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 will be presented at a virtual ceremony on Saturday, January 16, 2021. Until then, celebrate with us virtually in our photo booth. Share the good news with #IDADocAwards.


Member Voting

Each year, IDA Members get the exclusive benefit of selecting the Best Feature and Short winners of the year. Stream all 20 films from anywhere in the world, then select your top three documentaries in each category. The 2020 voting period is from December 7 to January 8, 2021. 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!


Nominees

Best Feature

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

 

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

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

 

MLK/FBI
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

 

Reunited
Director: Mira Jargil
Producer: Kirstine Barfod
Denmark

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

 

Time
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
USA / HBO


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
Pakistan

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
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

Mizuko
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
Philippines

 

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


Best Director

Garrett Bradley
Time
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
MLK/FBI
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
USA / ESPN

 

American Experience
Executive Producers: Susan Bellows and Mark Samels
USA / PBS

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

Cheer
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
USA / AMC

Last Chance U
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
USA / HBO

   

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
USA / PBS

 

Hillary
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
Directors and Executive Producers: Sam Pollard, Maro Chermayeffn, Joshua Bennett, Jeff Dupre
Executive Producers: John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorious, Nancy Abraham, Lisa Heller
USA / HBO

 

 


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
Producer: Opal H. Bennett
Executive Producers: Justine Nagan and Chris White
USA / PBS

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
Reporters and Producers: Alison Flowers, Bill Healy
Reporters: Sam Stecklow, Ellen Glover, Annie Nguyen, Kahari Blackburn, Rajiv Sinclair, Henri Adams, Matilda Vojak, Dana Brozost-Kelleher, Frances McDonald, Diana Akmajian, Andrew Fan and Maddie Anderson
Producers: Shapearl Wells, Sarah Geis
Executive Producers: Jamie Kalven, Maria Zuckerman, Christy Gressman, Leital Molad
USA / iHeartRadio


Best Music Documentary

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

 

Billie
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
Directors: Sam Osborn and Nicholas Capezzera
Producers: Esther Dere and Leah Natasha Thomas
USA

 

 


 

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.

Bananas
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
Director/Producer: Marrok Sedgwick
USA / University of California Santa Cruz

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

 

Trees
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
Cinematographer: Viacheslav Tsvietkov
Ukraine, Lithuania

 

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

Time
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

Disclosure
Editor: Stacy Goldate
USA / Netflix

 

Dick Johnson is Dead
Editor: Nels Bangerter
USA / Netflix

Through the Night
Editor: Malika Zouhali-Worrall
USA / ITVS, POV

 

 


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
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
Writers: Nels Bangerter and Kirsten Johnson
USA / Netflix

I Am Not Alone
Writer: Garin Hovannisian
USA / Netflix

 

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

Socks on Fire
Writers: Max Allman, Bo McGuire
USA

 

 


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
USA / HBO

Crip Camp
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
USA / HBO

MLK/FBI
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


Winners

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