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International Documentary Association Awards Shortlist Includes ‘Apollo 11,’ ‘The Cave,’ and ‘Honeyland’

The final winners will be announced at the IDA Awards on December 7.

Richard Ladkani shooting Mexican investigative journalist Carlos Loret de Mola for "Sea of Shadows"

Richard Ladkani shooting Mexican investigative journalist Carlos Loret de Mola for “Sea of Shadows”

Terra Mater

The International Documentary Association (IDA) has revealed the 35th Annual IDA Documentary Awards shortlists for the Best Feature and Best Short categories, culled from 785 submissions: 375 documentary features, 153 documentary shorts, 124 documentary series, 89 student films, 44 podcasts, and 48 music documentaries. After winnowing down each list to up to ten nominees to be announced on Wednesday, October 23, online screeners will be accessible for viewing as of November 4, followed by the IDA membership voting.

The 2019 Awards will be presented at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Saturday, December 7. The IDA will bestow awards in 16 categories. This year, the IDA has changed how craft awards are selected: cinematographers, editors, writers and composers will do the honors. And for the first time, the IDA will present an award for Best Director.

The awards categories include Best Feature, Best Short, Best Curated Series, Best Episodic Series, Best Multi-Part Documentary, Best Short Form Series, Best Audio Documentary, David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award, Best Music Documentary, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Writing, Best Music Score, and the Pare Lorentz Award.

“These films are urgent clarion calls for action, they are exposing injustice and inhumanity, they are love stories and offer great hope,” said the IDA’s executive director Simon Kilmurry. “And they contain the full breadth of the human experience.”

A number of high-profile films didn’t make the final cut, including Alex Gibney’s “The Inventor,” Ryan White’s “Ask Dr. Ruth,” Mads Brügger’s “Cold Case Hammarskjöld,” Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ “Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am,” Avi Belkin’s “Mike Wallace Is Here,” Lauren Greenfield’s “The Kingmaker,” Ed Perkins’ “Tell Me Who I Am,” Karim Amer and Jehane Noujaim’s “The Great Hack,” Rachel Lears’ “Knock Down the House,” Alex Holmes’ “Maiden,” and A.J. Eaton’s “David Crosby: Remember My Name.”

“Apollo 11”


The IDA Documentary Awards 2019 Features Shortlist

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

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

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

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

“Aquarela” (UK, Germany, Denmark / Sony Pictures Classics. Director: Victor Kossakovsky. Producers: Aimara Reques, Heino Deckert and Sigrid Dyekjær)

“Black Mother” (USA / Grasshopper Film. Director and Producer: Khalik Allah. Producer: Leah Giblin)

“Cunningham” (USA, Germany / Magnolia Pictures. Director and Producer: Alla Kovgan. Producers: Helge Albers, Ilann Girard, Elizabeth Delude-Dix, Kelly Gilpatrick and Derrick Tseng)

“Dark Suns” (Canada / Dogwoof. Director and Producer: Julien Elie)

“Diego Maradona” (UK / HBO. Director: Asif Kapadia. Producers: James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin)

“EARTH” (Austria / KimStim. Director and Producer: Nikolaus Geyrhalter. Producers: Michael Kitzberger, Markus Glaser and Wolfgang Widerhofer)

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

“Hail Satan?” (USA, Sweden / Magnolia Pictures. Director: Penny Lane. Producer: Gabriel Sedgwick)

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

“Kabul, City in the Wind” (Netherlands, Afghanistan, Germany. Director: Aboozar Amini. Producer: Jia Zhao)

“Lemebel” (Chile, Colombia / Compañía de Cine. Director and Producer: Joanna Reposi Garibaldi. Producer: Paula Sáenz-Laguna)

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

“Midnight Traveler” (USA, UK, Qatar / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Director: Hassan Fazili. Producers: Su Kim and Emelie Coleman Mahdavian)

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

“Our Time Machine” (China / POV, Da Xiang. Directors and Producers: Yang Sun and S. Leo Chiang)

“Present.Perfect.” (USA, Hong Kong / Burn The Film. Director: Shengze Zhu. Producer: Zhengfan Yang)

“Roll Red Roll” (USA / POV. Director and Producer: Nancy Schwartzman. Producers: Steven Lake and Jessica Devaney)

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

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

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

“The Cave” (USA, Syria, Denmark / National Geographic. Director: Feras Fayyad. Producers: Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjaer)

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

“The Feeling of Being Watched” (USA / POV. Director: Assia Boundaoui. Producer: Jessica Devaney)

“The Hottest August” (USA, Canada / Grasshopper Film. Director and Producer: Brett Story. Producer: Danielle Varga)

“The Proposal” (USA / Oscilloscope Laboratories. Director: Jill Magid. Producers: Charlotte Cook, Laura Coxson and Jarred Alterman)

“This is Not a Movie” (Germany, Canada / National Film Board of Canada. Director: Yung Chang. Producers: Anita Lee, Allyson Luchak, Nelofer Pazira and Ingmar Trost)

IDA Documentary Awards 2019 Shorts Shortlist

“30 for 30 Shorts: Mack Wrestles” (USA / ESPN. Directors and Producers: Taylor Hess and Erin Sanger. Producers: Erin Leyden and Gentry Kirby)

“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)

“All Inclusive” (Switzerland / Some Shorts. Director: Corina Schwingruber Ilić. Producer: Stella Händler)

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

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

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

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

“La Bala de Sandoval” (Ecuador / Vtape. Director and Producer: Jean-Jacques Martinod)

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

“Lost and Found” (USA, Myanmar / National Geographic. Director: Orlando von Einsiedel. Producers: Mark Bauch, Harri Grace and Dan Lin)

“Marielle and Monica” (Brazil, UK / The Guardian. Director: Fabio Erdos. Producer: Marina Costa)

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

“Scenes from a Dry City” (USA / Field of Vision. Directors and Producers: Simon Wood and Francois Verster)

“Show Me the Way” (USA / Topic.com. Director and Producer: Kate Kunath)

“St. Louis Superman” (USA / MTV Documentary Films, Al Jazeera Witness and Meralta Films. Directors and Producers: Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan. Producer: Poh Si Teng)

“The Love Bugs” (USA. Directors and Producers: Allison Otto and Maria Clinton)

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

“The Separated” (USA / The Atlantic. Director and Producer: Jeremy Raff)

“The Unconditional” (USA. Director and Producer: Dave Adams. Producers: Adam Soltis, Renee Woodruff Adams, Josie Swantek Heitz and Chris Tuss)

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

The 35th Annual IDA Documentary Awards honorees are listed here.

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