Hailing from Scotland, Simon knew as a kid he wanted to move to New York and at age 21 he did. Working at a non-profit arts agency, he soon moved in 1999
to POV where he rose to the position of Executive Director.
Two months ago he left New York and moved to L.A. to take the reigns at the International Documentary Association
where he will put “the I in IDA”.
Up to now, IDA has been very L.A. focused. To make IDA more international and more national as well, Simon plans to up the educational component along with
filmmaker services, perhaps even expanding their funding of films.
All depends on fundraising of course.
IDA is hosting its IDA Conversations Series in a
conversation with award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy on Monday 8/31. It should be a wonderful conversation with one of the finest filmmakers working
today. The event will take place at the Linwood Dunn Theatre in Hollywood at 7:00pm. Sign up here.
On the international front, very preliminary talks are ongoing with Dok Leipzig, Doc Montevideo and others.
The IDA Awards also recognizes international filmmakers – recent winner include Patrica Guzman and Laura Poitras. And, he hopes to expand the reach of the
awards to doc series and more filmmakers from around the world.
Simon has built a strong network with international broadcasters, funds and films from his sixteen years at POV. Under his leadership as Executive
Producer, POV also became more international. This season for the first time, POV featured a Swiss doc, “Neuland”.
The Swiss have enormous resources for docs. Financing today must bring in international broadcasters to make a movie work. Filmmakers need to know that
they must conform to the 52 minute format to get Holland, Sweden, etc. As with fiction features today, international coproductions are the engine driving
the film business.
Simon would also like to build up IDA’s advocacy position in three or four issue-areas such as investigative reporting which increasingly needs certain
protections. Filmmakers interested in this need training formally with journalists who have legal protections.
And in 2016, IDA will hold its bi-annual conference focused exclusively on documentary filmmakers – Getting Real ( http://www.documentary.org/getting-real). Planning is underway for the Fall 2016
event, so stay tuned for details.
We welcome Simon to L.A. and look forward to the growing sophistication of documentary advocacy, education and international cooperation.