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Meet the Three Individuals to Be Honored at 29th IDA Awards

By IDA Editorial Staff

We are thrilled to name those individuals set to receive top honorary awards for the 2013 IDA Documentary Awards. The awards will be presented at the 29th Annual IDA Documentary Awards on Friday, December 6th at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles.

Career Achievement Award: Alex Gibney

Photo Credit: Timothy Greenfield Sanders

The IDA will present its 2013 Career Achievement Award to Oscar and Emmy Award-winning director, producer and writer Alex Gibney. A prolific filmmaker known for his uncompromising and in-depth profiles of influential public figures, Gibney's recent films include the award winning feature docs Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God and Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer. Gibney won an Oscar and an Emmy for the 2008 documentary feature Taxi to the Dark Side and received a Best Director nomination from the DGA and a Writer's Guild award for Best Screenplay. Gibney also received an Academy Award nomination in 2006 for Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. Gibney’s current films include The Armstrong Lie, an exposition of the myth and reality of Lance Armstrong, and We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, a profile of the controversial media figure Julian Assange.

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.

Amicus Award: Geralyn Dreyfous

Photo Credit: Scott Peterson

The organization's Amicus Award will be presented to Geralyn Dreyfous. Dreyfous’ executive producing and producing credits include the Academy Award-winning Born Into Brothels, Academy Award nominated The Invisible War, Emmy nominated The Day My God Died, and the current films The Square and The Crash Reel. Dreyfous is the Founder/ Board Chair of the Utah Film Center, a charter member of the Utah Coalition for Film and Media, and co-founder, with Dan Cogan, of Impact Partners Film Fund, an organization that brings financiers and filmmakers together to create documentaries focused on social change. Impact Partners has been involved in the financing of over 30 films including several Academy Award-winning documentaries. Dreyfous has a wide background in the arts, long experience in consulting in the philanthropic sector, and is active on many boards and initiatives.

The IDA Amicus Award acknowledges friends of the documentary genre who have contributed significantly to our industry. This significant award has been given only three other times in the 29-year history of the IDA Documentary Awards, to Michael Donaldson, John Hendricks, and Steven Spielberg.

Courage Under Fire Award: Laura Poitras

Photo Credit: Ruby Washington

Laura Poitras will receive 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. Along with Glenn Greenwald, she broke the story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, revealing the PRISM program. Poitras is working on a trilogy of films about America post 9/11. The first film, My Country, My Country (2006), was nominated for an Academy Award, Independent Spirit Award, and Emmy Award. The second film, The Oath (2010), received a Gotham Award for Best Documentary, the Cinematography Award at Sundance, and the Directing Award at Cinema Eye Honors. She is editing the third film of the trilogy, a documentary about NSA surveillance.

Past recipients of the Courage Under Fire Award include Jonathan Stack and James Brabazon, Andrew Berends, Saira Shah, and Christiane Amanpour.

"The outstanding individuals IDA has chosen to honor this year represent the very best of our thriving documentary filmmaking community," said IDA Executive Director Michael Lumpkin. "The dedication of Gibney, Poitras and Dreyfous to the art and craft of nonfiction storytelling has contributed greatly to expanding our understanding of the shared human experience and creating a more informed, compassionate, and connected world."

Nominees for over a dozen film achievement and special awards will be announced in late October with winners announced at the December 6th IDA Documentary Awards Gala.

Want to join us for the foremost event dedicated to the art of documentary film? Get your tickets to the 29th annual IDA Documentary Awards today!

Learn more about the IDA Documentary Awards, including sponsorship opportunities.