IDA Documentary Awards Winners!

The IDA documentary awards took place in a virtual ceremony on 16th January 2021.  All the categories were filled with incredible nominees... and all the nominees are well worth your time. While one documentary feature, short or series had to "win", there are certainly no losers here.


Crip Camp won the prize for best documentary feature. Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht's powerful film also won the ABC News VideoSource award. Meanwhile, Garrett Bradley won the best director award for her stunning documentary, Time.


In the equally competitive field of best documentary short, John Was Trying To Contact Aliens won the top prize. 


Dick Johnson Is Dead scooped up two awards - for best writing (Nels Bangerter and Kirsten Johnson) and best editing (Nels Bangerter).


Meawhile, My Octopus Teacher won both the Pare Lorentz award and the award for best music score. Viacheslav Tsvietkov won the best cinematography award for his work on The Earth Is Blue as an Orange.


The best episodic series award went to Last Chance U and Atlanta's Missing and Murdered won the award for best multi-part documentary.


As the evening went on, a trend began to emerge. Many of the winners (including Crip Camp, Dick Johnson Is Dead, John Was Trying To Contact Aliens, My Octopus Teacher and Last Chance U) are Netflix films - highlighting the streaming service's continued support and investment in documentary film. 


Here is a full list of IDA awards winners and nominees...


IDA Documentary Awards - Winners and Nominees

Best Feature Nominees


WINNER: Crip Camp (USA / Netflix. Directors/Producers: Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht. Producer: Sara Bolder)


Collective (Romania / Magnolia Pictures, Participant. Director/Producer: Alexander Nanau. Producer: Bianca Oana)


Gunda (Norway, USA / NEON. Director: Victor Kossakovsky. Producer: Anita Rehoff Larsen)


MLK/FBI (USA / IFC Films. Director: Sam Pollard. Producer: Benjamin Hedin)


The Reason I Jump (USA, UK / Kino Lorber. Director: Jerry Rothwell. Producers: Jeremy Dear, Stevie Lee, Al Morrow)


Reunited (Denmark. Director: Mira Jargil. Producer: Kirstine Barfod)


Softie (Kenya / POV. Director/Producer: Sam Soko. Producer: Toni Kamau)


Time (USA / Amazon Studios, Concordia Studio, The New York Times. Director/Producer: Garrett Bradley. Producers: Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn) 


The Truffle Hunters (USA, Italy, Greece / Sony Pictures Classics. Directors/Producers: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw)


Welcome to Chechnya (USA / HBO. Director/Producer: David France. Producers: Alice Henty, Joy A. Tomchin, and Askold Kurov)


Best Director Nominees


WINNER: Garrett Bradley (Time, USA / Amazon Studios, Concordia Studio, The New York Times)


Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw (The Truffle Hunters, USA, Italy, Greece / Sony Pictures Classics)


Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht (Crip Camp, USA / Netflix)


Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI, USA / IFC Films)


Jerry Rothwell (The Reason I Jump, USA, UK / Kino Lorber)


Best Short Nominees


WINNER: John Was Trying to Contact Aliens (USA / Netflix. Director/Producer: Matthew Killip)


Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa (USA / TOPIC, Woman Make Movies. Directors/Producers: Barbara Attie, Mike Attie, Janet Goldwater)


All That Perishes at the Edge of Land (Pakistan. Director/Producer: Hira Nabi. Producer: Till Passow)


Huntsville Station (USA / New York Times Op-Docs. Directors/Producers: Jamie Meltzer, Chris Filippone)


Hysterical Girl (USA / New York Times Op-Docs. Director: Kate Novack. Producer: Andrew Rossi)


The Lost Astronaut (USA / New York Times Op-Docs. Director: Ben Proudfoot. Producers: Abby Lynn Kang Davis, Gabriel Berk Godoi)


Mizuko (USA, Japan / TOPIC. Directors/Producers: Kira Dane, Katelyn Rebelo)


sống ở đây (USA / University of California, Santa Cruz. Director/Producer: Melanie Ho)


To Calm the Pig Inside (Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos) (Philippines. Director/Producer: Joanna Vasquez Arong) 


Unforgivable (El Salvador. Director/Producer: Marlén Viñayo. Producer: Carlos Martínez)


Best Curated Series Nominees


WINNER: American Experience (USA / PBS. Executive Producers: Susan Bellows and Mark Samels)


30 for 30 (USA / ESPN. Executive Producers: John Dahl, Libby Geist, Rob King, Erin Leyden, Connor Schell)


American Masters (USA / THIRTEEN Productions, LLC. Executive Producer: Michael Kantor.)


Reel Midwest (USA / Illinois Public Media. Executive Producer: Moss Bresnahan)


Reel South (USA / PBS, World Channel. Executive Producers: Don Godish and Rachel Raney)


Best Episodic Series Nominees


WINNER: Last Chance U (USA / Netflix. Director and Executive Producer: Greg Whiteley. Executive Producers: Joe LaBracio, James D. Stern, Lucas Smith, Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard)


Cheer (USA / Netflix. Director and Executive Producer: Greg Whiteley. Producers: Adam Leibowitz, Arielle Kilker, Chelsea Yarnell. Executive Producers: Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard, Jasper Thomlinson, Bert Hamelinck)


Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America (USA / AMC. Executive Producers: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Shawn Gee, Alex Gibney, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello, Shea Serrano, Angie Day, One9, Erik Parker, Isaac Bolden)


Seven Worlds, One Planet (United Kingdom / BBC America. Directors: Fredi Devas, Emma Napper, Giles Badger, Chadden Hunter. Executive Producer: Jonny Keeling)


We’re Here (USA / HBO. Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Stephen Warren, Johnnie Ingram, Peter LoGreco)


Best Multi-Part Documentary Nominees


WINNER: Atlanta's Missing and Murdered (USA / HBO. Directors and Executive Producers: Sam Pollard, Maro Chermayeff, Joshua Bennett, Jeff Dupre. Executive Producers: John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorious, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller)


Asian Americans (USA / PBS. Directors: Leo Chiang, Geeta Gandbhir, Grace Lee. Producers: Renee Tajima-Peña, Mark Jonathan Harris. Executive Producers: Jeff Bieber, Sally Jo Fifer, Stephen Gong, Jean Tsien, Donald Young)


City So Real (USA / National Geographic. Director and Producer: Steve James. Producer: Zak Piper. Executive Producers: Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Alex Kotlowitz, Gordon Quinn, Betsy Steinberg, Jolene Pinder)


Hillary (USA / Hulu. Director: Nanette Burstein. Producers: Isabel San Vargas, Timothy Moran, Chi-Young Park, Tal Ben-David. Executive Producers: Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, Nanette Burstein, Sierra Kos, Laurie Girion)


Lenox Hill (USA / Netflix. Directors and Executive Producers: Adi Barash and Ruthie Shatz. Executive Producer: Josh Braun)


Best Short Form Series Nominees


WINNER: POV Shorts (USA / PBS. Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White)


Almost Famous (USA / New York Times Op-Docs. Producers: Abby Lynn Kang Davis, Gabriel Berk Godoi and Jeremy Lambert. Executive Producer: Adam Ellick. Director: Ben Proudfoot)


Guardian Documentaries (United Kingdom, Iran / The Guardian. Producers: Shanida Scotland, Natasha Dack Ojumu and Nikki Parrott. Executive Producers: Charlie Phillips. Lindsay Poulton, Jess Gormley. Directors: Irene Baque, Laurence Topham,  Sara Khaki, Mohammad Reza Eyni, Rebecca Lloyd-Evans, Laura Dodsworth, Dan McDougall)


Last Call For The Bayou: 5 Stories from Louisiana's Disappearing Delta (USA / Smithsonian Channel Plus. Producer: Nadia Gill. Executive Producer: Gina Hutchinson. Director: Dominic Gill)



Run This City (USA / Quibi. Director: Brent Hodge. Producer: Prince Vaughn. Executive Producers: Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Archie Gips, Brent Hodge)


Best Audio Documentary Nominees


WINNER: Somebody (USA / iHeartRadio. Reporters and Producers: Alison Flowers, Bill Healy. Reporters: Sam Stecklow, Ellen Glover, Annie Nguyen, Kahari Blackburn, Rajiv Sinclair, Henri Adams, Matilda Vojak, Dana Brozost-Kelleher, Frances McDonald, Diana Akmajian, Andrew Fan and Maddie Anderson. Producers: Shapearl Wells, Sarah Geis. Executive Producers: Jamie Kalven, Maria Zuckerman, Christy Gressman, Leital Molad)


Crosses in the Desert / Cruces en el desierto (Chile, USA  / Las Raras Podcast. Reporter: Dennis Maxwell. Producers: Catalina May, Martín Cruz. Executive Producer: Martina Castro)  


Fiasco: Bush v. Gore (USA / Luminary. Producers: Leon Neyfakh, Andrew Parsons)


Girl Taken (United Kingdom / British Broadcasting Corporation. Reporter: Sue Mitchell. Producer: Richard Hannaford. Executive Producer: Philip Sellars) 


Heavyweight - The Marshes (USA / Gimlet Media. Reporter, Producer and Executive Producer: Jonathan Goldstein. Reporter and Producer: Kalila Holt. Producers: Stevie Lane, Jorge Just, BA Parker, Bobby Lord)


Best Music Documentary Nominees


WINNER: Universe (USA. Directors: Sam Osborn and Nicholas Capezzera. Producers: Esther Dere and Leah Natasha Thomas)


Beastie Boys Story (USA / Apple TV+. Director/Producer: Spike Jonze. Producers: Jason Baum and Amanda Adelson)


Billie (United Kingdom / Greenwich Entertainment. Director: James Erskine)


Crock of Gold (USA / Magnolia Pictures. Director/Producer: Julien Temple. Producers: Johnny Depp, Stephen Deuters, Stephen Malit)


Los Hermanos / The Brothers (USA / PatchWorks Films, PBS. Directors/Producers: Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider)


David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award Nominees


WINNER: People Like Me (USA / University of California Santa Cruz. Director/Producer: Marrok Sedgwick)


Bananas (United Kingdom / National Film and Television School. Director/Producer: Sara Montoya Sepúlveda)


Isle of Us (United Kingdom / National Film and Television School. Director: Laura Wadha)


Na Luta Delas (Brazil / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Directors/Producers: Orion Rose Kelly and Pedro Cota)


Susana (USA / Stanford University. Director: Laura Gamse. Producer: James Davis)


Trees (United Kingdom / National Film and Television School. Director: Rosie Morris. Producer: Jesse Romain)


Best Cinematography Award Nominees


WINNER: The Earth is Blue as an Orange (Ukraine, Lithuania. Cinematographer: Viacheslav Tsvietkov)


Acasă, My Home (Romania, Germany, Finland / Manifest Film, HBO Europe. Cinematographers: Radu Ciorniciuc and Mircea Topoleanu)


Boys State (USA / Apple, A24. Director of Photography: Thorsten Thielow)


The Truffle Hunters (USA, Italy, Greece / Sony Pictures Classics. Cinematographers: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw)


Time (USA / Amazon Studios, Concordia Studio, The New York Times. Cinematographers: Zac Manuel, Justin Zweifach, Nisa East) 


Best Editing Award Nominees


WINNER: Dick Johnson is Dead (USA / Netflix. Editor: Nels Bangerter)


Boys State (USA / Apple, A24. Editor: Jeff Gilbert)


Crip Camp (USA / Netflix. Editors: Eileen Meyer and Andrew Gersh)


Disclosure (USA / Netflix. Editor: Stacy Goldate)


Through the Night (USA / ITVS, POV. Editor: Malika Zouhali-Worrall)


Best Writing Award Nominees


WINNER: Dick Johnson is Dead (USA / Netflix. Writers: Nels Bangerter and Kirsten Johnson)


Crip Camp (USA / Netflix. Writers: Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht)


I Am Not Alone (USA / Netflix. Writer: Garin Hovannisian)


My Octopus Teacher (USA / Netflix. Writers: Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed)


Socks on Fire (USA. Writers: Max Allman, Bo McGuire)


Best Music Score Award Nominees


WINNER: My Octopus Teacher (USA / Netflix. Composer: Kevin Smuts)


Dancing with the Birds (USA / Netflix. Composer: David Mitcham)


David Attenborough: Life On Our Planet (USA, United Kingdom / Netflix. Composer: Steven Price)


Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice (USA / Netflix. Composer: Chapavich Temnitikul)


Rising Phoenix (USA / Netflix. Composer: Daniel Pemberton)


ABC News VideoSource Award Nominees


WINNER: Crip Camp (USA / Netflix. Directors/Producers: Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht. Producer: Sara Bolder)


#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump (USA / Dark Star. Director/Producer: Dan Partland. Producer: Art Horan)


Bully. Coward. Victim.: The Story of Roy Cohn (USA / HBO. Director: Ivy Meeropol. Producers: Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn)


Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America's Elections (USA / HBO. Director: Sarah Teale. Directors/Producers: Simon Ardizzone and Russell Michaels. Producers: Michael Hirschorn and Jessica Antonini)


MLK/FBI (USA / IFC Films. Director: Sam Pollard. Producer: Benjamin Hedin)


The First Rainbow Coalition (USA / Independent Lens, PBS, Latino Public Broadcasting, ITVS. Director/Producer: Ray Santisteban)


Pare Lorentz Award Winner


WINNER: My Octopus Teacher (USA / Netflix. Director: Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed. Producer: Craig Foster)


HONORABLE MENTION: Crip Camp (USA / Netflix. Directors/Producers: Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht. Producer: Sara Bolder)


Honorary Awards Recipients


Amicus Award: Regina K. Scully


Career Achievement Award: Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI)


Courage Under Fire Award: David France, David Isteev, and Olga Baranova (Welcome to Chechnya)


Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award: Garrett Bradley (Time)


Pioneer Award: Firelight Media


Truth to Power Award: Maria Ressa and Rappler (A Thousand Cuts)

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Jane Douglas-Jones
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