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IDA Award Nominations

IDA Documentary Awards Reveals Nominations for It's First Virtual Ceremony; Four Pics Vie For Both Best Feature & Director

By Erik Pederson

November 24, 2020 8:00 AM

The International Documentary Association has announced the nominees for its 36th Annual IDA Documentary Awards, and a certain streaming service dominates. Netflix scored a leading 18 noms for the 2020 IDAs, more than three times its nearest rival.

The New York Times garnened seven noms, including four for its Op-Docs, to run second. PBS is third with five, followed by HBO’s four.

The IDA also said today that its 2020 ceremony is going virtual on January 21.

“The nominees present an inspiring and urgent range of stories from around the globe,” said 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.”

Ten films are up for the marquee Best Feature award: Collective (Magnolia Pictures, Participant), Crip Camp (Netflix), Gunda (Neon), MLK/FBI (IFC Films), The Reason I Jump (Kino Lorber), Reunited, Softie, Time (Amazon Studios, Concordia Studio, The New York Times), The Truffle Hunters (Sony Pictures Classics) and Welcome to Chechnya (HBO).

The helmers of five of those films also are up for Best Director: Garrett Bradley (Time), Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw (The Truffle Hunters), Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht (Crip Camp), Sam Pollard (MLK/FBI) and Jerry Rothwell (The Reason I Jump).

On the TV side, five programs will vie for Best Curated Series): ESPN’s 30 for 30, PBS’ American Experience, Thirteen Productions’ American Masters, Illinois Public Media’s Reel Midwest and PBS/World Channel’s Reel South.

The nominees for Best Episodic Series are Cheer (Netflix), Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America (AMC), Last Chance U (Netflix), Seven Worlds, One Planet (BBC America) and We’re Here (HBO).

Up for Best Multi-Part Documentary are Asian Americans (PBS), Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered (HBO), City So Real (National Geographic), Hillary (Hulu) and Lenox Hill (Netflix).

“This is a year that has been one of reflection, looking inwards, and living life differently than we have always known it to be,” said James Costa, co-chair of the Feature Documentary Nominating Committee and IDA Board of Directors’ co-vice president. “Through the art of filmmaking these films gave us an opportunity to truly look and learn through the lenses of others.”

Here is the full list of nominees for the 2020 IDA Documentary Awards:

Best Feature

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

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

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

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

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

Seven Worlds, One Planet (UK / 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, Erin Gamble

Best Multi-Part Documentary

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/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/ 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/Executive Producers: Adi Barash and Ruthie Shatz. Executive Producer: Josh Braun

Best Short Form Series

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 (UK, 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) Producer: Opal H. Bennett 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

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 (UK / 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

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

Billie (UK / 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

Bananas (UK / National Film and Television School) Director/Producer: Sara Montoya Sepúlveda

Isle of Us (UK / 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 (UK / National Film and Television School) Director: Rosie Morris Producer: Jesse Romain

Best Cinematography

Acasă, My Home (Romania, Germany, Finland / Zeitgeist Films and Kino Lorber, 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

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

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

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

David Attenborough: Life On Our Planet (USA, UK / 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

#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 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

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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