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The International Documentary Association Nominations For the IDA Documentary Awards Help Winnow a Burgeoning Oscar Field

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 29, 2013 at 12:55PM

The International Documentary Association nominations for the 2013 IDA Documentary Awards have landed.
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"The Act of Killing"
"The Act of Killing"

The International Documentary Association (IDA) nominations for the 2013 IDA Documentary Awards have landed. The IDA will honor Oscar and Emmy-winner Alex Gibney with its Career Achievement Award; he has two films in the feature Oscar hunt this year, "We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks" and "The Armstrong Lie." Geralyn Dreyfous, producer and Impact Partners Film Fund co-founder, will receive the IDA Amicus Award, and filmmaker Laura Poitras will receive IDA’s Courage Under Fire Award, in recognition of “conspicuous bravery in the pursuit of truth.”

Alex Gibney.
Alex Gibney.

Five films nominated in IDA’s Feature category continue to lead the documentary field heading into a competitive Oscar season: 

  • Joshua Oppenheimer’s international festival hit "The Act of Killing" challenged audiences with its surreal renactment by the perpetrators of the 1965 Indonesian genocide. 
  • Gabriela Cowperthwaite's searing CNN documentary"Blackfish" exposes the impact on orcas and their human trainers from being kept in captivity. 
  • Jason Osder’s "Let the Fire Burn" explores the 1985 standoff between the activist group MOVE and the Philadelphia Police Department via news footage and archival interviews with witnesses and participants.
  • Jehane Noujaim’s "The Square" examines the stories behind the breaking news in the struggle of Egyptians fighting to create a democratic society out of the ashes of dictatorship. 
  • Sarah Polley’s memoir "Stories We Tell" looks at how families create and remember their stories.

Winners in the Best Feature and Best Short categories are selected by IDA’s international membership. Screening committees of industry professionals based in New York City, Washington, DC, the San Francisco Bay Area and LA determine other award categories. “With over 400 submissions from around the world, this year’s Awards represent a thriving global documentary community,” said IDA Executive Director Michael Lumpkin. “Collectively these incredible stories expand our understanding of our shared human experience and foster an informed, compassionate and connected world.”

The IDA also named the Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Artist and Pare Lorentz awards as well as its Creative Recognition Awards (below). The 29th edition of the influential awards for nonfiction filmmaking will take place on Friday, December 6th at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles.

The full awards list is below. 

This article is related to: Documentary, Documentaries, International Documentary Association , Awards, Awards


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.