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*

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 Screen Rooms Open for Best Feature and Best Short categories

January 2022

IDA Member Voting Ballots Open

Friday, February 13, 2022

IDA Member Voting Ballots Close

Friday, March 4, 2022

Virtual Ceremony / Winners Announced

Amid rising public health concerns in Los Angeles County and beyond related to COVID-19, the 37th Annual IDA Documentary Awards ceremony has been rescheduled and will be held online.


*Subject to Change