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International Documentary Association Awards: ‘Apollo 11’ and ‘Honeyland’ Lead Nominations

Neon tops the IDAs with four nominees, while the "Courage Under Fire" award goes to "For Sama" director Waad Al-Kateab who shot five years in Aleppo under constant shelling.

For Sama

“For Sama”

The International Documentary Association revealed nominations for the 2019 IDA Awards, with Neon landing three films in the Best Feature competition, including “Apollo 11” and “Honeyland,” which led the field with three nominations, as well as”The Biggest Little Farm.” “Honeyland” will also collect the Pare Lorentz Award, while Neon’s “Amazing Grace” landed a Best Music Documentary nomination. (The film qualified for the Oscar last year.)

For the first time, the IDA will present an award for Best Director and, notably, all of the nominated films in that category are directed by women. “We felt the need to more clearly acknowledge the creativity and bold directorial vision that is behind many of the films we are privileged to consider,” said IDA’s Executive Director Simon Kilmurry.

First awarded in 2001, the IDA gives the Courage Under Fire Award to documentarians who display conspicuous bravery in the pursuit of truth, putting freedom of speech above their own personal safety.  Past recipients have included Christiane Amanpour, Andrew Berends, Feras Fayyad, Laura Poitras and others. This year’s winner is Waad Al-Kataeb, director and producer of “For Sama,” who filmed for five years in Aleppo, under siege.

“Back in Aleppo, I had no option but to fight the fears and horrors of this war through filming my experience both as a mother and as a female filmmaker,” stated Al-Kateab. “This award means so much, and I hope it will serve as an inspiration to women around the world who are suffering from war or prejudice, so that they may find the strength to film their lives and to tell their truth. I would like to share this award with all of the brave filmmakers and citizen journalists behind the scenes whom you may never hear about and who have experienced these horrors together with us in Aleppo, Ghouta and now in Idleb.”

The IDA received 785 submissions, including 375 documentary features, 153 documentary shorts, 124 documentary series, 89 student films, 48 music documentaries, and 44 podcasts. A record 40 percent of submissions were international productions or co-productions.

The 2019 IDA Awards nominees are listed below.

Best Feature 

“Advocate” (Canada, Israel, Switzerland / Film Movement. Directors and Producers: Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche. Producers: Paul Cadieux and Joelle Bertossa)

“American Factory” (USA / Netflix. Directors and Producers: Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert. Producers: Jeff Reichert and Julie Parker Benello)

“Apollo 11” (USA / NEON, CNN Films. Director and Producer: Todd Douglas Miller. Producers: Thomas Petersen and Evan Strauss)

“For Sama” (Syria, UK / PBS Distribution, Channel 4, FRONTLINE. Director and Producer: Waad al-Kateab. Director: Edward Watts)

“Honeyland” (Macedonia / NEON. Director: Tamara Kotevska. Director and Producer: Ljubomir Stefanov. Producer: Atanas Georgiev)

“Midnight Family” (Mexico, USA / 1091. Director and Producer: Luke Lorentzen. Producers: Kellen Quinn, Daniela Alatorre and Elena Fortes)

“One Child Nation” (USA / Amazon Studios. Directors and Producers: Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang. Producers: Christoph Jörg, Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements and Carolyn Hepburn)

“Sea of Shadows” (Austria, USA / National Geographic. Director: Richard Ladkani. Producers: Walter Kohler and Wolfgang Knopfler)

“The Biggest Little Farm” (USA / NEON, LD Entertainment. Director and Producer: John Chester. Producer: Sandra Keats)

“The Edge of Democracy” (Brazil, USA / Netflix. Director and Producer: Petra Costa. Producers: Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris and Tiago Pavan)

Best Director 

Petra Costa (“The Edge of Democracy.” Brazil, USA / Netflix)

Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche (“Advocate.” Canada, Israel, Switzerland / Film Movement)

Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert (“American Factory.” USA / Netflix)

Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov (“Honeyland.” Macedonia / NEON)

Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts (“For Sama.” Syria, UK / PBS Distribution, Channel 4, FRONTLINE)

Best Short 

“A Love Song for Latasha” (USA. Director and Producer: Sophia Nahli Allison. Producers: Janice Duncan and Fam Udeorji)

“After Maria” (USA / Netflix. Director: Nadia Hallgren. Producer: Lauren Cioffi)

“America” (USA / Aubin Pictures. Director: Garrett Bradley. Producers: Lauren Domino and Catherine Gund)

“Black to Techno” (USA / Frieze. Director: Jenn Nkiru. Producer: Jacqueline Edenbrow)

“Easter Snap” (USA. Director and Producer: RaMell Ross. Producers: Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim)

“In the Absence” (Korea, USA / Field of Vision. Director: Yi Seung-Jun. Producer: Gary Byung-Seok Kam)

“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you’re a girl)” (Afghanistan, UK, USA / Lifetime Films, A&E IndieFilms. Director: Carol Dysinger. Producer: Elena Andreicheva)

“Sam and the Plant Next Door” (UK / The Guardian. Director and Producer: Omer Sami)

“The Nightcrawlers” (Philippines, USA / National Geographic. Director: Alexander Mora. Producers: Joanna Natasegara, Doireann Maddock and Abigail Anketell-Jones)

“Valley of the Rulers” (Israel, Serbia. Director: Efim Graboy. Producer: Dejan Petrovic)

Best Curated Series

“American Experience” (USA / PBS. Executive Producer: Mark Samels) BBC Storyville (China, Hungary, UK / BBC. Executive Producer: Mandy Chang) Dokumania (Denmark / Danish Broadcasting Corporation. Executive Producer: Anders Bruus)

“POV” (USA / PBS. Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White) AJE Witness (Qatar / AJE English. Executive Producer: Fiona Lawson-Baker)

Best Episodic Series 

“Abstract: The Art of Design” (USA / Netflix. Executive Producers: Scott Dadich, Morgan Neville, Dave O’Connor, Justin Wilkes and Jon Kamen)

“Finding Justice” (USA / BET. Executive Producers: Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, David Leepson, Brian Gewirtz, dream hampton, Jackson Nguyen, Aaron Rice, Todd Crites, Hiram Garcia, Aaron Bowden and Stephanie Lydecker)

“Kids Behind Bars: Life Or Parole” (USA / A&E. Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Peter LoGreco, Joshua Rofe, Devon Hammonds, Evan Lerner, Amy Savitsky and Elaine Frontain Bryant)

“Living Undocumented” (USA / Netflix. Directors and Executive Producers: Anna Chai and Aaron Saidman. Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Sean O’Grady, Selena Gomez and Mandy Teefey)

“Our Planet”(UK, USA / Netflix. Directors: Adam Chapman, Mandi Stark, Jeff Wilson, Sophie Lanfear, Hugh Pearson and Huw Cordey. Executive Producers: Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey)

Best Multi-Part Documentary

“Chasing the Moon” (USA / PBS. Director and Producer: Robert Stone. Executive Producer: Mark Samels. Producers: Susan Bellows, Daniel Aegerter, Keith Haviland and Ray Rothrock)

“Leaving Neverland” (USA / HBO. Director and Producer: Dan Reed. Executive Producers: Nancy Abraham and Lisa Heller)

“Lorena” (USA / Amazon. Director and Executive Producer: Joshua Rofé. Executive Producers: Jordan Peele, Steven J. Berger, Win Rosenfeld, Jenna Santoianni, Tom Lesinski and Andrea Harner. Producer: M. Elizabeth Hughes)

“Surviving R. Kelly” (USA / Lifetime. Executive Producers: Joel Karsberg, Dream Hampton, Tamra Simmons, Jesse Daniels and Brie Miranda Bryant)

“Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men” (USA / Showtime. Executive Producers: Peter J. Scalettar, Peter Bittenbender, Sacha Jenkins and Vinnie Malhotra)

Best Short Form Series

“A Cure for Fear” (USA / Topic.com. Director and Producer: Lana Wilson. Producer: Shrihari Sathe. Executive Producers: Anna Holmes, Jeff Seelbach and Diane L. Max)

“A Moment in Mexico — The New York Times Op-Docs” (Mexico, USA / New York Times. Executive Producer: Kathleen Lingo. Coordinating Producer: Lindsay Crouse) Guardian Documentaries (UK / The Guardian. Executive Producer: Charlie Phillips, Lindsay Poulton and Jacqueline Edenbrow)

“POV Shorts” (USA / PBS. Producer: Chloe Gbai. Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White) The F Word (USA / Participant Media, SoulPancake. Director and Producer: Nicole Opper. Producer: Kristan Cassady)

Best Audio Documentary

“Gladiator: The Aaron Hernandez Story” (USA / The Boston Globe, Wondery. Reporters: Bob Hohler, Beth Healy, Sacha Pfieffer and Andrew Ryan. Producer: Amy Pedulla. Executive Producers: Hernan Lopez, Marshall Lewy and George Lavender)

“Headlong: Running from COPS” (USA / Stitcher Premium, Topic Studios. Host and Producer: Dan Taberski. Producers: Henry Molofsky, Courtney Harrell and Diane Hodson. Executive Producers: Max Linsky, Jenna Weiss-Berman, Lisa Leingang and Leital Molad)

“Heavyweight — Episode: ‘Skye'” (USA / Gimlet Media. Reporter and Executive Producer: Jonathan Goldstein. Producers: Kalila Holt, Stevie Lane, Peter Bresnan and Jorge Just) Latino USA — Episode: “The Return” (USA / National Public Radio. Producer: Sayre Quevedo. Executive Producer: Maria Hinojosa)

“A Sense of Quietness” (UK / BBC Radio 4. Producer: Eleanor McDowall. Executive Producers: Alan Hall and Rachel Hooper)

Best Music Documentary

“Amazing Grace” (USA / NEON. Producers: Alan Elliot, Tirrell D. Whittley, Sabrina V. Owens, Joe Boyd, Rob Johnson, Chiemi Karasawa, Spike Lee, Angie Seegers, Joseph Woolf)

“Homecoming: A Film by Beyoncé” (USA / Netflix. Director and Producer: Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. Director: Ed Burke. Producers: Steve Pamon and Erinn Williams)

“The Apollo” (USA / HBO. Director and Producer: Roger Ross Williams. Producers: Lisa Cortés, Jeanne Elfant Festa and Cassidy Hartmann)

“The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash” (USA / YouTube. Director: Thom Zimny. Producers: Thom Zimny, Glen Zipper, Sean Stuart and Jillian Apfelbaum) Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men (USA / Showtime. Director: Sacha Jenkins. Executive Producers: Peter J. Scalettar, Peter Bittenbender, Sacha Jenkins and Vinnie Malhotra. Producers: Cary Graber, Vanessa Maruskin, Ghostface Killah, Robert F. Diggs, GZA, Lamont “UGod” Hawkins, Darryl Hill Sr., Jason Hunter, Icelene Jones, Method Man, E. Turner and Raekwon The Chef)

David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award

“All That Remains” (USA / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: Eva Rendle) Beyond the North Winds: A Post Nuclear Reverie (UK, Colombia / National Film & Television School (UK). Director and Producer: Natalie Cubides-Brady) Brewed in Palestine (USA, Israel, Palestine / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: Emma Schwartz)

“Follow the Sun” (USA / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Director and Producer: JoeBill Muñoz) In the Wake (India, USA / Northwestern University. Director and Producer: Natasha Nair)

Best Cinematography

“Dark Suns” (Canada / Dogwoof. Cinematographers: Ernesto Pardo and François Messier-Rheault)

“Gods of Molenbeek” (Belgium, Finland, Germany / CAT&Docs. Cinematographer: Hannu Vitikainen)

“Honeyland” (Macedonia / NEON. Cinematographers: Fejmi Daut and Samir Ljuma) Midnight Family (Mexico / 1091. Cinematographer: Luke Lorentzen)

“When Lambs Become Lions” (USA / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Cinematographer: Jon Kasbe) 2019 IDA Documentary Awards Best Editing Nominees American Factory (USA / Netflix. Editor: Lindsay Utz)

“Apollo 11” (USA / NEON, CNN Films. Editor: Todd Douglas Miller) Diego Maradona (UK / HBO. Editor: Chris King) Human Nature (USA / Greenwich Entertainment. Editor: Regina Sobel) Midnight Family (Mexico, USA / 1091. Editor: Luke Lorentzen. Co-Editor: Paloma López Carrillo)

“When Lambs Become Lions” (USA / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Editors: Jon Kasbe, Caitlyn Greene and Frederick Shanahan)

Best Music Score

“Apollo 11” (USA / NEON, CNN Films. Composer: Matt Morton) Human Nature (USA / Greenwich Entertainment. Composer: Keegan Dewitt)

“Sea of Shadows” (USA, Austria / National Geographic. Composer: H. Scott Salinas)

“The Biggest Little Farm” (USA / NEON, LD Entertainment. Composer: Jeff Beal)

“The Raft” (Denmark, Sweden, USA / Metrograph Pictures. Composer: Hans Appelqvist)

Best Writing

“Always in Season” (USA / ITVS. Writers: Jackie Olive and Don Bernier) Dark Suns (Canada / Dogwoof. Writer: Julien Elie)

“The Cave” (Denmark, Syria, USA / National Geographic. Writer: Feras Fayyad)

“The Edge of Democracy” (Brazil, USA / Netflix. Writer: Petra Costa)

“The Great Hack” (USA / Netflix. Writers: Pedro Kos, Erin Barnett and Karim Amer)

Pare Lorentz Award Winner

“Honeyland” (Macedonia / NEON. Director: Tamara Kotevsk2a. Director and Producer: Ljubomir Stefanov. Producer: Atanas Georgiev)

Honorable Mention: “Anthropocene: The Human Epoch” (Canada / Kino Lorber. Director: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky. Producer: Nadia Tavazzani)

This year’s honorary awards are listed here. 

The IDA Awards will be presented at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Saturday, December 7.


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