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February 1, 2023

IDA Announced the Recipients of 2022 Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund

International Documentary Association (IDA) announced the recipients of the 2022 Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund.

Three projects were selected out of 19 applicants to receive a total of $75,000 in production and post-production grants, and two projects were given special mentions. 

Made possible by the New York Community Trust, the Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund supports feature-length documentary films that reflect the spirit and nature of Pare Lorentz's work, exhibiting objective research, artful storytelling, strong visual style, high production values, artistic writing, and outstanding music composition, as well as skillful direction, camerawork, and editing. Learn more at

Keisha Knight, IDA’s Director of Funds, said, "This year, we tried to consider broadly what Pare Lorentz's legacy is for the 21st century.  In a time when it is increasingly more difficult to maintain independent media practices, we asked ourselves what it means to center filmmakers who are thinking in innovative ways about non-fiction filmmaking, be it formal/positional innovation, collective filmmaking practices, or productions that prioritize care."  

This year’s selection panel included Anuradha Rana (filmmaker and Associate Professor and Co-Chair of the Documentary Program at DePaul University’s School), Inti Cordera (filmmaker and founder of DocsMX festival and LA MAROMA production company), and Dr. Kameelah Mu'Min Rashad (Executive Producer, SUBJECT; Member, Documentary Accountability Working Group (DAWG)).

In a statement, the panel noted: “Our present moment reveals to us the persistent challenges as well as incredible opportunities to reimagine the world, AS IT COULD BE. The creative power necessary to propel us forward may be ignited by those whose lived experiences are often pushed to the margins. These projects center the complicated and nuanced narratives of the human spirit. The contemporary relevance is undeniable, and the connection to contemporary issues make these films urgent, necessary, and inspirational.” 

This year’s Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund nominees are selected by IDA and three partner organizations representing different regions and constituencies in the documentary field. 2022 nomination partners were Working Films, The Chicago Media Coalition, and ADocPR.

2022 IDA Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund Recipients

(In alphabetical order by project title)

Directors: Silvia Del Carmen Castaños, Estefanía "Beba" Contreras| Producers: Jillian Schlesinger, Miguel Drake-McLaughlin, Leslie Benavides, Ana Rodriguez-Falco, Diane Ng | Country:  USA
Logline: In this late-night summer self-portrait, Silvia Castaños and Estefanía Contreras make magic of everyday moments coming of age on the Texas-Mexico border.
Note: This film will have its world premiere at the 2023 Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale)

Standing Above the Clouds
Directors: Jalena Keane-Lee | Producers: Jalena Keane-Lee, Amber Espinosa-Jones, Erin Lau | Country:  USA
Logline: Three Native Hawaiian families dedicate their lives to defending their sacred mountain Mauna Kea from the building of the world’s largest telescope. Through the lens of mothers and daughters, Standing Above the Clouds explores sisterhood and the social and emotional labor of retaining ancient ceremonies in a rapidly modernizing world.

What These Walls Won't Hold
Director: Adamu Chan | Producer: Christian Lee Collins | Executive Producer: Pete Nicks | Country:  USA
Logline: Set against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic at San Quentin State Prison, What These Walls Won’t Hold chronicles the organizing and relationships of people who came together beyond the separations created by incarceration, to respond to this crisis. Filmmaker Adamu Chan, who was incarcerated at San Quentin during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020, documents his path through incarceration and beyond.

2022 IDA Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund Special Mentions

(In alphabetical order by project title)

Little Sallie Walker
Director, Producer, Writer: Marta Effinger-Crichlow
Logline: As Black women from across the generations make their way through a less than idyllic America, they contemplate how the childhood play that once served as their lifeline might be magical enough to liberate and heal them now.

To Use a Mountain
Director: Casey Carter | Producer: Colleen Cassingham | Country:  USA
Logline: Seconds of exposure, generations of debate, the history of nations, and epochs of geologic change - all overlap in the landscapes that define the American nuclear legacy and the quest to isolate 77,000 tons of nuclear waste for 10,000 years. TO USE A MOUNTAIN presents vignettes of ruin and salvation in six candidate communities for the nation's nuclear dumping ground.

About International Documentary Association

Mission: To support the vital work of documentary storytellers and champion a thriving and inclusive documentary culture.

Vision: IDA is dedicated to the vision of a world where documentary creators flourish. Through our work, we connect audiences with the best of the form, provide resources, create community, and defend the rights and freedoms of documentary artists, activists, and journalists around the globe. We do this work because we believe that documentaries enrich and deepen our culture, fostering a more informed and connected world. 

Twitter: @IDAorg
Instagram: @IDAorg