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IDA Awards Feature and Short Documentary Shortlists, from ’76 Days’ to ‘Welcome to Chechnya’

The awards group provides one of the first clear windows into the documentary Oscar race.

“76 Days”

The 2021 International Documentary Association (IDA) Awards has announced the shortlists for the Best Feature and Best Short categories. In a year crowded with top-notch documentaries (see the Critics Choice Documentary Awards nominations here), with more debuts unspooling at DOC NYC (November 11-19), every reputable non-fiction awards group helps to curate the sprawling list of eventual Oscar contenders, and the IDA is no exception. (Read IndieWire’s current list of documentary feature predictions here.)

The IDA will bestow 16 awards this year, for 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, ABC News VideoSource Award, and the Pare Lorentz Award.

Honorees will be announced on Tuesday, November 10. Nominees will be announced on Tuesday, November 24, along with the other awards recipients. IDA members will be invited to watch each of the feature and shorts nominees and then vote to decide the winners. The 2020 Awards will be presented at a virtual ceremony in January 2021.

The IDA will select up to 10 nominees from the feature and short shortlists (listed below). Starting December 7, 2020, IDA members will have access to check out nominated films in order to vote for Best Feature and Best Short.

This year’s contenders are more international than ever, said Simon Kilmurry, executive director of IDA. “The range of stories and of makers is as diverse as we have ever had,” he said. “It reflects the broad range of approaches to documentary filmmaking and some of the most urgent issues of the day.”

This year, the IDA processed 1,056 submissions, including 365 documentary features from 67 countries, and 153 documentary shorts from 21 countries. The feature documentary shortlist includes 30 films from 21 countries. Thirty-eight percent of directors and 55 percent of producers are women, 30 percent of directors and 28 percent identify as BIPOC. Eight percent of directors and seven percent of producers are LGBTQ. Five percent of directors and three percent of producers are disabled.

The Short Documentary shortlist includes 15 films from six countries; 58 percent of directors and 58 percent of producers are women, 37 percent of directors and 31 percent of producers identify as BIPOC; and five percent of directors and five percent of producers are LGBTQ.

Here’s the full list.

IDA Documentary Awards 2020 Features Shortlist

“76 Days” (USA, China / MTV Documentary Films. Directors: Anonymous, Weixi Chen. Director/Producer: Hao Wu. Producer: Jean Tsien)

“Acasă, My Home” (Romania, Germany, Finland / Manifest Film, HBO Europe. Director: Radu Ciorniciuc. Producer: Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan)

“Boys State” (USA / Apple, A24. Directors/Producers: Amanda McBaine, Jesse Moss)

“City Hall” (USA / Zipporah Films, Inc. Director: Frederick Wiseman. Producer: Karen Konicek)

“Collective”  (Romania / Magnolia Pictures, Participant. Director/Producer: Alexander Nanau. Producer: Bianca Oana)

“Crip Camp” (USA / Netflix. Directors/Producers: Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham. Producer: Sara Bolder)

“Disclosure” (USA / Netflix. Director/Producer: Sam Feder. Producer: Amy Scholder)

“The Earth is Blue as an Orange” (Ukraine, Lithuania / TVP. Director: Iryna Tsilyk. Producers: Anna Kapustina, Giedrė Žickytė)

“The Forbidden Reel” (Canada / National Film Board of Canada. Director: Ariel Nasr. Producers: Kat Baulu, Sergeo Kirby)

“Gunda” (Norway, USA / NEON. Director: Victor Kossakovsky. Producer: Anita Rehoff Larsen)

“I Walk on Water” (USA / Grasshopper Film. Director: Khalik Allah. Producers: Sofian Khan, Vikki Tobak)

“Me and the Cult Leader” (Japan. Director/Producer: Atsushi Sakahara. Producers: Pearl Chan, Matsuo Etsuko)

“A Metamorfose dos Pássaros” (Portugal / Portugal Film – Portuguese Film Agency. Director: Catarina Vasconcelos. Producers: Pedro Fernandes Duarte, Joana Gusmão)

“MLK/FBI” (USA / IFC Films. Director: Sam Pollard. Producer: Benjamin Hedin)

“The Mole Agent” (Chile, Germany, USA / POV, Hulu, Gravitas Ventures. Director: Maite Alberdi. Producer: Marcela Santibañez)

“Notturno” (Italy, France, Germany. Director/Producer: Gianfranco Rosi. Producers: Camille Laemlé, Serge Lalou, Orwa Nyrabia, Donatella Palermo, Eva-Maria Weerts)

“Once Upon a Time in Venezuela” (Venezuela, UK, Brazil / Cargo Film Releasing. Director: Anabel Rodríguez Ríos. Producer: Sepp Brudermann)

“The Reason I Jump” (USA, UK / Kino Lorber. Director: Jerry Rothwell. Producers: Jeremy Dear, Stevie Lee, Al Morrow)

“Reunited” (Denmark. Director: Mira Jargil. Producer: Kirstine Barfod)

“Self Portrait” (Norway. Directors: Katja Høgset, Margreth Olin, Espen Wallin. Director/Producer: Margreth Olin)

“Softie” (Kenya / POV. Director/Producer: Sam Soko. Producer: Toni Kamau)

“Stray” (USA / Magnolia Pictures. Director/Producer: Elizabeth Lo. Producers: Shane Boris, Ceylan Carhoglu, Ina Fichman)

“‘Til Kingdom Come” (Israel, UK, Norway / IPBC Kan, NDR. Director/Producer: Maya Zinshtein. Producers: John Battsek, Abraham (Abie) Troen)

“Time” (USA / Amazon Studios, Concordia Studio, The New York Times. Director/Producer: Garrett Bradley. Producers: Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn)

“To See You Again” (Mexico. Director: Carolina Corral Paredes. Producer: Magali Rocha Donnadieu)

“The Truffle Hunters” (USA / Sony Pictures Classics. Directors/Producers: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw)

“Unapologetic” (USA. Director/Producer: Ashley O’Shay. Producer: Morgan Elise Johnson)

“The Viewing Booth” (Israel, USA / ro*co films, Temple University, Channel 8 (Israel). Director/Producer: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz. Producer: Liran Atzmor)

“Welcome to Chechnya” (USA / HBO. Director/Producer: David France)

“Wintopia” (Canada / National Film Board of Canada. Director: Mira Burt-Wintonick. Producers: Annette Clarke, Bob Moore)

IDA Documentary Awards 2020 Shorts Shortlist

“Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa” (USA / Woman Make Movies. Directors/Producers: Barbara Attie, Mike Attie, Janet Goldwater)

“All That Perishes at the Edge of Land” (Pakistan. Director/Producer: Hira Nabi. Producer: Till Passow)

“Tutwiler” (USA / Frontline, PBS, The Marshall Project, American Documentary, WORLD Channel. Director: Elaine McMillion Sheldon. Producer: Alysia Santo)

“Call Center Blues” (USA, Mexico / TOPIC. Director: Geeta Gandbhir. Producer: Jessica Devaney)

“Eddy’s World” (USA. Director/Producer: Lyn Goldfarb. Producers: Jannat Gargi, Daniel Zimbaldi)

“Huntsville Station” (USA / NY Times Op-Docs. Directors/Producers: Chris Filippone, Jamie Meltzer)

“Hysterical Girl” (USA / NY Times Op-Docs. Director: Kate Novack. Producer:` Andrew Rossi)

“John Was Trying to Contact Aliens” (USA / Netflix. Director/Producer: Matthew Killip)

“The Lost Astronaut” (USA / NY Times Op-Docs. Director: Ben Proudfoot. Producers: Abby Lynn Kang Davis, Gabriel Berk Godoi)

“Mizuko” (USA, Japan. Directors/Producers: Kira Dane, Katelyn Rebelo)

“Racially Charged: America’s Misdemeanor Problem” (USA. Director: Robert Greenwald. Producers: Casey Cooper Johnson, Jim Miller)

“sống ở đây” (USA / University of California, Santa Cruz. Director/Producer: Melanie Ho)

“To Calm the Pig Inside” (Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos) (Philippines. Director/Producer: Joanna Vasquez Arong)

“Unforgivable” (El Salvador. Director/Producer: Marlén Viñayo. Producer: Carlos Martínez)

“Virtually Free” (USA. Director: André Robert Lee. Producers: Alexandra Blaney, Susan MacLaury)


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