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Inside the 2015 IDA Documentary Awards (Full Winners List)

Inside the 2015 IDA Documentary Awards (Full Winners List)

Emceed by Tig Notaro at the Paramount Theatre, Saturday night’s 2015 IDA Documentary Awards in Los Angeles handed top honors to Joshua Oppenheimer’s “The Look of Silence,” which made the Oscar shortlist earlier this week. This PGA-nominated followup to “The Act of Killing” has a winning streak going back to Venice 2014, where Oppenheimer collected five awards including the Grand Special Jury Prize. “Act of Killing” was IDA-nominated in 2013 but lost to Netflix’s “The Square.”

READ MORE: Oscar Documentary Shortlist of 15 Revealed

Director Matthew Heineman accepted the Courage Under Fire Award from his executive producer Kathryn Bigelow for his daringly immersive Sundance winner “Cartel Land,” which is on the Oscar shortlist. Other Academy shortlisters that scored IDA Awards include “Listen to Me Marlon,” whose director Stevan Riley hopes the film will restore Marlon Brando’s reputation; short doc “Last Day of Freedom” and Vidal vs. Buckley film “Best of Enemies,” which nabbed two prizes and has a feature-length adaptation in the works from writer Aaron Sorkin.

READ MORE: Aaron Sorkin on Taking Risks on ‘Steve Jobs,’ ‘Molly’s Game’ and ‘Best of Enemies’

Oscar shutout “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” picked up Best Editing. “Editors are the unsung heroes of docs,” said director/co-editor Brett Morgen. Also from HBO, hit serial “The Jinx” won Best Limited Series, while Netflix’s delectable, well-produced “Chef’s Table” won Best Episodic Series. Also honored was Netflix content chief Ted Sarandos, who backed past Oscar nominees “The Square” and “Virunga” and this year’s Academy-shortlisted “What Happened, Miss Simone?” and “Winter on Fire.” After “Virunga” and “Blackfish” were seen by millions, Sarandos pointed out, things changed for the better. And these films are no longer “specialty.”

Following the footsteps of Werner Herzog, DA Pennebaker, Albert Maysles and Jean Rouch, decades-long documentary filmmaker Gordon Quinn (who produced 1994’s “Hoop Dreams”) accepted the Career Achievement Award from Chaz Ebert and Haskell Wexler.

Here’s the full list of IDA winners:


Career Achievement Award
Gordon Quinn

Pioneer Award
Ted Sarandos

Amicus Award
Tony Tabatznik and the Bertha Foundation

Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award sponsored by the Archibald Family Foundation
Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe

Courage Under Fire Award
Matthew Heineman

Best Feature Award
“The Look of Silence”
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen
Drafthouse Films and Participant Media

Best Short Award
“Last Day of Freedom”
Directors: Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman

Pare Lorentz Award
“How to Change the World”
Director: Jerry Rothwell

Creative Recognition Award Winners

Best Cinematography
“The Russian Woodpecker”
Cinematography by: Artem Ryzhykov

Best Editing
“Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck”
Edited by: Joe Beshenkovsky and Brett Morgen

Best Writing
“Listen to Me Marlon”
Written by: Stevan Riley
Co-Writer: Peter Ettedgui

Best Music
“Best of Enemies”
Original Score by: Jonathan Kirkscey

ABC News VideoSource Award
“Best of Enemies”
Directors: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville
Magnolia Pictures

Best Curated Series Award
“Independent Lens”
Executive Producers: Sally Jo Fifer and Lois Vossen

Executive Producers: Simon Kilmurry and Chris White

Best Limited Series Award

“The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst”
Executive Producer: Jason Blum
Co-Executive Producer: Zac Stuart-Pontier
Produced by: Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling

Best Episodic Series Award
“Chef’s Table”
Executive Producers: David Gelb and Andrew Fried

Best Short Form Series Award

“Do Not Track”
Executive Producer: Hugues Sweeney
National Film Board of Canada, Upian, Arte, and BR

David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award
“The Archipelago”
Director: Benjamin Huguet
The National Film and Television School

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