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Filmmaker Nicole Newnham (right) and her husband (left). Newnhan is the director and producer of Best Feature and ABC News VideoSource Award-winning film, Crip Camp.


Shapearl Wells is the host of Somebody, the winner of the Best Audio Documentary Award. In the podcast, Wells investigates the shooting and death of her son, Courtney Copeland.


Members of the Dick Johnson is Dead team, from left to right, director Kirsten Johnson, unidentified, post-production supervisor Jean Lane, and producer Marilyn Ness.


Left: Poh Si Teng, Director of IDA Funds & Enterprise Program. Right: Editor and writer Nels Bangerter of Dick Johnson is Dead, winner of Best Writing and Best Editing.


Nicholas Capezzera, Director of Best Music Documentary Award-winning Universe.


Left: Producer Leah Natasha Thomas of Best Music Documentary Award-winning Universe. Right: Composer Kevin Smuts, winner of Best Music Score for My Octopus Teacher.


36th Annual IDA Documentary Awards


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. It seeks to represent excellence in the documentary field from around the world, by emerging and established documentarians. The 2020 Awards was presented at a virtual ceremony hosted by Willie Garson on Saturday, January 16, 2021.

The show was ASL interpreted and captioned. Click "Watch on Youtube" to view the ceremony with timestamps.

Winners and Nominees

Best Feature

Director/Producer: Alexander Nanau
Producer: Bianca Oana
Romania / Magnolia Pictures, Participant


Crip Camp (winner)
Directors/Producers: Nicole Newnham, Jim LeBrecht
Producer: Sara Bolder
USA / Netflix

Director: Victor Kossakovsky
Producer: Anita Rehoff Larsen
Norway, USA / NEON


Director: Sam Pollard
Producer: Benjamin Hedin
USA / IFC Films

The Reason I Jump
Director: Jerry Rothwell
Producers: Jeremy Dear, Stevie Lee, Al Morrow
USA, UK / Kino Lorber


Director: Mira Jargil
Producer: Kirstine Barfod

Director/Producer: Sam Soko
Producer: Toni Kamau
Kenya / POV


Director/Producer: Garrett Bradley
Producers: Lauren Domino, Kellen Quinn
USA / Amazon Studios, Concordia Studio, The New York Times

The Truffle Hunters
Directors/Producers: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw
USA, Italy, Greece / Sony Pictures Classics


Welcome to Chechnya
Director/Producer: David France
Producers: Alice Henty, Joy A. Tomchin, and Askold Kurov

Best Short

Abortion Helpline, This is Lisa
Directors/Producers: Barbara Attie, Mike Attie, Janet Goldwater
USA / TOPIC, Woman Make Movies


All That Perishes at the Edge of Land
Director/Producer: Hira Nabi
Producer: Till Passow

Huntsville Station
Directors/Producers: Jamie Meltzer, Chris Filippone
USA / New York Times Op-Docs


Hysterical Girl
Director: Kate Novack
Producer: Andrew Rossi
USA / New York Times Op-Docs

John Was Trying to Contact Aliens (winner)
Director/Producer: Matthew Killip
USA / Netflix


The Lost Astronaut
Director: Ben Proudfoot
Producers: Abby Lynn Kang Davis, Gabriel Berk Godoi
USA / New York Times Op-Docs

Directors/Producers: Kira Dane, Katelyn Rebelo
USA, Japan / TOPIC


sống ở đây
Director/Producer: Melanie Ho
USA / University of California, Santa Cruz

To Calm the Pig Inside (Ang Pagpakalma sa Unos)
Director/Producer: Joanna Vasquez Arong


Director/Producer: Marlén Viñayo
Producer: Carlos Martínez
El Salvador

Best Director

Garrett Bradley (winner)
USA / Amazon Studios, Concordia Studio, The New York Times


Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw
The Truffle Hunters
USA, Italy, Greece / Sony Pictures Classics

Nicole Newnham and Jim LeBrecht
Crip Camp
USA / Netflix


Sam Pollard
USA / IFC Films

Jerry Rothwell
The Reason I Jump
USA, UK / Kino Lorber

Best Curated Series

30 for 30
Executive Producers: John Dahl, Libby Geist, Rob King, Erin Leyden, Connor Schell


American Experience (winner)
Executive Producers: Susan Bellows and Mark Samels

American Masters
Executive Producer: Michael Kantor
USA / THIRTEEN Productions, LLC


Reel Midwest
Executive Producer: Moss Bresnahan
USA / Illinois Public Media

Reel South
Executive Producers: Don Godish and Rachel Raney
USA / PBS, World Channel



Best Episodic Series

Director and Executive Producer: Greg Whiteley
Producers: Adam Leibowitz, Arielle Kilker, Chelsea Yarnell
Executive Producers: Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard, Jasper Thomlinson, Bert Hamelinck
USA / Netflix


Hip Hop: The Songs That Shook America
Executive Producers: Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter, Shawn Gee, Alex Gibney, Stacey Offman, Richard Perello, Shea Serrano, Angie Day, One9, Erik Parker, Isaac Bolden

Last Chance U (winner)
Director and Executive Producer: Greg Whiteley
Executive Producers: Joe LaBracio, James D. Stern, Lucas Smith, Andrew Fried, Dane Lillegard
USA / Netflix


Seven Worlds, One Planet
Directors: Fredi Devas, Emma Napper, Giles Badger, Chadden Hunter
Executive Producer: Jonny Keeling
United Kingdom / BBC America

We’re Here
Executive Producers: Eli Holzman, Aaron Saidman, Stephen Warren, Johnnie Ingram, Peter LoGreco


Best Multi-Part Documentary

Asian Americans
Directors: Leo Chiang, Geeta Gandbhir, Grace Lee
Producers: Renee Tajima-Peña, Mark Jonathan Harris
Executive Producers: Jeff Bieber, Sally Jo Fifer, Stephen Gong, Jean Tsien, Donald Young


Director: Nanette Burstein
Producers: Isabel San Vargas, Timothy Moran, Chi-Young Park, Tal Ben-David
Executive Producers: Ben Silverman, Howard T. Owens, Nanette Burstein, Sierra Kos, Laurie Girion
USA / Hulu

City So Real
Director and Producer: Steve James
Producer: Zak Piper
Executive Producers: Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Alex Kotlowitz, Gordon Quinn, Betsy Steinberg, Jolene Pinder
USA / National Geographic


Lenox Hill
Directors and Executive Producers: Adi Barash and Ruthie Shatz
Executive Producer: Josh Braun
USA / Netflix

Atlanta's Missing and Murdered (winner)
Directors and Executive Producers: Sam Pollard, Maro Chermayeff, Joshua Bennett, Jeff Dupre
Executive Producers: John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorious, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller



Best Short Form Series

Almost Famous
Director: Ben Proudfoot
Producers: Abby Lynn Kang Davis, Gabriel Berk Godoi and Jeremy Lambert
Executive Producer: Adam Ellick
USA / New York Times Op-Docs


Guardian Documentaries
Directors: Irene Baque, Laurence Topham, Sara Khaki, Mohammad Reza Eyni, Rebecca Lloyd-Evans, Laura Dodsworth, Dan McDougall
Producers: Shanida Scotland, Natasha Dack Ojumu and Nikki Parrott
Executive Producers: Charlie Phillips, Lindsay Poulton, Jess Gormley
United Kingdom, Iran / The Guardian

Last Call For The Bayou: 5 Stories from Louisiana's Disappearing Delta
Director: Dominic Gill
Producer: Nadia Gill
Executive Producer: Gina Hutchinson
USA / Smithsonian Channel Plus


POV Shorts (winner)
Producer: Opal H. Bennett
Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White

Run This City
Director: Brent Hodge
Producer: Prince Vaughn
Executive Producers: Mark Wahlberg, Stephen Levinson, Archie Gips, Brent Hodge
USA / Quibi



Best Audio Documentary

Crosses in the Desert / Cruces en el desierto
Reporter: Dennis Maxwell
Producers: Catalina May, Martín Cruz
Executive Producer: Martina Castro
Chile, USA / Las Raras Podcast


Fiasco: Bush v. Gore
Producers: Leon Neyfakh, Andrew Parsons
USA / Luminary

Girl Taken
Reporter: Sue Mitchell
Producer: Richard Hannaford
Executive Producer: Philip Sellars
United Kingdom / British Broadcasting Corporation


Heavyweight - The Marshes
Reporter, Producer and Executive Producer: Jonathan Goldstein
Reporter and Producer: Kalila Holt
Producers: Stevie Lane, Jorge Just, BA Parker, Bobby Lord
USA / Gimlet Media

Somebody (winner)
Reporters and Producers: Alison Flowers, Bill Healy and Sarah Geis
Host: Shapearl Wells
Reporters: Sam Stecklow, Annie Nguyen, Kahari Blackburn, Rajiv Sinclair, Henri Adams, Matilda Vojak, Dana Brozost-Kelleher, Frances McDonald, Diana Akmajian, Andrew Fan and Maddie Anderson
Associate Producer: Ellen Glover
Executive Producers: Jamie Kalven, Maria Zuckerman, Christy Gressman, Leital Molad
USA / Topic Studios, The Intercept, the Invisible Institute, and iHeartRadio, in association with Tenderfoot TV

Best Music Documentary

Beastie Boys Story
Director/Producer: Spike Jonze
Producers: Jason Baum and Amanda Adelson
USA / Apple TV+


Director: James Erskine
United Kingdom / Greenwich Entertainment

Crock of Gold
Director/Producer: Julien Temple
Producers: Johnny Depp, Stephen Deuters, Stephen Malit
USA / Magnolia Pictures


Los Hermanos/The Brothers
Directors/Producers: Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider
USA / PatchWorks Films, PBS

Universe (winner)
Directors: Sam Osborn and Nicholas Capezzera
Producers: Esther Dere and Leah Natasha Thomas




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.

Director/Producer: Sara Montoya Sepúlveda
United Kingdom / National Film and Television School


Isle of Us
Director: Laura Wadha
United Kingdom / National Film and Television School

Na Luta Delas
Directors/Producers: Orion Rose Kelly and Pedro Cota
Brazil / UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism


People Like Me (winner)
Director/Producer: Marrok Sedgwick
USA / University of California Santa Cruz

Director: Laura Gamse
Producer: James Davis
USA / Stanford University


Director: Rosie Morris
Producer: Jesse Romain
United Kingdom / National Film and Television School

Best Cinematography

Acasă, My Home
Cinematographers: Radu Ciorniciuc and Mircea Topoleanu
Romania, Germany, Finland / Manifest Film, HBO Europe


Boys State
Director of Photography: Thorsten Thielow
USA / Apple, A24

The Earth is Blue as an Orange (winner)
Cinematographer: Viacheslav Tsvietkov
Ukraine, Lithuania


The Truffle Hunters
Cinematographers: Michael Dweck, Gregory Kershaw
USA, Italy, Greece / Sony Pictures Classics

Cinematographers: Zac Manuel, Justin Zweifach, Nisa East
USA / Amazon Studios, Concordia Studio, The New York Times



Best Editing

Boys State
Editor: Jeff Gilbert
USA / Apple, A24


Crip Camp
Editors: Eileen Meyer and Andrew Gersh
USA / Netflix

Editor: Stacy Goldate
USA / Netflix


Dick Johnson is Dead (winner)
Editor: Nels Bangerter
USA / Netflix

Through the Night
Editor: Malika Zouhali-Worrall



Best Music Score

Dancing with the Birds
Composer: David Mitcham
USA / Netflix


David Attenborough: Life On Our Planet
Composer: Steven Price
USA, United Kingdom / Netflix

Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice
Composer: Chapavich Temnitikul
USA / Netflix


My Octopus Teacher (winner)
Composer: Kevin Smuts
USA, United Kingdom / Netflix

Rising Phoenix
Composer: Daniel Pemberton
USA / Netflix



Best Writing

Crip Camp
Writers: Jim LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham
USA / Netflix


Dick Johnson is Dead (winner)
Writers: Nels Bangerter and Kirsten Johnson
USA / Netflix

I Am Not Alone
Writer: Garin Hovannisian


My Octopus Teacher
Writers: Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed
USA / Netflix

Socks on Fire
Writers: Bo McGuire and Max Allman



ABC News VideoSource Award

The ABC News VideoSource Award is given each year for the best use of news footage as an integral component in a documentary.

#Unfit: The Psychology of Donald Trump
Director/Producer: Dan Partland
Producer: Art Horan
USA / Dark Star


Bully. Coward. Victim.: The Story of Roy Cohn
Director: Ivy Meerapol
Producers: Julie Goldman, Christopher Clements, Carolyn Hepburn

Crip Camp (winner)
Directors/Producers: Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham
Producer: Sara Bolder
USA / Netflix


Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America's Elections
Director: Sarah Teale
Directors/Producers: Simon Ardizzone and Russell Michaels
Producers: Michael Hirschorn and Jessica Antonini

Director: Sam Pollard
Producer: Benjamin Hedin
USA / IFC Films


The First Rainbow Coalition
Director/Producer: Ray Santisteban
USA / Independent Lens, PBS, Latino Public Broadcasting, ITVS

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.

My Octopus Teacher (winner)
Director: Pippa Ehrlich, James Reed
Producer: Craig Foster
USA / Netflix


Crip Camp (honorable mention)
Directors/Producers: Jim LeBrecht, Nicole Newnham
Producer: Sara Bolder
USA / Netflix