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IDA's 2008 IDA Documentary Awards Competition Nominees Announced

By IDA Editorial Staff

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LOS ANGELES, October 28, 2008 - The nominees for the International Documentary Association's 2008 IDA Documentary Awards competition were announced today, including many of the year's most buzzed-about titles and festival favorites. Winners will be feted on December 5th at the Directors Guild in Los Angeles, in a ceremony hosted by Academy Award® nominated documentary filmmaker and star Morgan Spurlock.

"Innovative storytelling, digital editing and sophisticated audiences have opened up the playing field of what a documentary can be. So, in choosing a master of ceremonies for this year's event, no one better exemplifies that renegade creative spirit than Morgan Spurlock," said IDA's Interim Executive Director Eddie Schmidt. Spurlock, known for SUPERSIZE ME, 30 DAYS, and WHERE IN THE WORLD IS OSAMA BIN LADEN?, will take a brief sojourn from postproduction on the upcoming FREAKONOMICS to handle hosting duties.

The five nominated films for Distinguished Documentary Achievement in IDA's feature category are: KASSIM THE DREAM, the powerful story of Ugandan-born World Champion boxer Kassim "The Dream" Ouima, who must confront his difficult past as a child soldier while training for his next world title; MAN ON WIRE, an evocative chronicle of tightrope walker Philippe Petit's high-wire (and highly illegal) routine between New York's former Twin Towers, circa 1974; STRANDED: I HAVE COME FROM A PLANE THAT CRASHED ON THE MOUNTAINS, the harrowing tale of the famous 1972 Andes plane crash, as told by its survivors today; WALTZ WITH BASHIR, an unprecedented animated documentary examining the consequences of war by unraveling the memories of Ari Folman and other Israeli soldiers who fought in the 1982 Lebanon conflict; and, finally, YOUNG@HEART, a warm and human look at a Massachusetts chorus of senior citizens who perform rock songs with camaraderie and gusto.

The five nominated short films are: KICK LIKE A GIRL, LA CORONA, REDEMPTION STONE, SMILE PINKI, TONGZHI IN LOVE. LA CORONA was nominated for last year's Best Documentary Short Academy Award®, while SMILE PINKI and TONGZHI IN LOVE currently reside on this year's Oscar shortlist. KICK LIKE A GIRL played in this year's IDA Docuweek program.

In the Limited Series category, the four nominees are: CNN PRESENTS: GOD'S WARRIORS, THE JEWISH AMERICANS, THE WAR, and SIN CITY LAW. Continuing Series nominees are NOVA, AMERICAN MASTERS, THIS AMERICAN LIFE and WIDE ANGLE.

Other IDA competition categories include the Alan Ett Music Award (now in its second year), the David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award, the ABC News Video Source Award, for best use of television news footage as an integral component, as well as the Pare Lorentz Award, presented to the filmmaker whose documentary best represents the activist spirit and lyrical vision of the acclaimed Pare Lorentz. For a complete list of nominees and finalists (in some categories), please see the attached.

In addition to competitive awards for the year's current crop of outstanding documentaries, IDA also acknowledges exemplary creative contributions to the genre at large. This year's IDA Career Achievement honoree, to be celebrated during December's event, was previously announced as ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD and GRIZZLY MAN director Werner Herzog.

Other career awards to be handed out at the ceremony include: the Pioneer Award, to groundbreaking filmmaker Rob Epstein (THE CELLULOID CLOSET; THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK), the Preservation & Scholarship Award, to beloved UCLA professor, author, and filmmaker Marina Goldovskaya (THE PRINCE IS BACK), and the inaugural Avid Excellence in Editing Award, sponsored by Avid Technology the digital editing giant, to master editor and filmmaker Sam Pollard (WHEN THE LEVEES BROKE: A REQUIEM IN FOUR ACTS; 4 LITTLE GIRLS).

The Jacqueline Donnet Emerging Filmmaker Award will go to helmer Stefan Forbes, whose prescient and provocative BOOGIE MAN: THE LEE ATWATER STORY, is currently in theatrical release.

Finally, 2008 heralds a brand new Audience Award, where all IDA members can vote for their favorite doc from a wide-ranging list of the year's nonfiction features simply by logging on to where there is also a write-in option for additional titles. The Audience Award winner will be tabulated by votes accumulated on the site beginning today and lasting over the next several weeks. The winner will be announced the night of the show.

This year's program, featuring a catered reception by Border Grill/Ciudad, is sponsored by HBO Documentary Films, Magic Rock Entertainment, the Directors Guild of America, Heineken, Sort this Out Cellars, and Aquarius Oxygen Water. Tickets are available for purchase now at

IDA will be going "green" for December's event by using 100% recycled stock postcards printed with soy-based biodegradable ink. The organization is also selling tickets online to avoid the printing of several thousand RSVP cards. Border Grill/Ciudad is a well-established "green" caterer, and plans are also in the works to utilize a biodiesel car service.

The International Documentary Association is a nonprofit, public interest organization dedicated to supporting and promoting the art of documentary film. The IDA Awards selection process began with peer group juries who viewed all submissions to select nominees in each category for final review by blue-ribbon panels.

For more information about IDA, visit or call 213-534-3600.

Media Contact: Amy Grey, Dish Communications
(818) 508-1000

A complete list of nominees and awardees follows.



Morgan Spurlock


Werner Herzog

Rob Epstein

Marina Goldovskaya

Sam Pollard

Stefan Forbes

Feature Documentary Nominees

Kassim The Dream
Director/Producer: Kief Davidson
Producer: Liz Silver
Executive Producers: Forest Whitaker, Keisha Whitaker, Joshua Green
Believe Media, Urban Landscapes, Monaco Film Hamburg, ARTE/ZDF Enterprises

Man on Wire
Director: James Marsh
Producer: Simon Chinn
Red Box Films, Wall to Wall, Discovery Films, BBC, UK Film Council, Magnolia Pictures

Stranded: I've come from a plane that crashed in the mountains
Director: Gonzalo Arijón
Producer: Mark Silvera
Ethan Productions, La Realidad, ARTE France, ITVS International, Zeitgeist Films 

Waltz with Bashir
Director/Producer: Ari Folman
Producers: Yael Nahlieli, Serge Lalou, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul
Bridgit Folman Film Gang, Les Films d'Ici, Razor Film, ARTE France, ITVS International, Sony Pictures Classics

Young @ Heart
Director: Stephen Walker
Producer: Sally George
Walker George Films, Channel 4 Television Corporation, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Short Documentary Nominees

Kick Like A Girl
Director/Producer: Jenny Mackenzie
Producers: Geralyn White Dreyfous, Jennifer Jordan
Jenny Mackenzie Films, Impact Partners, Chicken & Egg Films, HBO Documentary Films 

Redemption Stone
Director/Producer: Tom Dziedzic 

La Corona
Directors/Producers: Amanda Micheli, Isabel Vega
Runaway Films, Vega Films, HBO Documentary Films

Tongzhi in Love
Director: Ruby Yang
Producer: Thomas Lennon
Thomas Lennon Films in association with Chang Ai Media Project.

Smile Pinki
Director/Producer: Megan Mylan
Principe Productions Inc.

Continuing Series Award-Nominees

American Masters
Susan Lacy, executive producer
Prudence Glass, series producer
Julie Sacks, series supervising producer
Thirteen/WNET New York, PBS

Episodes Submitted:
Good Ol' Charles Schulz
(David Van Taylor, dir.; Ali Pomeroy, prod.; Susan Lacy, Gerald Richman, Calvin Skaggs, exec. prods.)
Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
(Jim Brown, dir./prod.; Michael Cohl, William Eigen, prods.; Norman Lear, Toshi Seeger, exec. prods.)
David Hockney: The Colors of Music
(Maryte Kavaliauskas, Seth Schneidman, dirs.; Chntal Bernheim, prod.)
Les Paul: Chasing Sound
(John Paulson, dir.; James Arntz, prod.; Glenn Aveni, Susan Lacy, exec. prods.) 

Paula S. Apsell, senior executive producer
WGBH Science Unit, PBS

Episodes Submitted:
Car of The Future
(Joseph Seamans, dir./prod.; Janet Driscoll Smith, prod.)
Ape Genius
(John Rubin, dir./prod.; John Breder, exec. prod.)
Secrets of the Parthenon
(Gary Glassman, prod.; Yves Jeanneau, Christine Le Goff, exec. prods.

This American Life
Created By Ira Glass/Chicago Public Radio
Chris Wilcha, director, co-executive producer
Jane Feltes, Sarah Koenig, Lisa Pollak, Robyn Semien, Alissa Shipp, Nancy Updike, Kevin Vargas producers
Julie Snyder, Alex Blumberg, Ira Glass, Banks Tarver, Ken Druckerman, Christine Vachon, Pamela Koffler, Katie Roumel, executive producers
Left/Right, Killer Films, Chicago Public Radio, Showtime Networks

Episodes Submitted:
Two Wars
Going Down In History
John Smith

Wide Angle: Season 6
Pamela Hogan, executive producer
Nina Chaudry, senior producer
Thirteen/WNET New York, PBS

Episodes Submitted:
Dishing Democracy
(Bregtje van der Haak, dir.; Femke Wolting, Bruno Felix, prods.)
Brazil in Black & White
(Adam Stepan, dir./prod.)
The People's Court
(Bruno Sorrentino, dir.; Maggie Still, prod.)
Victory Is Your Duty
(Andrew Lang, dir.; Mandy Chang, prod.)

Limited Series Award--Nominees

CNN Presents: God's Warriors
Christiane Amanpour, Kathy Slobogin, Andy Segal, Michael Mocklar, Ken Shiffman, Cliff Hackel, Dave Timko, Brian Rokus, Jen Christensen, Julie O'Neill, Jody Gottlieb
CNN Productions, CNN

The Jewish Americans
David Grubin, Dalton Delan, Jeff Bieber, Jay Sanderson, Stephen Segaller
JTN Productions, WETA Wahington, DC, David Grubin Productions, Inc., Thirteen/WNET New York

Sin City Law
Denis Poncet, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, Remy Burkel
Maha Productions, Arte, Sundance Channel

The War
Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, Sarah Botstein
Florentine Films, WETA-TV 

ABCNews VideoSource Award--Finalists

American Idealist: The Story of Sargent Shriver
Bruce Orenstein
Chicago Video Project, PBS

The Brothers Warner 
Cass Warner Sperling
Warner Sisters, American Masters, PBS

Luis Lopez, Trisha Ziff
Netflix/Red Envelope Entertainment 

A Day Late In Oakland
Zachary Stauffer
University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism 

Get Collins
Steve Carson
RTE One 

The Judge and the General
Elizabeth Farnsworth, Patricio Lanfranco
West Wind Productions, POV, PBC 

The King of South Shields
Tina Gharavi, Craig Wilson
Bridge + Tunnel Productions 

Les Paul: Chasing Sound
John Paulson, James Arntz
Paulson Productions, Icon Television Music, Thirteen/WNET, American Masters, PBS

The Passionate Eye- The Putin System
Jean-Michel Carré, Jill Emery
Les Films Grain De Sable, CBC Newsworld 

Pray The Devil Back to Hell
Gini Reticker, Abigail Disney
Fork Films, Balcony Releasing

Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
Marina Zenovich, Jeffrey Levy-Hinte, Lila Yacoub
Antidote Films, HBO, THINKFilm

Trouble The Water
Tia Lessin, Carl Deal
A Zeitgeist Films Release in association with HBO Documentary Films

War Child
C. Karim Chrobog, Afshin Molava
18th Street Films, Independent Producers Alliance, Interfact Media Group, Porchlight Entertainment

IDA/Alan Ett Music Documentary Award - Nominees

American Harmony
Aengus James, Colin King Miller
This Is Just A Test Productions 

Heavy Load
Jerry Rothwell, Al Morrow, Jonny Persey
APT Films, Met Film, Hi8us, IFC, ITVS International, BBC

La Paloma
Sigrid Faltin, Cédric Bonin
Seppia, White Pepper Filmgesellschaft, First Hand Films, Real Fiction Filmverleih

The Wrecking Crew
Denny Tedesco, Suzie Greene Tedesco, Jon Leonoudakis, Mitchell Linden, Claire Scanlon
Lunch Box Entertainment 

Young @ Heart
Stephen Walker, Sally George
Walker George Films, Channel 4 Television Corporation, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Pare Lorentz Award-Finalists

Burning The Future: Coal In America
David Novack, Alexis Zoullas
FireFly Pix, Sundance Channel

CNN Presents: God's Warriors
Christiane Amanpour, Kathy Slobogin, Andy Segal, Michael Mocklar, Ken Shiffman, Cliff Hackel, Dave Timko, Brian Rokus, Jen Christensen, Julie O'Neill, Jody Gottlieb
CNN Productions, CNN

Daughters of the Revolution
Aeyliya Hussain

Garbage Warrior
Oliver Hodge, Rachel Wexler, Patrick Wilson
Open Eye Media, Sundance Channel, Documentary Channel, ITVS International

La Vida Loca  
Christian Poveda, Carole Solive, Luis Bellaba, Emilio Maillé, Gustavo Angel
La Femme Endormie, Aquelarre, El Caiman

NOVA: Judgment Day: Intelligent Design on Trial
Gary Johnstone, Joseph McMaster, Vanessa Tovell
, Vulcan Productions, The Big Table Film Company, WGBH, PBS

Pray the Devil Back to Hell
Gini Reticker, Abigail Disney
Fork Films, Balcony Releasing

Saving Luna
Michael Parfit, Suzanne Chisholm
Mountainside Films, CBC Newsworld, Telefilm Canada

Standard Operating Procedure 
Errol Morris, Julie Bilson Ahlberg
Sony Pictures Classics, Participant Productions

War Child
Karim Chrobog, Afshin Molavi
18th Street Films, Independent Producers Alliance, Interfact Media Group, Porchlight Entertainment

IDA/David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award--Nominees

As We Forgive
Laura Waters Hinson
American University 

A Day Late In Oakland
Zachary Stauffer
University of California Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism 

Jesse's Dad
Boaz Dvir, Rebecca Goldman
University of Florida Documentary Institute

KURM RADIO: The Soapbox of the Air
Kellly Millar, Hayot Tuychiev, Nikki Wise
University of Arkansas

Carola Mamberto
University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism