As IDA commemorates 40 years in the documentary space, we’ve witnessed a tsunami of change around us, from the art to the business, to the transformation of the community to a front-and-center manifestation of what democracy truly looks like. And we’ve done our best to morph accordingly—and hopefully by riding the tsunami, rather than by chasing it. Looking back, we spotlight two of our most cherished programs. The IDA Documentary Awards has, for most of our history, honored the game-changers of the form, while expanding our swath of categories to accommodate the many manifestations this form has taken. The IDA funding program is noting a little anniversary of its own. Well, two. In 2011, we started providing grants, courtesy of our Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund, and in 2017, we launched the Enterprise Documentary Fund. The biggest sea change over the past four decades has been the evolution of the gear and how it has facilitated the practice, access and cost. We asked our members to dig into their archives for images of their younger selves with their vintage cameras. And in looking ahead, we tapped into some of the best minds of our generation to deliver a collection of provocative essays about the form and our community—where we are now and where we’re headed.
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