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Happy Birthday IDA. 42 years of docs.
"It's about time there was an organization just for us. An organization whose sole purpose is ‘to encourage and to honor the documentary arts and sciences; to promote nonfiction film and video; to support the efforts of nonfiction film and video makers all over the world." Excerpt from the invitation letter sent out by Linda Buzell to the documentary community in 1982. 42 years ago, on February 6, 1982, in Los Angeles, 75 members of the documentary field convened for the first meeting of what would become the International Documentary Association. The meeting stemmed from a grassroots appeal
BY Kristal Sotomayor & Eddie Hustleby
Screen Time is your curated weekly guide to excellent documentaries and nonfiction programs that you can watch at home. Well, the juries and the people have spoken. The 38th edition of the IDA Documentary Awards is now part of IDA lore, but you, as IDA Members, can still check out the Member Voting Portal through December 17 at 11:59 p.m. PT to watch the nominees and winners in the Features and Shorts categories, including multi winners All That Breathes (Best Director—Shaunak Sen; Best Editing—Charlotte Munch Bengtsen, Vedant Joshi; Pare Lorentz Award) and Fire of Love (Best Cinematography
The Nonfiction Core Application: An image of a woman with brown skin holding a camera outdoors, courtesy of Sundance Institute.
A Letter From Hajnal Molnar-Szakacs, Director of Artist Accelerator Program at Sundance Institute Nonfiction storytellers and their work have been deeply impacted by recent world events, public health crises, and overdue reckonings. The impact on the field has been far-reaching and complex. This has manifested in various ways including the ongoing need to address sustainability, safety, and security, as well as a desire for holistic culture change to make the field more inclusive, accessible, and grounded in values-based ethics-first filmmaking practice. Six years ago, Sundance Institute and
A set of trophies from the 34th Annual IDA Documentary Awards.
By KRISTAL SOTOMAYOR and EDDIE Hustleby The 2022 IDA Documentary Awards Call For Entries (CFE) launches on Thursday, May 26! The IDA Documentary Awards are a crucial event in our field. Nominations can elevate a documentarian’s career and their project’s global impact. Last year’s nominees have gone on to win many accolades: Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature; Suave won the Pulitzer Prize for Audio Reporting; and nine IDA Documentary Awards nominees received Peabody Award nominations. In this post, the people
Two Black teenage boys run across a green field holding sticks. Smoke bellows behind them. Still from Patrick Bresnan's 'The Rabbit Hunt'. Courtesy of Argo
In the crowded documentary field, short documentaries don’t always get the love they deserve. Our friends at Argo understand this well and have built a whole platform that celebrates and streams short films. We are excited to partner with Argo to highlight their latest playlist A Sense of Place, which includes four documentary shorts that were nominated for IDA Documentary Awards in previous years. IDA Members with a Doc Maker membership or higher get three months of complimentary exclusive access to Argo. To learn how to access your Argo benefit, visit here. Not an IDA Member? You can visit
Three filmmakers from 'Writing with Fire' standing outdoors, smiling, looking at footage on a camera.
Completing and promoting a film under "normal" circumstances is difficult enough, but imagine the impossibility of pulling this off in the midst of a pandemic! That’s exactly what our IDA Documentary Screening Series grantees managed to do. This year, IDA supported 11 filmmakers from historically underrepresented communities through its in-kind grants, in an effort to help minimize the financial costs associated with pursuing a film awards campaign, and support a more equitable documentary culture. Here is a short conversation with some of our 2020-2021 grantees. What was the most challenging
A picture of a person with light skin from chin down moving their hands. Another light skinned hand holding a microphone is facing this person.
It is no secret that documentary filmmaking has a complicated legacy when it comes to supporting the survivors of gender-based violence. Even with the best intentions, many filmmakers fall into dangerous extractive patterns and use practices that end up doing more harm than good for a participant. Last week, IDA and the Documentary Accountability Working Group hosted a panel discussion on how filmmakers and journalists can ethically tell these important stories without harming survivors. Here are six key takeaways from the discussion, as well as suggestions and resources for a trauma-informed
Two people sit in front of an audience. The projection behind them reads "ida documentary screening series." From a 2019 IDA Screening Series conversation with 'The Amazing Johnathan Documentary' team.
When the IDA Documentary Screening Series launched eight years ago in place of its annual DocuWeeks™ theatrical showcase, the goal was to present the most critically acclaimed documentaries of the year to awards voters and IDA members in both Los Angeles and New York City. While the purpose and goal of the Screening Series has not changed since its inception, the program has grown dramatically over the years. We went from screening 15 films in 2014 to nearly 50 films over four months in 2019. This enormous industry growth has led to an increasingly expensive and complex awards campaign model
collage of film stills
The David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award, introduced to the IDA Documentary Awards in 1987, recognizes exceptional achievement in nonfiction film and video production at the university level. Bringing greater industry and public awareness to the work of students in the documentary field is an integral part of the IDA Documentary Awards, and we are thrilled to engage with these emerging storytellers in the field. Each of the 2020 IDA Documentary Awards nominees for the Student Documentary Award are transitioning between their educational institutions into the "real world" of documentary