with funding for their projects, creative labs, one-on-one mentoring, and professional development workshops.

Idriss was one of Sierra Leone's leading filmmakers and worked as a video journalist for Reuters, as well as for local networks. Idriss loved training young filmmakers and co-founded the Opin Yu Yi Human Rights Film Festival in 2012. He was dismayed that there was no professional filmmaking school in Sierra Leone & wanted to share his passion and knowledge. Tragically Idriss died on 15 February 2022 at 43 years old. WeOwnTV is proud to continue his legacy through this fellowship program.

Impact Producers Training 

Freetown Media Centre is promoting the idea of impact production amongst its upcoming female documentary filmmakers. The project started in 2021 with five interested filmmakers who had successfully completed the Freetown Film Lab supported by the British Council. As a young industry Impact Producing is a new idea that promoted the search for creatives with interstate in that line of the documentary filmmaking spectrum. 

The Training is an in-house ten days workshop followed by three sessions of practical work with an existing project. This year's trainees will work on the impact production of the New Boat and Sister Hood, both produced by FMC mentors.

An abstract black tree with no leaves. Underneath the tree there is text that says, "Bahia Colectiva"Bahía Colectiva

Bahía Colectiva is a community of filmmakers who collaborate in cinematic practice and curation. In collectivity, we share our learnings, our inspirations, our successes, and our losses. Together, we experiment with cinematic languages and dismantle dominating modes of production. We look for forms of resistance through our exchange and the communal dissection of socio-political issues and aim to take part in the work towards de-marginalizing independent, essayistic and experimental cinema. Our work is driven by a process of questioning and centers on themes including, but not limited to: borders, immigration, trees, memory, ghosts, demons, forensics, ancestral connections, landscapes as protagonists, physical and virtual realities, the dark web, land vs territory, exile, decoloniality, gender, our mothers, our grandmothers, and waves.

Project: Adrift: A filmmaker residency program 

Adrift is a residency program curated by Bahía Colectiva where filmmakers connect with audiences and other practitioners by sharing a virtual archive of the process materials behind their film and video works. The materials showcased may include: texts, images, sounds, music, research notes, drawings, sculpture, found objects, film references, food recipes, news reports, text messages, accidental encounters, inspirations, conversations, arguments, dreams, etc. For the duration of a two-week period, the archive of unseen materials will be accessible through Bahía Colectiva’s online platform. By the end of the first week, the filmmakers’ work will be screened and followed by a discussion/workshop centered on the exposed archive. Our goal in creating process-based conversations is to share resources across various socio-cultural, economic, and geographic positions to demarginalize and demystify experimental film and art practices. Existing in virtuality Adrift is a borderless space for community building and broadening collective knowledge between filmmakers, artists, curators, and enthusiasts.

Summer 2022

Another Gaze

Another Gaze was founded in January 2016 to provide a nuanced forum for discussion about women as filmmakers, film subjects and spectators. In 2021 they launched Another Screen – an irregular streaming platform, streaming short-term programmes of films by women across modes of production and geographies, with new writing and translations about these works.

Project: Critics Workshop
Open City is committed to fostering a discursive space that brings together the next generation of filmmakers, critics and other professionals working in the field of non-fiction cinema. The Critics Workshop is an immersive five-day programme developed by the Another Gaze editorial team to discuss the methodologies and practice of a politically engaged film criticism. Together we will look at questions including the purpose of criticism, editing/the editor, formal experimentation, questions of ethics, and the place of the “I” in criticism. Led by Daniella Shreir, speakers at last year’s workshop included Another Gaze co-editor Missouri Williams, critics Simran Hans, Rebecca Liu, and Emily LaBarge, and co-editor of London Review of Books Alice Spawls. 

The workshop sessions will take place in person at the Festival Hub in central London. The writing produced in the context of the workshop will be published daily on the festival website. The 10 selected participants will receive access to the festival programme (screenings, talks & other opportunities).

Alliance of Documentary Editors -  Inclusion and Access Committee

The Inclusion and Access committee stands tall in supporting all communities, including people of color, disabled and undocumented individuals as well as the LGBTQIA+ community. We aim to create an environment that is accessible and supportive within the documentary community for all marginalized assistant editors and editors. Our goal is to provide meaningful action and resources while creating a safe space for these individuals within the ADE. We have a clear vision to make sure AE and editing opportunities are spread evenly for ALL and that discriminatory practices are eliminated.

The Inclusion and Access Committee members: Juli Vizza, Sarah Garrahan, Inés Vogelfang, Michaelle McGaraghan, Stephanie Andreou, Kelly Creedon, Princess Hairston

Project: Inclusion and Access Panels
The ADE’s Inclusion and Access committee is currently organizing a panel on accessibility in the edit bay to address ableism and ways to improve the edit process both in the bay and on the screen for editors and viewers with disabilities. Our aim is to host quarterly panels to uplift our community and provide more tools for their success.  Funding will enable us to recompense our panelists and to provide ASL interpreters.

Fall 2021

AXS Fundblack and gold background with bold white and black letters. Text: AXS FILM FUND

AXS Film Fun was founded to support documentary filmmakers and non-fiction new media creators of color with disabilities. 2020 very clearly brought about the need for compassion and serious change. Between violence targeted at people of color, a fearful divided nation, and the global pandemic, it is more important now than ever to raise and support a body of more culturally diverse voices.

The program will offer up to five documentary filmmakers and nonfiction new media artists grants of up to $10,000 each, designed to assist them in finishing their projects in any stage of production.

Best of Intentions Workshop

Project: Best of Intentions Workshop - Our curriculum will be designed to look at both personal and systematic racism within the film/documentary industry. During the workshop, we will reflect on our own work and specific ways in which we have misrepresented and reinforced stereotypes of people of color in our films, and strengthened the racial power hierarchy by excluding people of color from decision-making roles and conversations. We will also discuss the history of structural racism in our field, look at the structures that are prevalent today and how we are keeping those structures in place, and what we can do to make change. Throughout this workshop, we will look at case studies to help ground our conversations. We will look at some projects that clearly demonstrate problematic practices as well as look at models that provide guidance for how to do this work with accountability and shared power. We plan to keep the number of participants between 8-10, including facilitators, in order to foster an atmosphere for trust-building and deep, personal work.

White background with bold black bloc letters. Text: BIPOC DOC EDITORSBIPOC Editors Database Initiative

Project: Building and launching a BIPOC editor database 

Project Mission: The current lack of inclusion and access in documentary production is a systemic problem. The documentary community is currently mostly White, and this has led to an overwhelming system of White creatives mentoring and promoting other White creatives already in their circles. Like all areas of production, this is very true in documentary edit rooms. Without a fundamental and intentional effort to provide tangible long-term support to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) talent, these systemic issues will remain. It will take all of us to make lasting change.