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Notes from the Reel World: The Board President's Column, April 1998

By David Haugland

Congratulations to the Academy Award® Nominees for Best Achievement in Documentary!

This year IDA takes special pride in the documentary nominees as three of the ten films nominated were participants in DOCtober"', IDA's screening series inaugurated last fall in Pasadena. Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, Colors Straight Up, and Still Kicking: The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies each qualified for Academy consideration through week-long theatrical runs as part of DOCtober.

We also take special pride in congratulating our IDA member filmmakers whose work is being recognized by the Academy this year: Michael Paxton (Ayn Rand), Michele Ohayon (Colors Straight Up), Rabbi Marvin Hier and Richard Trank (The Long Way Home), Donna Dewey (A Story of Healing), William Gazecki ( Waco: The Rules of Engagement) and Andrea Blaugrund (Still Kicking). And a nod of congratulations to IDA Trustee Sheila Nevins as executive producer for two nominees from HBO/Cinemax Reel Life: Daughter of the Bride and 4 Little Girls.

Again this year, IDA celebrated the documentary nominees with a day-long screening series, DocuDay, on Sunday, March 22 at the Directors' Guild of America. I hope that many of you took this opportunity to see the nominated films and to mingle with the filmmakers .

With Spring upon us, it's time to look ahead to International Documentary Congress Three, coming up October 28-30 in Los Angeles. Every three years IDA partners with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to celebrate the documentary in this one-of-a-kind congress. Documentarians from around the globe gather for three days of panel discussions, public programs and informal dialogue about non-fiction film. The theme of the '98 Congress is "Documentary at the Millenium." As makers, audiences, distributors, broadcasters and friends of documentaries know, the appreciation and profile of documentaries has never been higher. During the Congress, "the best and the brightest" in the documentary field will share their insights, concerns and visions of the future with Congress pai1ici ­ pants in what truly should be the documentary highlight of 1998'

Already aboard and working on the Congress is a steering committee including Joh n Bai ley, Charles Burnett, Marina Goldovskaya , Karen Ishizuka , Lynne Littman , Tracy McArdle, Betsy McLane, Arnold Schwartzman and Walter Shenson. Michael Apted and I co-chair this enthusiastic and dedicated group.

Around the world the Congress has enlisted an ever-growing International Advisory Committee with representatives now from Australia, China, Uruguay, the Philippines, Canada, Russia, United Kingdom, Israel and Portugal. These advisors are working in collaboration with a program committee to create a Congress schedule that addresses the needs, concerns, trends and future of documentaries as we approach the third millennium.

We again anticipate that more than 1,500 documentarians will attend the Congress in October. Watch this column and "Congress Updates" in the IDA Magazine throughout the coming months for further details on the Congress. And mark October 28-30 on your calendar now for International Documentary Congress Three. See you there!


David Haugland