IDA Announces Its Documentary Awards Nominees!

The International Documentary Association (IDA) has announced the nominees for its 36th Annual IDA Documentary Awards. 


Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht’s Netflix doc, Crip Camp, netted the most nominations (with four) closely followed by Time, which is nominated in three categories. Time’s director, Garrett Bradley, has already won the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award.


Meanwhile, The Truffle Hunters and MLK/FBI received three nominations each. Dick Johnson Is Dead, Boys State, My Octopus Teacher and The Reason I Jump have two noms. My Octopus Teacher has also already won the Pare Lorentz Award (Crip Camp was the IDA’s honourable mention).


Welcome To Chechnya also received two IDA nods - including winning the Courage Under Fire Award (for David France, David Isteev and Olga Baranova). Interestingly, Alexander Nanau’s Collective - one of the most powerful documentaries of the year - only secured one IDA nomination - for best feature. 


“The nominees present an inspiring and urgent range of stories from around the globe," says Simon Kilmurry, executive director of the IDA. “The broad range of subjects and approaches to storytelling underscores that documentary is our most exciting form of cultural expression, a vital art form and a crucial element of democratic dialogue.”


The awards will take place in a virtual ceremony on 16 January, 2021 and IDA members will have the opportunity to vote online for the ten Best Feature and Best Short nominees from 7th December, 2020 until 8th January 2021. 


IDA received 1056 submissions this year including 365 documentary features, 153 documentary shorts, 153 documentary series, 52 student films, 39 music documentaries and 33 audio documentaries and podcasts. The nominees were selected by independent committees of 191 documentary makers, curators, critics, and industry experts from 25 countries. 


2020 IDA Documentary Awards - Nominees

Best Feature Nominees


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


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


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


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


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)


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


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


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


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


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


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)


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


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


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)


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)


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


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)


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


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


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)


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)


Best Music Documentary Nominees


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)


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


David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award Nominees


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)


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


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


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


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


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


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


Disclosure (USA / Netflix. Editor: Stacy Goldate)


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


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


Best Writing Award Nominees


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


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


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


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)


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


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


ABC News VideoSource Award Nominees


#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)


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


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
Jane Douglas-Jones



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