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2003 IDA Documentary Awards Winners

By IDA Editorial Staff


Directors: Carlos Bosch, Josep M. Domenech
Producer: Loris Omedes
Writers: David Trueba, Carlos Bosch
Cinematographer: Josep M. Domenech
Editor: Ernerst Blasi
Composer: Lucrecia
HBO/Cinema Documentary Films, Seventh Art Releasing, Televisio Catalunya, Bausan Films

In the summer of 1994, Fidel Castro sanctioned the opening of Cuba's coastal borders, allowing a mass exodus of 50,000 balseros—rafters—to set sail from Havana on dangerous makeshift rafts for Miami, Florida. This epic story of Cuban castaways caught between two worlds finds richness in real-life drama, celebrating the human spirit as it follows seven immigrants over the course of seven years on their journey for the American dream.

CARLOS BOSCH has been a reporter for the Spain-based TV3 program 30 Minuts since its foundation in 1984. For Telenoticias, he has produced reports on important international events, including the wars in the Gulf, Bosnia and Kosovo, and he has produced and directed documentaries about these conflicts. He has made documentaries in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, South America, the US and Europe. He has directed a five-chapter documentary series entitled Historias del Caribe (Stories of the Caribbean). Aside from journalism, Bosch served as the first director of an office of humanitarian aid that the Barcelona City Council established in Sarajevo after the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina ended.

JOSEP M. DOMÈNECH began to work for TV3 in November of 1984, as an ENG reporter in the News Department. He has worked for Telenoticias (news broadcasts), 30 Minutos, and other non-daily informative programs, with a preference for images. Since the end of 1990, he has been a member of the 30 Minutos crew, which has shot over 60 illustrated reports. As director of photography, he shot a five-chapter series entitled Historias del Caribe (Stories of the Caribbean).  


The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Directors/Cinematographers: Kim Bartley, Donnacha Ó Briain
Producers: David Power, Rod Stoneman
Editor: Angel Hernandez Zoido
HBO/Cinemax Documentary Films, Power Pictures, RTE, The Irish Film Board, BBC, ZDF, ARTE, CoBO, YLE

On April 11, 2002, the world awoke to the news that Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez had been forcefully removed from office and replaced by a self-appointed "interim" government. Venezuelan media, many members of which had interest in the oil industry that Chavez was working to federalize, showed heavily edited footage of fatal mayhem in the streets of Caracas, which they blamed on the president. Shot by the only crew to witness first-hand the takeover of the Presidential Palace and Chavez's return to power two days later, The Revolution Will Not Be Televised provides gripping fly-on-the-wall access to the first coup of the 21st century and unique insight into the power of media to manipulate public opinion.

A middle-aged man in army fatigues and a red beret greeting crowds of people

KIM BARTLEY is a freelance producer/director whose work takes her mostly to Africa and Latin America, where she has directed and filmed documentaries for a number of international aid agencies in crisis or conflict situations. In 2002 she produced the award-wining historic documentary The Hunt for Roger Casement.

DONNCHA Ó BRIAIN is a freelance producer/director. His last documentary, The Seminary, which he directed and filmed, was broadcast on RTE's True Lives series in March 2001 and followed three young men training for the priesthood over a 12-month period. He has worked on productions in Russia, South East Asia and Australia.


Honorable Mention

My Flesh and Blood
Director: Jonathan Karsh
Producer: Jennifer Chaiken
Cinematographer: Amanda Micheli
Editor: Eli Olsen
Composers: Hector H. Perez, B. Quincy Griffin
HBO/Cinemax Documentary Films, Strand Releasing, CBC, BBC, RTSI, VTM, TV2 Denmark, HBO Latin America, Noga Communications.

My Flesh and Blood is a feature-length vérité documentary about the Tom family—11 special needs children adopted by Fairfield, California mother Susan Tom—and the story of Susan's battle with her emotionally disturbed teenage son. Encouraged by Susan to feel a sense of self-acceptance, most of the children thrive despite their disabilities. From teenage romances and summer pool parties, to the unexpected death of a young child, My Flesh and Blood follows the Tom family in what turns out to be the most tumultuous year of their lives.

Black and white image of adouble amputee woman sits on a pool deck

My Flesh and Blood marks JONATHAN KARSH's debut as a feature documentary director. He first met the Tom family as a host and writer for Evening Magazine on KPIX TV, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco; Karsh won three Emmy Awards for his work on the show. Meeting the Toms led Karsh to quit his job and pursue making this film full-time. Previously he hosted shows for ABC News, Discovery Channel and CNET Television and worked as a national correspondent for the news magazine show American Journal. Most recently Karsh has been commissioned by MTV and AMC to direct segments for their original documentary series.

JENNIFER CHAIKEN has produced several documentary and narrative films, most recently My Flesh and Blood, winner of both the Audience Award and Best Director Award at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, and scheduled to air on HBO/Cinemax in 2004. Previously, she produced Big Eden, winner of over 15 audience awards, and touted as one the top 50 DVDs of all time by The San Francisco Chronicle. Chaiken also produced the highly rated HBO America Undercover documentary Naked States. Her past documentary producing credits include Family Name, winner of the Freedom of Expression Award at Sundance and nominated for an Emmy after its broadcast on the acclaimed P.O.V. series on PBS.



Bus 174
Director: José Padilha
Producers: José Padilha, Marcos Prado
Cinematographers: Rodrigo Pimentel, Felipe Lacerda
Editor: Felipe Lacerda
Composers: João Nabuco, Sacha Amback
HBO/Cinemax Documentary Films, THINKFilm

Bus 174 is a reflection on the endemic problem of street kids, urban decay and violence in Brazil. The film focuses on one episode-the June 12, 2000 hijacking of a passenger bus in Rio de Janiero. The kidnapping and subsequent four-hour stand-off was widely filmed and televised live, witnessed by a shocked country.

A man with a hat and sunglasses on standing on a train, taken from a distance through the window

JOSÉ PADILHA, a native of Rio de Janeiro, wrote and produced The Charcoal People (directed by Nigel Noble), which screened at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and won the Best Documentary Award at the 2000 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival 2000. Padilha also co-produced and co-directed with Marcos Prado Pantanal Cowboys and Facing the Jaguar for National Geographic Television. Bus 174 is his theatrical directorial debut.

MARCOS PRADO, also a native of Rio de Janiero, produced Bus 174 with Jose Padhila, which won awards for Best Documentary and Best Brazilian Film at the 2002 Rio de Janiero International Film Festival and Best Documentary at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival. Prado also co-produced The Charcoal People. He is a former documentary photographer and has won many international prizes, including The 1992 World Press Photo Prize and the 1991 UNEP Prize.



Berga: Soldiers of Another War
Director/Writer/Narrator: Charles Guggenheim
Producer: Grace Guggenheim
Cinematographer: Erich Roland
Editor: Anny Lowery Meza
Composer: Michael Bacon
PBS Home Entertainment, CS Associates, Guggenheim Associates Inc., Thirteen/WNET New York

Charles Guggenheim dedicated the last six months of his life to completing a film about his fellow American infantrymen, who were captured during the Battle of the Bulge, and then died in a Nazi slave labor camp.  Berga: Soldiers of Another War is the story of American prisoners of war caught in the tragedy of the Holocaust. Until now, the story has remained untold, lost in trauma of the World War II.

Black and white image of men in army uniforms and helmets marching, with one younger boy in plainclothes walking with his hands on his head

CHARLES GUGGENHEIM received 12 Academy Award nominations and won four Oscars for his films Nine from Little Rock (1964), RFK Remembered (1968), The Johnstown Flood (1989) and A Time for Justice (1994). He also won the George Foster Peabody Award and was the recipient of the 2000 IDA Career Achievement Award. His career in documentaries spanned 50 years, beginning with the United States Information Agency and concluding with his final film, Berga: Soldiers of Another War.

GRACE GUGGENHEIM has been a producer and an executive producer with Guggenheim Productions, Inc. for the past 16 years. Prior to producing Berga: Soldiers of Another War, she produced Harry S. Truman 1884-1972 for the Harry S. Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, and served as executive producer on both the 1998 Academy Award-nominated  A Place in the Land for the Woodstock Foundation and D-Day Remembered for The National D-Day Museum and PBS. She was senior producer on The Johnstown Flood, as well as its expanded version, which aired on PBS' AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Other credits include Clear Pictures, a biography of the novelist Reynolds Price; LBJ: A Remembrance, the story of Lyndon Baines Johnson; and a biography film on Lady Bird Johnson. 



AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: The Murder of Emmett Till
Director/Producer: Stanley Nelson
Executive Producer: Margaret Drain
Senior Producer: Mark Samels
Writer: Marcia Smith
Cinematographer: Robert Shepard
Editor: Lewis Erskine
Composer: Tom Phillips
American Experience/WGBH, PBS

In August 1955, a 14-year-old black youth from Chicago, unschooled in the racial customs of the South, traveled to Mississippi to visit relatives. With adolescent bravado, he whistled at a white woman. Three nights later, Emmett Till was abducted, beaten and shot through the head. His mangled body later surfaced in the muddy waters of the Tallahatchie River. The murder of Emmett Till shook America, and opened a window on the deep social divisions of the 1950s. The case, which ended in the acquittal of Till's two known assailants, became an international cause célèbre. When tens of thousands of Americans rallied against injustice, the Till case proved to be the first spark for the American Civil Rights Movement.

Black and white image of Emmett Till and his mother, Mamie

STANLEY NELSON is a 2002 MacArthur "genius" Fellow and a documentary filmmaker known for using compelling narratives to bring important but forgotten history to the small screen. The Murder of Emmett Till garnered an Emmy for Best Nonfiction Direction, an Emmy nomination for writing and the Special Jury Prize at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind (2001) was named best production of the year by the Black Filmmakers' Hall of Fame and the Black International Cinema Festival in Berlin. His 1999 film The Black Press: Soldiers without Swords won a duPont-Columbia Silver Baton, the Freedom of Expression Award at the Sundance Film Festival, an Emmy nomination and Best Documentary honors at the San Francisco Film Festival. The recently aired Running: The Campaign for City Council, on the 2001 local elections in New York City, won the Henry Hampton Award for excellence from the Council on Foundations. Two Dollars and a Dream: The Story of Madame C. J. Walker and A'lelia Walker was named Best Film of the Decade by the Black Filmmaker Foundation.



The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow
Series Producers: Bill Jersey, Sam Pollard, Richard Wormser
Directors/Writers: Bill Jersey, Richard Wormser
Editors: Aaron Butler, Garrett Levin, Tom Hanake, Max Salomon, Pierre Valette, Allison Eve Zell
Director of Photography: Brian Dowley
Composer: Christopher Rife
California Newsreel, PBS, Thirteen WNET New York

A landmark four-part PBS series, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow explores segregation from the end of the Civil War to the dawn of the modern Civil Rights Movement. It was a brutal and oppressive era in American history, but during this time, large numbers of African Americans and a corps of influential black leaders bravely fought against the status quo, acquiring for African-Americans the opportunities of education, business, land ownership and a true spirit of community.

Black and white image from a window of a city street with a flag hanging off a building reading "A Man Was Lynched Yesterday"

RICHARD WORMSER has written, produced and directed over 100 programs for television, educational institutions and government. His programs have received over 25 awards. He is presently the originator, series producer, co-director/writer of a four-part television series, The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow, which has received national acclaim and has won numerous awards including the prestigious Peabody Award for excellence in television programming and three national Emmy nominations. Several reviewers picked the series as one of the ten best television programs of 2002. The series was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Since its creation over 40 years ago by director and producer BILL JERSEY, Quest Productions has been a leading producer of documentary films for PBS, cable and network television. Quest's commitment to excellence has earned it many awards, including the coveted George Foster Peabody Award, two duPont-Columbia Silver Batons, as well as two Academy Award nominations, an Emmy Award and numerous Emmy nominations. Today, Quest's award-winning team continues a tradition of excellence, bringing groundbreaking and skillfully crafted documentaries to a national audience.

SAM POLLARD's feature film and documentary accomplishments span almost 30 years. He was one of the producers for Henry Hampton's Blackside production series Eyes On The Prize II: America at the Racial Crosswords, and he received an Emmy Award for one of the episodes. He later served as co-executive producer/producer on Hampton's last documentary series I'll Make Me A World: Stories of African-American Artists and Community, for which Pollard received a George Peabody Award. Between 1990 and 2000, Pollard edited a number of Spike Lee's feature films and co-produced with Lee the following documentaries: Spike Lee Presents Mike Tyson, a biographical sketch for HBO for which Pollard received an Emmy; Four Little Girls, about the 1965 Birmingham church bombings, which was nominated for an Academy Award; and Jim Brown All-American, a two-hour profile of the acclaimed football player, actor and activist. 



Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story
Director/Writer/Editor: Jordan Mechner
Producers: Jordan Mechner, Don Normark, Andrew B. Andersen, Mark Moran
Executive Producer: Tomi Pierce
Still Photographer: Don Normark
Cinematographer: Andrew B. Andersen
Composers: Ry Cooder and Lalo Guerrero

Narrated by Cheech Marin and scored by Ry Cooder and Lalo Guerrero, Chavez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story tells the bittersweet story of how an American community was betrayed by greed, political hypocrisy and good intentions gone astray. In 1952, the City of Los Angeles razed the Mexican-American neighborhoods of Chavez Ravine to build Dodger Stadium. Fifty years later, Don Normark's haunting black-and-white photographs reclaim and celebrate a lost village from a simpler time.

Black and white image of a man, back to us, walking up a dirt path towards a house

JORDAN MECHNER is the famed computer game designer of Karateka, Prince of Persia, and the Last Express. He also directed the award-winning short documentary Waiting for Dark, about the nightlife in Cuba.

DON NORMARK photographed in Chavez Ravine in 1949 when he was 20 years old.  Those photos were shown at the Los Angeles County Museum in 1950, then lay dormant for 50 years. Normark went on to combine the careers of photo illustrator and documentary artist. His book Chavez Ravine 1949, a Los Angeles Story, published by Chronicle Books in 1999, is in its third printing. Through these latest years of work, Normark says he has been gifted with whole new communities of friends from the grand diversity of a Los Angeles that cares about its past. Prints of his work are available through Peter Fetterman Gallery, Santa Monica. 



BOM-EE-O-MYUN (Waiting for Spring)
Producer/Director: Sue-Yeon Jung
Associate Producer: Jeansang Lee
Cinematographers: Rikei Kubo, San Shim, Sue-Yeon Jung
Editors: Maura Ugarte, Sue-Yeon Jung
Composers: Young Gyu Jang, Joon Suk Bang

Columbia College Chicago

Waiting for Spring  is a portrait of the lives of two elderly Korean sisters living on either side of the Pacific Ocean-one in Kyounggi Province in South Korea, the other in Los Angeles, California.. They live alone, have few people to talk to, and they both turn to past memories for comfort They both know that they do not have much time left, and that it will be difficult to meet again. Yet neither gives up the hope.

Black and white image of an older Asian woman sitting on the floor of a home

SUE-YEON JUNG began her career in film in Seoul, South Korea, in 1997, writing and directing a short film, Stop It, which won Best Picture honors at Pusan Short Film Festival in South Korea. After enrolling in the MFA program at Columbia College Chicago in 1999, her focus shifted towards documentary filmmaking. Her recent documentary, Driving through the Surface, was screened at several film festivals in the US, including San Diego Asian Film Festival and Chicago Asian American Showcase. Waiting for Spring is her MFA thesis film. It was honored with both the Best Film Award and the Audience Award at The Big Screen, the Columbia College Chicago student film festival.