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Awards Show host Tig Notaro


Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sorensen wins Best Feature Award for The Look of Silence


Actress Rita Taggart, cinematographer Haskell Wexler, producer Chaz Ebert, and filmmaker Gordon Quinn with the Career Achievement Award


Netflix's Ted Sarandos poses with the Pioneer Award backstage with actor Bob Odenkirk


Producer Tony Tabatznik, winner of the Amicus Award, and actor Danny Glover


Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award winners David Felix Sutcliffe and Lyric R. Cabral with FBI informant Saeed "Shariff" Torres


Director Kathryn Bigelow and Matthew Heinmen, winner of the Courage Under Fire Award


ABC News VideoSource Award winners Robert Gorden and Morgan Neville


Actress Kristen Davis and Pare Lorentz Award winner Jerry Rothwell

31st Annual IDA Documentary Awards Nominees & Winners

Best Feature Award

The Look of Silence (Winner)LEARN MORE
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen
Drafthouse Films and Participant Media

Director: Asif Kapadia
Producer: James Gay-Rees

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the RevolutionLEARN MORE
Director: Stanley Nelson
Producer: Laurens Grant
PBS Distribution

Listen to Me MarlonLEARN MORE
Director: Stevan Riley
Producers: John Battsek, R.J. Cutler, and George Chignell
Showtime Documentary Films

The Russian WoodpeckerLEARN MORE
Director: Chad Gracia
Producers: Ram Devineni and Mike Lerner

What Happened, Miss Simone?LEARN MORE
Director: Liz Garbus
Producers: Amy Hobby, Jayson Jackson, and Justin Wilkes

Best Short Award

Last Day of Freedom (Winner)LEARN MORE
Directors: Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman

Body Team 12LEARN MORE
Director: David Darg
Producer: Bryn Mooser
RYOT Films and Vulcan Productions

Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the ShoahLEARN MORE
Director: Adam Benzine

The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana BaiulLEARN MORE
Director: Kitty Green
Producer: Philippa Campey
KurzFilmAgentur Hamburg (Germany)

Director: Paulina Skibińska
Munk Studio and Polish Filmmakers Association

Best Curated Series Award

Independent Lens (Winner - TIE)LEARN MORE
Executive Producers: Sally Jo Fifer and Lois Vossen

Executive Producers: Simon Kilmurry and Chris White

30 for 30LEARN MORE
Executive Producers John Dahl and Connor Schell

America ReFramedLEARN MORE
Executive Producers: Chris Hastings and Simon Kilmurry
WORLD Channel

StoryvilleLEARN MORE
Series Editor: Nick Fraser
Executive Producer: Kate Townsend
BBC TV, BBC World News

Best Limited Series Award

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (Winner)LEARN MORE
Executive Producer: Jason Blum
Co-Executive Producer: Zac Stuart-Pontier
Produced by: Andrew Jarecki and Marc Smerling

Blood BrothersLEARN MORE
Executive Producers: Kees Schaap and Anja van Oostrom
Vara Television (The Netherlands)

Executive Producers: Steve James, Justine Nagan, and Gordon Quinn
Series Producer: Maggie Bowman
Al Jazeera America and Kartemquin Films

Executive Producer: Mike Gunton

Rebel ArchitectureLEARN MORE
Executive Producer: Flora Gregory
Series Producer: Dan Davies
Al Jazeera English

Best Episodic Series Award

Chef’s Table (Winner)LEARN MORE
Executive Producers: David Gelb, Andrew Fried, and Brian McGinn

Morgan Spurlock Inside ManLEARN MORE
Executive Producers: Jeremy Chilnick, Matthew Galkin, and Morgan Spurlock
CNN and Warrior Poets

Senior Executive Producer: Paula Apsell
Deputy Executive Producer: Julia Cort

The SeventiesLEARN MORE
Executive Producers: Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, and Mark Herzog
CNN, Playtone, and Herzog & Company

This is Life with Lisa LingLEARN MORE
Executive Producers: Amy Bucher, Lisa Ling, and David Shadrack Smith
CNN and part2 pictures

Best Short Form Series Award

Do Not Track (Winner)LEARN MORE
Executive Producer: Hugues Sweeney
National Film Board of Canada, Upian, Arte, and BR

Highrise: Universe WithinLEARN MORE
Executive Producers: Anita Lee and Silva Basmajian
National Film Board of Canada

The New York Times Op-DocsLEARN MORE
Executive Producer: Jason Spingarn-Koff
The New York Times

POV Interactive DocumentariesLEARN MORE
Executive Producer: Simon Kilmurry and Adnaan Wasey

WE THE ECONOMY: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to MissLEARN MORE
Executive Producers: Paul G. Allen and Morgan Spurlock
Vulcan Productions and Cinelan

David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award

This award recognizes exceptional achievement in non-fiction film and video production at the university level and brings greater public and industry awareness to the work of students in the documentary field.

The Archipelago (Winner)LEARN MORE
Director: Benjamin Huguet
The National Film and Television School

Director: Michael Milano
University of California, Berkeley

Director: Michelle Aguilar
University of California Santa Cruz

In Attla’s TracksLEARN MORE
Director: Catharine Axley
Stanford University

Looking at the StarsLEARN MORE
Director: Alexandre Peralta
University of Southern California

Pare Lorentz Award

The Pare Lorentz Award recognizes films that demonstrate exemplary filmmaking while focusing on the appropriate use of the natural environment, justice for all and the illumination of pressing social problems.

How to Change the WorldLEARN MORE
Director: Jerry Rothwell

ABC News VideoSource Award

This award is given each year for the best use of news footage as an integral component in a documentary.

Best of Enemies (Winner)LEARN MORE
Directors: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville
Magnolia Pictures and Independent Lens

Directors: Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe
Independent Lens along with BBC

Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and RollLEARN MORE
Director: John Pirozzi
Argot Pictures

Night Will FallLEARN MORE
Director: André Singer

What Happened, Miss Simone?LEARN MORE
Director: Liz Garbus

Creative Recognition Award Winners

The Creative Recognition category recognizes special achievement in cinematography, editing, music and writing in films entered in the Feature Category.

Best Cinematography

The Russian WoodpeckerLEARN MORE
Cinematography by: Artem Ryzhykov

Best Editing

Kurt Cobain: Montage of HeckLEARN MORE
Edited by: Joe Beshenkovsky and Brett Morgen

Best Writing

Listen to Me MarlonLEARN MORE
Written by: Stevan Riley
Co-Writer: Peter Ettedgui

Best Music

Best of EnemiesLEARN MORE
Original Score by: Jonathan Kirkscey

31st Annual IDA Awards Honorees

Career Achievement Award

Gordon Quinn
The IDA will present its prestigious 2015 Career Achievement Award to Gordon Quinn, Founder and Artistic Director of Kartemquin Films. Quinn was integral to the creation of ITVS, public access television in Chicago, and the Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practice in Fair Use; and in forming the Indie Caucus to support diverse independent voices on Public Television. Over his 50 years at Kartemquin, Quinn has produced, directed, and/or been a cinematographer for over 55 films, and inspired and guided an immeasurable number of media makers whose films have left a lasting impact on millions of viewers. Read our interview with Quinn.

Pioneer Award

Ted Sarandos
The Pioneer Award is presented to acknowledge extraordinary contributions to advancing the nonfiction form and providing exceptional vision and leadership to the documentary community. This year, the Pioneer Award will be presented to Ted Sarandos, the Chief Content Officer at Netflix, in recognition of his leadership of Netflix’s game-changing and unwavering support of creating and showcasing nonfiction programming, which has greatly broadened its availability and popularity around the world. Read our interview with Sarandos.

Amicus Award

Tony Tabatznik and the Bertha Foundation
Tony Tabatznik and the Bertha Foundation will receive the IDA’s Amicus Award in recognition of their work supporting the essential needs of the non-fiction media landscape. Founded in 2009, the Bertha Foundation’s vision was to connect activists, lawyers and storytellers to fight for fundamental social and economic change. The Bertha Foundation’s Media Program specifically aims to nurture global talent, expose relevant stories and connect them to audiences for powerful, positive social impact. Read our interview with Rebecca Lichtenfeld of Bertha.

Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award
Sponsored by Archibald Family Charitable Foundation and 16:9 Post

Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe
Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe, directors of (T)ERROR, will receive IDA's Emerging Documentary Filmmaker Award, which recognizes the achievements of a filmmaker who has made a significant impact at the beginning of his or her career in documentary film. (T)ERROR received a grant from IDA’s Pare Lorentz Documentary Fund in 2013.

Courage Under Fire Award

Matthew Heineman
Matthew Heineman will receive the IDA’s Courage Under Fire Award, in recognition of conspicuous bravery in the pursuit of truth. This award is presented to documentary filmmakers by their peers for putting freedom of speech – represented in the crafts of documentary filmmaking and journalism – above all else, even their own personal safety. Heineman’s gripping film, Cartel Land, documents two modern-day vigilante movements – Dr. José Mireles’s citizen-led uprising against a violent drug cartel wreaking havoc in Mexico and the Arizona Border Recon led by Tim “Nailer” Foley, which is working to prevent Mexico’s drug wars from crossing into the United States.