Since 1984, the IDA Documentary Awards have recognized a diverse range of emerging and established filmmakers, and expanded to include recognition of artistic direction, audio documentaries, documentary journalism and music documentaries, as well as individual honors such as the Courage Under Fire Award and Career Achievement Award.


Submissions to the IDA Documentary Awards take place late spring to early summer each year. We seek to represent excellence in the documentary field from around the world, by emerging and established documentarians.

Member Voting

IDA Members receive the exclusive benefit of streaming all the Best Feature and Best Short nominees from anywhere in the world, selecting their favorites through an online judging portal. If you aren’t already a member, join the IDA family today and become a part of the world’s most prestigious documentary awards ceremony!

2021 Awards Timeline*

IDA is excited to announce the return of an in-person awards ceremony at the Paramount Theatre on the Paramount Studios Lot to celebrate both the year's top nonfiction films and programs, and the organization's 40th year of serving the documentary community. Subject to public health mandates, the event will comply with all COVID-19 health orders from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Features and Shorts Shortlist Announcement

Monday, November 8, 2021

Honorees Announcement

Monday, November 15, 2021

All Awards Nominees Announcement

Monday, December 13, 2021

IDA Member Voting Opens for Best Feature and Best Short categories

Friday, January 21, 2022

IDA Member Voting Closes

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Ceremony Day / Winners Announced


*Subject to Change