October 6, 2016

32nd Annual Documentary Awards to Honor Norman and Lyn Lear, Stanley Nelson, Ally Derks, and Nanfu Wang

Los Angeles, CA (October 6, 2016) – The International Documentary Association (IDA) announced today the honorees to be feted at its 32nd Annual Documentary Awards. The annual ceremony will be held on December 9, 2016, at the Paramount Studios Backlot. This year’s awards will honor five outstanding individuals: Lyn and Norman Lear will receive the Amicus Award; Stanley Nelson will receive the Career Achievement Award; Ally Derks will receive the Pioneer Award; and Nanfu Wang will receive the Emerging Documentary Filmmaker. Awards will also be given in several categories including Best Feature Documentary, Best Short Documentary, David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award, Best Limited Series, and more.

"Our honorees this year include veteran and emerging filmmakers, illustrating how vital the documentary field is,” says Simon Kilmurry, IDA’s Executive Director, “Stanley Nelson's body of work is unsurpassed and Nanfu Wang is a bold and brave emerging talent. Ally Derks had the vision to found the International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam, one of the oldest and certainly the largest documentary festival in the world, long before documentaries became cool. And Norman and Lyn Lear's ongoing support of filmmakers and free-speech has allowed countless voices to be heard." 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. The event is attended by the industry’s most prominent filmmakers, network moguls, celebrity presenters, and more. The program not only celebrates documentary film, it helps the organization achieve its goals of cultural equity, and supporting, education and advocating for documentary makers. IDA’s reach includes both makers and fans of documentary films, a form that has become increasingly culturally relevant.

“I’m particularly excited about this year’s IDA Awards because it comes on the heels of our Getting Real 2016 conference, which surpassed all expectations and served filmmakers from around the world,” Kilmurry continued, “Programs like this wouldn’t be possible without the IDA Awards, our most significant fundraiser of the year. I also look forward to honoring the best films in a year where amazing documentaries seem to be countless.”

Amicus Award recipients Norman and Lyn Lear are noted social and political activists, philanthropists, and founders of the Lear Family Foundation which supports a wide variety of projects that address issues such as civil liberties, the environment, health, youth, civic activism and more. Ms. Lear is the President of Lyn Lear Productions which aims to inspire, educate and activate people on global environmental issues through television, film and all forms of media.

"Lyn and I are proud to accept IDA’s Amicus Award because we believe that documentary film can, and has, made so much change, especially in the areas of climate change, civil liberties, and civil rights,” commented Norman Lear, “As strong supporters of the documentary film community we believe no other institution serves documentarians in the way IDA does, particularly when it comes to advocacy, educational opportunities, and introducing new audiences to the craft.” Mr. Lear continues merging his work as a social activist and in television with his most current documentary venture, now airing on EPIX, America Divided. The American Masters documentary, Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You is now playing on PBS and Netflix.

Stanley Nelson, recipient of the Career Achievement Award, is an Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker, MacArthur “genius” Fellow, and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Nelson’s 8th film to premiere at Sundance Film Festival also had a successful theatrical release in 2015. Nelson has directed and produced numerous acclaimed films, including Freedom Summer, Freedom Riders, Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple and The Murder of Emmett Till. He is also the Founder of Firelight Media, which provides technical support, mentorship and funding to emerging documentarians of color.

Recipient of the Pioneer Award, Ally Derks changed the documentary industry when she founded the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) in 1988 of which she became the director in 1989. What started as a small gathering of documentary lovers has become the largest and most prestigious documentary festival and market in the world, including the three industry components: IDFA Bertha Fund, the FORUM and Docs for Sale.

IDA will also honor Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Nanfu Wang known for her work featuring the stories of marginalized or mistreated people. From Chinese blood donors stricken with HIV from used government-issued needles to the left-behind children of migrant laborers, Wang’s short films have been distributed on many platforms and translated into several languages. Her feature debut Hooligan Sparrow has so far received support from Sundance Institute, IFP, IDA, and BRITDOC and has played at film festivals around the globe.

Nominees for the 32nd Annual Documentary Awards will be announced in early November. Tickets for the Awards go on sale Monday, October 17 and range in price from $150-$500. For more information about the International Documentary Association visit http://www.documentary.org/and to learn more about the 32nd Annual Documentary Awards, visit http://www.documentary.org/awards.

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Chet Mehta
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Alana Yankowitz
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PR DEPT for IDA - (323) 556-3100