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IDA Documentary Awards: ‘Dina,’ ‘Edith + Eddie,’ ‘The Defiant Ones’ Take Top Honors

The International Documentary Association gave its award for courage to a group of non-fiction films on Syria.


The documentary film and television community came together to honor their own at the festive 33rd Annual IDA Documentary Awards celebration Saturday night at the Paramount Studio Theatre. The evening’s top prizes went to Dan Sickles and Antonio Santini’s Sundance-jury-winning love story “Dina” for Best Feature, and Laura Checkoway’s Oscar-shortlisted “Edith+Eddie” for Best Short.

“Edith + Eddie”

Other winners included Dan Lindsay and TJ Martin’s Oscar-shortlisted “LA 92” for the ABC News VideoSource Award, PBS’ Independent Lens for Best Curated Series, HBO’s “The Defiant Ones” for Best Limited Series, BBC’s “Planet Earth II” for Best Episodic Series, The New York Times Op-Docs for Best Short Form Series (which boasts three Oscar-shortlisted shorts), and Joel Fendelman’s “Man on Fire” for the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award.


Charles Burnett presented the Emerging Filmmaker Award to Yance Ford, winner of the Sundance Special Jury Award for Storytelling, for his Oscar-shortlisted cinematic memoir “Strong Island.”

Kathryn Bigelow presented the IDA’s Courage Under Fire Award, which is given to a “courageous filmmaker who demonstrates extraordinary courage in pursuit of the truth,” for the first time to a group of filmmakers who all tackled the dire situation in Syria: “Cries from Syria,” “Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS” and Oscar-shortlisted “City of Ghosts”and “Last Men in Aleppo.”

The Career Achievement Award went to Mexican filmmaker Lourdes Portillo (“The Devil Never Sleeps”) for her body of work spanning nearly forty years.

The IDA’s Amicus Award went to Fork Films CEO filmmaker and philanthropist Abigail Disney “in recognition of her work in support of peace-building and advancing women’s roles in the public sphere.”

During the ceremony, IDA also announced a $600,000 investment from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation to support the International Documentary Association, including IDA’s Enterprise Documentary Fund and Getting Real ‘18 filmmaker-to-filmmaker conference. As part of this initiative, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation will provide four grants of $25,000 each to emerging women filmmakers of color.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Best Feature

“Dina” Directors/Producers: Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles (The Orchard)

Best Short

“Edith+Eddie” Director: Laura Checkoway Producer: Thomas Lee Wright (Kartemquin Films)

Creative Recognition Award Winners

Best Cinematography

“Machines” Cinematography by: Rodrigo Trejo Villanueva (Kino Lorber)

Best Editing “Dawson City: Frozen Time” Edited by: Bill Morrison (Kino Lorber)

Best Music “Brimstone & Glory” Original Score by: Dan Romer and Benh Zeitlin (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Best Writing

“Donkeyote” Written by: Chico Pereira, Manuel Pereira and Gabriel Molera (Scottish Documentary Institute)

Pare Lorentz Award

“Watani: My Homeland” Director: Marcel Mettelsiefen

“Intent to Destroy” (Special Mention) Director: Joe Berlinger

ABC News VideoSource Award

“LA 92” Directors: Dan Lindsay & TJ Martin (National Geographic)

Best Curated Series Award

Independent Lens Executive Producers: Lois Vossen and Sally Jo Fifer (PBS)

Best Limited Series

“The Defiant Ones” Executive Producers: Allen Hughes, Doug Pray, Andrew Kosove, Broderick Johnson, Laura Lancaster, Jerry Longarzo, Michael Lombardo, and Gene Kirkwood (HBO)

Best Episodic Series Award

“Planet Earth II” Executive Producer: Michael Gunton (BBC AMERICA/BBC Worldwide)

Best Short Form Series Award The New York Times Op-Docs Executive Producer: Kathleen Lingo (The New York Times)

David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award

“Man on Fire” Director: Joel Fendelman Producer: James Chase Sanchez (University of Texas, Austin)

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