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August 10, 2022

IDA Announces Keynote Speakers for Getting Real ‘22 conference

Los Angeles, CA (Tuesday, August 9, 2022) – The International Documentary Association (IDA) announced today that the Getting Real ‘22, its biennial convening for documentary practitioners, will be held both in-person in Los Angeles and with a virtual audience from all around the world next month from September 27-29.

The Getting Real ‘22 conference keynote speakers are Erika Dilday, Anand Patwardhan, and Nanfu Wang. National Geographic's Carolyn Bernstein, the executive VP of scripted and feature documentaries, will also join the conference for an intimate fireside conversation. The complete Getting Real ‘22 conference program will be announced on Tuesday, August 16.

More information about the Getting Real ‘22 conference, which IndieWire has called the documentary film industry’s “premiere field-building gathering,” including how to register, is available at

The Getting Real '22 conference will approach documentary's foundational quandaries from a new thematic perspective: Flipping the Frame. Traditional power dynamics — between funder and filmmaker, documentarian and subject, distributor and exhibitor — will be subverted, as the field seeks visionary solutions to age-old problems of documentary creation and circulation. 

“We are thrilled to have three documentary luminaries as Getting Real keynote speakers to help us flip the frame on the foundational quandaries of documentary film. They truly understand the urgency and complexity of crafting a film out of reality.” said Abby Sun, IDA’s Director of Artist Programs and Getting Real lead programmer.

Anand Patwardhan, often described as India’s ‘leading’ and ‘most daring’ documentary filmmaker, has been producing works of immense compassion and outrage for decades, and fighting just as hard for their right to be seen. Nanfu Wang’s award-winning films are marked by her distinctive voice, which she brilliantly utilizes to illuminate sensitive issues through incredibly intimate character studies. And Erika Dilday’s leadership traversing community programming, production, and public media make her a singular figure in understanding the ways that ideas, films, and audiences can be platformed.

Getting Real ‘22 conference also welcomes National Geographic’s Carolyn Bernstein to the conference for an intimate talk tracing her nontraditional path to documentary and her eagle-eyed take on the future of prestige documentary.

Support for Getting Real ‘22 comes from presenting sponsor, National Geographic Documentary Films, along with additional support from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, ITVS, Participant, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

How to Attend

The first two days of the conference, September 27 and 28, will be held virtually with options for attendees to gather at Community Hubs. The final day, September 29, will be held in-person at Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles with all events livestreamed and available for virtual attendance.

Early Bird registration is now open with a 20% discount on Virtually Together, and All Access passes lasting until Monday, August 15. The complete conference program will be announced on Tuesday, August 16.

New This Year: Community Hubs

The Getting Real Community Hubs across Los Angeles and in cities around the world will encourage new connections across different documentary communities, especially after two years of isolation. Each of these spaces/hosts will be vetted by the Getting Real team and will offer basic amenities (wi-fi, coffee, water, bathrooms). Using information gathered from the registration form, each registrant will be hand-assigned to their hub, where they will be able to gather to watch Getting Real programming communally. At each space, we will aim to create an intergenerational cadre of people with distinct experiences but simpatico aesthetic and political interests.

What You’ll Find at Getting Real ‘22

  • 3 days (September 27-29), between 9am-9pm PT
  • At least 7 panels and presentations per day, with a total of 36 program options across the conference
  • Private, IDA-facilitated breakout sessions for affinity groups in the documentary community
  • Masterclasses, in which some of the greatest filmmakers of our times share insights on their films and careers
  • 1 keynote speech every day from a leading figure in the documentary field
  • At night, there will be screening opportunities for all (in-person and virtual) attendees and offline party options for attendees in Los Angeles

Speaker Bios

Erika Dilday
Photograph of Erika Dilday, a young Black woman smiling wearing hoop earrings.Erika Dilday, a producer, journalist and media executive, is the executive director of American Documentary Inc. and executive producer of its award-winning documentary series POV on PBS and America ReFramed on WORLD Channel. Most recently, she was the CEO of Futuro Media Group, a multimedia organization that gives a critical voice to the diversity of the American experience through award-winning journalistic content for and about BIPOC. Prior to Futuro Media, she was the Executive Director of Maysles Documentary Center where she oversaw community cinema, filmmaking programs and produced the acclaimed documentary, In Transit.  Erika also held strategic planning and financial management roles at The New York Times, National Geographic Television and CBS. She is a graduate of Harvard College, the Columbia School of Journalism and Columbia Business School.

In 2020 she was a Knight Nieman fellow at Harvard University where she authored a piece for the Nieman Reports on authentic journalism in communities of color.  Erika is a 2016 recipient of the Columbia Journalism School Alumni Award and a 2017 National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Fellow. Her latest film projects include Civil War with Rachel Boynton and Meanwhile with Catherine Gund.



Anand Patwardhan
Photograph of Anand Patwardhan, a man with medium length silver hair, wearing glasses and holding a microphone.Anand Patwardhan has been making political documentaries for over four decades pursuing diverse and controversial issues that are at the crux of social and political life in India. Many of his films were at one time or another banned by state television channels in India and became the subject of litigation by Patwardhan, who successfully challenged the censorship rulings in court. He has been an activist ever since he was a student — having participated in the anti-Vietnam War movement; being a volunteer in Caesar Chavez’s United Farm Worker’s Union; working in Kishore Bharati, a rural development and education project in central India; and participating in the Bihar anti-corruption movement in 1974-75 and in the civil liberties and democratic rights movement during and after the 1975-77 Emergency. Since then he has been active in movements for housing rights of the urban poor, for communal harmony and participated in movements against unjust, unsustainable development, militarism and nuclear nationalism. Today, Patwardhan continues to face the wrath of an increasingly authoritarian state as well as that of self-appointed guardians of religion. He describes himself as a "non serious human being forced by circumstances to make serious films." 


Nanfu Wang
Photograph of Nanfu Wang, an Asian woman with black hair, wearing a colorful shirt and earrings, smiling.Nanfu Wang is an award-winning Chinese filmmaker based in the U.S. Wang directed and produced the feature documentaries Hooligan Sparrow (Sundance 2016), I Am Another You (SXSW 2017, Special Jury Prize winner), One Child Nation (Sundance 2019, Grand Jury Prize Winner, Amazon), and In the Same Breath (Sundance 2021, HBO). Wang's films have been shortlisted for three Oscars, received four Emmy nominations, one DGA nomination, two Independent Spirits Awards nominations, and two PGA nominations among other awards. Most recently, Wang directed and executive produced Mind Over Murder, a six-episode documentary series for HBO.

Originally from a remote village in China, Wang overcame poverty and a lack of access to formal education to earn master’s degrees from Shanghai University, Ohio University, and New York University. As a filmmaker, Wang creates intimate character studies that examine the impact of authoritarian governance, corruption, and lack of accountability on the lives of individuals and the well-being of communities. With the rigor of an investigative journalist and immersive, emotionally powerful storytelling, Wang interrogates notions of responsibility, freedom, and truth.