• 2015 Awards host Tig Notaro

  • Barbara Kopple and Robert Redford

  • Haskell Wexler, Chaz Ebert, and Rita Taggart

  • Gordon Quinn celebrates 2015 IDA Career Achievement Award with friends

  • Ted Sarandos and Bob Odenkirk

  • Gordon Quinn

  • The Cookies

  • (T)ERROR directors Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe


The IDA Documentary Awards is the world's most prestigious event dedicated to the documentary genre, celebrating the best nonfiction films and programs of the year. 



May 23:

Call for entries announced

June 7:

Early deadline

July 11:

Regular deadline


Nominations announced


IDA members vote for Best Feature and Best Short


IDA Documentary Awards ceremony

(Dates subject to change)


Entry is open to any documentary, non-fiction or factual program completed or publicly released between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016, that qualifies for one of the main award categories. Projects submitted to prior IDA Awards shows that were withdrawn from competition prior to being nominated are eligible if the project fulfills the eligibility requirements for the year of resubmission. For more information, download the complete rules and regulations here


Entry is made into one of the seven main award categories: Feature, Short, Episodic Series, Curated Series, Short Form Series, Limited Series, and the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award.

Submissions in the Short and Feature categories are eligible for certain Creative and Special Recognition Awards. The full list of nominees and winners of past Awards can be viewed here.


Typically, materials required for submission include: project title, synopsis, completion and/or release date, credits, running time, contact information, and a screener supplied either online or on DVD. Documentaries nominated in the Feature and Short categories will be uploaded to IDA’s secure screening portal for viewing by IDA members voting for the winners.


The submission window is typically from the first week in June to the first week in July. Call for entries typically begins at the end of May.


In 2016, entry fees ranged from $140 for features to $240 for series. IDA members receive a discounted rate for submission to the IDA Awards. Join the IDA today for discounted submission fees to the IDA Awards and more!


Judging of the IDA Documentary Awards is based on overall creative excellence. Committees of filmmaking and industry professionals screen all entries and select all nominees. Nominations are typically announced in October, with the winners announced live at the IDA Awards ceremony in December in Los Angeles.

Award winners in the Feature and Short categories are selected by IDA members from the nominees. For all other awards, blue ribbon panels select award winners from nominees.

Contact and Staying Connected

Email awards@documentary.org with any questions. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and sign-up to receive IDA’s email notifications. Thank you for your interest!