About IDA

Founded in 1982, the International Documentary Association (IDA) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that promotes nonfiction filmmakers, and is dedicated to increasing public awareness for the documentary genre. Our major program areas are: Advocacy, Filmmaker Services, Education, and Public Programs and Events.


Documentary storytelling expands our understanding of shared human experience, fostering an informed, compassionate, and connected world.

The International Documentary Association (IDA) is dedicated to building and serving the needs of a thriving documentary culture.

Through its programs, IDA provides resources, creates community, and defends rights and freedoms for documentary artists, activists, and journalists.


At IDA, we help advocate for, protect and advance the legal rights of documentary filmmakers. IDA also has a long history of making the case for documentary filmmaking as a vital art form, and we continue to seek ways to ensure that the artists who make documentaries receive the funding that they deserve. Most recently, IDA has been in the forefront of support on these major issues confronting our industry: Net Neutrality, Fair Use, and Lobbying for the Arts. Read more »


IDA provides the essential services, tools and information required by documentarians to successfully engage in their art. Filmmaker services include:

  • IDA Membership – provides members with valuable benefits and opportunities
  • Fiscal Sponsorship – allows documentary films in production to receive donations and grants
  • Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund – annual production grants totaling $75,000 supporting independentdocumentary films that illuminate pressing issues in the United States.
  • Documentary magazine – a quarterly publication that offers essential information and keeps readers on track with the industry
  • Documentary.org – a vital portal into the industry that provides up-to-date information and opportunities to connect with the documentary film world


Doc U is a series of hands-on educational seminars and workshops for aspiring and experienced documentary filmmakers, taught by artists and industry experts. Participants receive vital training and insight on various topics including fundraising; distribution; marketing; business tactics; and much more. Read more »

Doc U Online brings IDA's signature Doc U series to the web to be viewed by IDA members around the world. These videos were shot during previous educational panels, and can be viewed in their entirety from the comfort of your living room on your home computer. This program expansion was made possible through generous funding from The Harnsich Foundation and Lekha Singh. Read more »


IDA Documentary Awards is an annual event that recognizes and honors outstanding documentary films and filmmakers. Hosted by the IDA's Board of Directors and Trustees, the awards ceremony recognizes significant achievements in documentary filmmaking in several categories, including: Career Achievement Award, Pioneer Award, and Music Documentary Award.

DocuDay is IDA's annual screening of the year's Oscar® nominated documentary shorts and features. This event increases public awareness and appreciation for non-fiction films, and takes place in both New York City and Los Angeles.

IDA Documentary Screening Series brings some of the year’s best documentary films to the IDA community and members of industry guilds and organizations. A moderated Q&A with the filmmakers will follow the screenings.


Interning at IDA is a great way to support the organization, build your project management skills, and get access to leading documentary films and filmmakers. IDA Interns support the Programs and Events Department in producing Doc U, the IDA Documentary Screening Series, the IDA Documentary Awards, and DocuDay. As an IDA Intern, you’ll attend IDA events, learn production management basics, get face (or at least phone!) time with your favorite doc filmmakers, all in a supportive (although hard working and sometimes demanding) work environment, where you’ll apply and grow your editing, social media, coordinating, and design skills. Read more »


RSS   Twitter   Facebook   Instagram   LinkedIn   YouTube