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Arnold Shapiro and Sundance Institute to be Honored at IDA Documentary Awards

By IDA Editorial Staff

Filmmaker Arnold Shapiro and the Sundance Institute's Documentary Film Program and Fund will both be honored at the upcoming 28th Annual IDA Documentary Awards on Friday, December 7, 2012 in Los Angeles. Now in its 28th year, the IDA Documentary Awards is the foremost event dedicated to the art of documentary film. While the winners for Best Feature, Short, Limited and Continuing Series, and others will not be announced until the event, we wanted to announce our honorees for both the Career Achievement and Pioneer Award a little ahead of time.

The IDA will award its prestigious 2012 Career Achievement Award to producer Arnold Shapiro. Arnold is the Oscar and Emmy Award-winning producer, director, writer of the documentary Scared Straight! Among his other 150 awards are 16 Emmys including the Governors’ Award from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, three Humanitas Prizes, The People's Choice Award, and the George Foster Peabody Award. Arnold has produced 33 series including CBS's Rescue 911 and Big Brother, and the current A&E hit series, Beyond Scared Straight; four CBS-TV movies, two prime time CBS drama specials, and more than 90 documentaries and specials. Arnold has produced documentary programs for CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, UPN, PBS and 14 cable networks from A&E to HBO.

The IDA Career Achievement Award is given to a filmmaker who has made a major impact on the documentary genre through a long and distinguished body of work. In previous years, IDA has bestowed its Career Achievement Award on documentary luminaries such as Barbara Kopple, Errol Morris, Michael Moore and Les Blank.

Today, the IDA also announced that the organization's Pioneer Award will be presented to Sundance Institute's groundbreaking Documentary Film Program and Fund (DFP). Established in 2002 with a gift from the Open Society Institute with leadership support from Ford Foundation's Just Films initiative (among others), the DFP is a leading creative and financial resource for contemporary-issue nonfiction filmmakers worldwide. Each year the DFP grants and awards $1-2 million to independent documentary films and conducts a portfolio of Creative Labs and Fellows programs at Sundance Resort, Sundance Film Festival and elsewhere. Under the direction of Cara Mertes, the DFP also convenes events and forges partnerships globally to draw new resources to the non-fiction field, and to amplify the use of film as a tool for impact and motivate change towards more open and equitable societies. In its ten years, the DFP has supported over 425 films including Kirby Dick's The Invisible War, Patricio Guzmàn's Nostalgia For The Light, Leonard Retel Helmrich's Position Among The Stars, Josh Fox's Gasland, Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's Trouble The Water, and Ross Kauffman and Zana Briski's Born Into Brothels.

The Pioneer Award is presented by IDA to acknowledge extraordinary contributions to advancing the non- fiction form and providing exceptional vision and leadership to the documentary community. Past recipients of IDA’s Pioneer Award include Alan and Susan Raymond, Rob Epstein, Mel Stuart and Paula Apsell.

For more on the 28th Annual IDA Documentary Awards, please visit the Awards homepage.

Read the full press release here.